Bisciotti doesn't care what you think about Kaepernick
By Todd M. Schoenberger
Aug 05, 2017 | 6:20 AM
Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti was asked by a fan on why he would ever sign quarterback Colin Kaepernick. (Kevin Richardson / Baltimore Sun video)
Can you feel the love?
Baltimore Ravens owner, Steve Bisciotti, is turning to you, the fan, for your opinion about adding Colin Kaepernick to the team's payroll. How thoughtful he would ask insight from the same people he continues to fleece at the ticket counter without producing a viable product on the field.
The circus surrounding a potential signing of the full-time social activist, who temps as an NFL quarterback, has more to do with manufacturing a fake relationship (with feelings) than it does with touchdowns. It's a brilliant marketing move; but only those clever enough in business can pull it off.
Mr. Bisciotti doesn't give a hoot about Colin Kaepernick, and he certainly doesn't care about the fans. What he does care about, which is on par with his remaining 31 colleagues, is your wallet; and the economics of the Ravens franchise make your dollars more valuable than most mid-market teams like Cleveland and Jacksonville.
The deal established in 1996 for Art Modell and the other ownership connections to move the team from Cleveland to Baltimore included municipal bond funding to pay for what we now know as M&T Bank Stadium. This, by itself, was a remarkably sweet deal.
However, the golden goose in the entire package was the stadium concession deal, which includes seventy cents on every dollar fans spend buying food and booze during games to flow back to the owners. And the deal comes with an infinity clause. Therefore, whoever owns the Baltimore Ravens now and in the future will enjoy the same prosperous love affair with your discretionary income.
Sure, Mr. Bisciotti shares the same competitive fire as his employees and wants a Super Bowl. Who wouldn't? But he needs the fans to stay at M&T for the duration of a game, spending at the refreshment stand all the while.
Let me do some math for you: Say fans each spend $25 per game on concessions, which isn't hard to do, considering beers run an average of $7.50 at NFL games and hot dogs are over $5. That equals $17.50 in operating income per person for Mr. Bisciotti. With a 71,000 seat capacity at M&T, this totals more than $1.2 million — per game.
Thinking of leaving early because the Ravens are getting demolished at the half? This would be a disaster for the owners. Spending your dollars inside the stadium rather than a Federal Hill bar is preferred by those occupying the owner's suite at M&T.
This exact scenario happened in November 1998 when the Jaguars were crushing the Ravens, 42 to 13, at halftime. What do you think happened? Most fans exited the stadium, likely leaving Mr. Modell screaming for change. Dollars were literally flying out the door!
I'm sure it was only pure coincidence Brian Billick was named head coach a mere two months later.
Mr. Bisciotti should post new signage around the castle in Owings Mills saying "NO BLOWOUTS." No wonder the Ravens have arguably played in more nail-biters than most NFL teams since he took majority control in 2004.
Humor aside, there is some validity in this statement, though.
Forbes Magazine reports operating income for the Ravens franchise increased from a dismal $1 million in 2007 to $103 million in 2016. Concession spending and gate receipts are included in this figure. Mr. Bisciotti, being the clever businessman he is, realizes the ticket revenue is linear, but the dollars spent on food is a variable.
Keep the peeps in the stadium, and don't let them leave; and, let them believe ownership really, really cares what they think.
If you are the sucker who believes Mr. Bisciotti is really studying fan surveys about adding Mr. Kaepernick, then you are a fool. If you want to be a fan, stop supporting mediocrity and demand Mr. Bisciotti and the minority owners do whatever is necessary to return the team to football supremacy. If Mr. Kaepernick is the answer, then so be it. But don't insult Ravens Nation by making us believe our opinions about a potential player's social causes are of any real consequence.