Opening Day: Major League Stadiums by the Numbers

Major League Baseball begins the 2011 regular season today. When we launched our location analytics platform earlier this year, we connected with Jason Peck, author of “Take a Peck” blog.  He is not only a social media enthusiast and blogger, but he also loves sports. As I gave him a demo of our product, he began to ask questions about how Valuevine Connect could be used to track consumer activity at sporting venues.  At the time, we knew how valuable this platform would be to any brand with locations scattered nationwide or globally, but we had not yet thought through the application of our platform to any collection of venues, whether they be stadiums, convention centers, or tourist destinations.

To coincide with opening day, Jason Peck and Valuevine are teaming up for a project to track the fan activity and engagement at all of the 30 MLB Stadiums. For the duration of the 2011 season, Valuevine Connect will be monitoring, measuring and providing analytics and trends for each venue. We think this is going to be a fun and insightful project.

Stadium Venue Statistics, the Basics

To start the project off right, let’s take a look at the basics.  Using Valuevine Connect’s source discovery search engine, we imported over 210 data sources that are capturing consumer data & activity about stadiums. These include not only the obvious review sources, but also check-in sites, Facebook, and Twitter where appropriate. Each source has either an explicit relationship to a stadium or to MLB as a whole. As with every venue and brand, the sources will grow as Valuevine discovers additional ones, or if we associate sources that we think should be counted.

Within about 30 minutes of identifying our sources, Valuevine Connect reports the following historical activity for all MLB stadiums combined, which will help provide us with a baseline for both activity and sentiment:

  • 801,000 check-ins on location based services like Foursquare and Gowalla
  • 973,000 Facebook fans (not including MLB’s main page)
  • 130,000 Twitter followers (not including MLB main)
  • 669 reviews on sites like Yelp

MLB SegmentsNext, we set up some custom segments that align to leagues, divisions, and geography. This will allow us to compare activity, performance and sentiment by those dimensions – that should prove very interesting as the season rolls on. How will win-loss records impact sentiment and activity? Which are the most popular match-ups in the National League?  These are just a few of the questions we will take a look at.

Opening Day Top 10

I am going to leave the insightful analysis to Jason, but I will share three observations out of the box. Keep in mind that the data shared is based on the 210+ sources we are monitoring today. We expect those sources to grow which will increase clarity. The following graphs show the top 10 MLB stadiums by community size and ranked by sentiment.

MLB Top 10 Communities

The top stadiums for community size are Safeco Field, Wrigley Field, and the Metrodome. After the top three stadiums for community size, the numbers drop off substantially.


MLB Top 10 Stadiums for Fan Sentiment

Tropicana, Turner and Wrigley Field lead the way for positive fan sentiment. Unlike community size, there does not seem to be any large disparity between the top 3 and the rest. What’s going on at Tropicana Field? That is a good question that Valuevine Connect will help answer with our location drill-down capability. We will be able to see location specific messages, activity and keyword trends.

MLB Stadium Check-ins: Top 10

I also took a look at top level check-ins by fans at the stadiums. Here is a breakdown of the how the top 10 stadiums make up 74% of the total check-ins, while the remaining 20 stadiums make up 26%. That is not surprising given that checking in at a venue has not even scratched the surface of its full potential. It will be interesting to watch this number explode in 2011 – or will it?

One last teaser before I get back to work. I talked about how powerful custom segments can be when comparing venues. Here is an example of how the National League and American League compare from a consumer activity perspective. This report shows the comparison from January to April 2011.


Fan Activity by League

If you want to keep posted on this project, I encourage you to follow Jason’s Take a Peck Blog and our company blog.

Go Mariners!