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April 11, 2014

Decline in Baseball?

A lot of attention has been made about why baseball attendance has been declining.  Here are a few of my thoughts:

  1. Games played on Monday through Friday.  I don’t know about you buy a wild guess would be if you are under the age of 55, chances are you are probably either working or in school.  Some MLB games played Monday through Friday are played during work hours.  Unless you are retired or not working, getting out of work to go to a game is very challenging.  This can be done once or twice a season but not a full 81 games home stand.  That could be one reason why attendance is down.
  2. Price.  For decent seats, you are looking at dropping $120 to $300 for tickets for a family of 4 to go to the ball park.  You say my $120 to $300 is too high for tickets?  Yes tickets maybe $20 a person but factor in Ticketmaster fees, those values are not unreasonable.  If you have the luxury to go to the box office to purchase tickets then you can save on those fees but since the majority of ball parks are located in a downtown-like setting, driving to the ball park and finding parking to go to the box office might not be very convenient.  I would assume the majority of Americans make under $100,000 in yearly salary.  To drop a few hundred bucks for tickets, parking, and food is not something people want to do a few times a week.
  3. Stadiums are getting big.  I heard this from a sports talk radio show and I agree with them.  Smaller stadiums such as Fenway Park and Wrigley Field routinely sell out because seating is limited.  Not being able to get a seat on a night in night out bases gives off an attractiveness of having to go to a game.  It’s the same feeling of wanting to go to a club that is exclusive to a smaller crowd.  Members only type of feel.  If anyone can get it anytime they want, then what is the excitement about an average day or week?  I’ll just go when it is convenient for me.  If you only have one day where you are allowed to go, I am pretty sure I will be pulling strings to make sure I can go that day.

There have been some talks about reducing a game to only 7-innings and speeding up the game by calling more strikes to appease the “I want it fast and now” crowd.  People argue that the younger crowd with their Facebook and Twitter just does not want to sit around for 4 hours to watch a “slower” paced game.  So what!?  You lower the price and make it worth wile to attend the game and you will see attendance go back up.  In this economy, no one wants to drop a bunch of money to go to a game live when the product on television is just as good and more comfortable.

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