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What if Progressive Field had more than two billion seats?

And you think parking is bad NOW.

Chicago White Sox v Cleveland Indians

If you follow the blog, you’re familiar with the ways in which I’ve manipulated Out of the Park Baseball for our mischievous bidding in the past. Typically Bryan Shaw is the “benefactor” of these bizarre experiments. Today, I decided to find out what would happen if you pushed a Major League stadium to the absolute extremes.

By tinkering around with the ballpark editing tool, I discovered that the maximum number of seats the game will allow a stadium to have is 2,147,483,647. You might recognize this as being the maximum value of a 32-bit signed binary integer. Wikiepdia is also telling me that it’s the eighth Mersenne prime, which sounds like a metal band from Munich.

Anyway, I went ahead and gave Progressive Field that many seats. Then, in a ploy to bring a quarter of the world’s population to downtown Cleveland, I made ticket prices for opening day a penny. This included season tickets. As in, every single game for less than a dollar. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really know what to expect from the game. I simmed my way to opening day and let it rip

First of all, the game simulated that the Indians would only sell 25,966 season tickets. This feels either absurdly high or absurdly low. On one hand, there are two billion seats. I think you’ll be able to find tickets. On the other, why not buy three acres of seating for you and your family for the entire season? You could build a house out there, and as long as you reinstall the seats at the end of the season I’m pretty sure no one will mind.

Second, the game simulated an attendance of 37,460,169.

That is roughly equivalent to everyone in the metropolitan area of Tokyo deciding to catch a baseball game downtown. This made me begin to wonder exactly how much space a stadium capable of seating that many fans would need. Ohio Stadium seats about 105,000 people, and the square footage of its footprint is about 625,000. We’ll say that the field itself is 55,000 square feet for the sake of mathematical simplicity, meaning each chunk of 105,000 additional seats would take up 570,000 sq ft.

2,147,483,647 is 20,452 times larger than 105,000, so we would need that many 570,000 sq ft. seating sections. When it’s all said and done, our new version of Progressive field is 11,657,640,000 sq. ft. Rhode Island in its entirety is 33,800,000,000 square feet. Just by eyeballing it, our stadium would entirely engulf everything in Ohio between I-71 and I-271 north of I-80. Brecksville would make for a hell of a concessions stand. I assume Lake Erie would be paved for parking.

Regardless of the feasibility of bringing in that many fans, I wanted to see exactly how much money I could make on the season. Through some tinkering, I discovered that the game didn’t care whether I was charging $1.00 or $.01 for seats. Like any good businessman I took advantage of the customers by charging 100% more than I had been, and they continued to pay. In short, the Indians were bringing in about $33 million per game just by selling tickets.

This is when I started to get curious. I tried two dollars, and 40 million people showed up to watch Mike Clevinger pitch a shutout. The same numbers held for three, four, and five dollars. At this point I went for broke and charged the maximum that the game allows: an average of $125 per seat.

I continued to sell about 30 million tickets every game. I’m not exactly sure what this says about the coding of OOTP. We already know it gets weird when extremes are reached. For example, I made Bryan Shaw throw a pitch of negative velocity earlier this season because of how fatigued he became, but the system had no choice but to record it as a 256 MPH fastball. The game also started struggling with integer overflows again, and I don’t blame it. I don’t think it was every intended to handle revenues of nearly $4 billion every single game. It ping-ponged back and forth between astronomical gains and losses throughout the year as a result.

I checked the balance sheet at the end of the season, and it estimated revenue of nearly a billion dollars. In reality, it should have read $304 billion, but the point is still well-made: the Indians ended the season with a shitload of money.

However, for all of its struggled handling team incomes roughly equivalent to a state’s GDP, it did nail one thing:

The Dolan’s took all of the extra money and lowered the team’s budget for the following season.

EDIT: Cttribe73 wanted to know how tall the stadium would be if you Wayside School’d the entire thing. He suggested using AT&T Stadium for our measuring stick.

It’s massive, which is fair for this – the base would need to be huge. We’ll also assume that the builder is also about to win a contract for the Space Elevator, meaning they can handle pretty much any height and weight.

AT&T Stadium can fit 100,000 when seats are added. It stands 320 feet tall. I’m not sure how much of this is the dome itself so we’ll call it 300 feet. Lots of structural support, I imagine.

You would need 21,475 of them stacked on top of each other to get 2,147,483,647 seats, meaning it would be 1,220 miles tall.

The highest clouds exist around 50 miles above the surface. You exit the atmosphere at around 62 miles. The Hubble Space Telescope orbits Earth at a height of 370 miles. I wouldn’t recommend jumping out of your seat for a great play, but then again, anyone above 26,000 feet is dead, anyway.