From the Basement: New Orleans says bye bye to Baby Cakes

Olivia Henderson, Sports Editor

Ashley Chen | Views Layout Editor

When the New Orleans Baby Cakes, the city’s minor league baseball team, announced its impending move to Wichita, Kansas, few fans were surprised. Last season, the team had the lowest paid attendance of the 16 teams in the Pacific Coast League. The franchise hopes that a change of venue will help to increase sales, however, increased revenue is not necessarily in its future.

In their 2018 season, the Baby Cakes sold an average of 3,827 tickets per game, which would fill about a third of its 10,000 seat stadium, the Shrine on Airline. Conversely, the Wingnuts, Wichita’s previous minor league team, averaged an attendance of only 3,098 per game in 2017, filling about half of the 6,400 seat Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, which was recently torn down.

To replace this stadium, Wichita will open a new 75-million-dollar baseball arena in 2020. While some studies have shown that a new minor league baseball stadium temporarily increases sales, the money spent on this project will likely not have a long-term economic impact, with sales leveling out after 10 years at the most.

Wichita also intends to change the team’s name. While the Baby Cakes have received mixed reviews on its rebranding the team was formerly known as the Zephyrs its merchandise sales have greatly increased since the franchise chose to change its name. Because outlandish names are the latest craze in minor league baseball, the team’s owners will need to come up with something snappy if they want to keep the merchandise sales going.

Regardless of the costs, the Baby Cakes’ decision to leave is already finalized. The team, however, will not actually move to Wichita until the 2020 season, giving grieving fans some time to enjoy a few games before the Baby Cakes hits their final home run in New Orleans.

The team’s first game of the season is at 7 p.m. on April 4 in the Shrine on Airline. Tickets prices range from $5-12.

Leave a Comment