Baseball's attendance woes have MLB and owners rightfully spooked

Yappi

Go Buckeyes
Sometime over the next 10 days, the year-over-year dip in Major League Baseball attendance will exceed 3 million fans. By the end of the season, barring an uncharacteristic jump in September attendance, MLB will fail to crack the 70 million-fan threshold for the first time since 2003.

To say there is panic around the game would be an exaggeration. Perhaps a better way to put it is deep concern.

Before there were multibillion-dollar local television deals and the multibillion-dollar startup MLB Advanced Media, teams lived and died by the gate. Amid all the ancillary revenue streams that have goosed the game’s annual revenues to more than $10 billion, attendance remains a bellwether of the game’s overall health. Baseball is a game of senses, the sights and sounds and smells best consumed at the ballpark.
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https://sports.yahoo.com/10-degrees-baseballs-attendance-woes-mlb-owners-rightfully-spooked-031815621.html
 

Raymo

Active member
Myself and many of my baseball pals have not been to the ball park for a game in years because of $$$ and length of games.
 

Monclova Steve

Active member
I've been a baseball fan for 60 years. I've always loved the intricacies of the game, which have made a 2-1 games just as interesting as a 8-7 game.
Now, though, the game has gotten, if not boring necessarily, just not near as interesting to watch.
Now, we have two teams whose only strategy seems to be "Slug Away". Whoever can hit the most homers wins. The trouble is, strikeouts have increased dramatically (now equalling if not exceeding the number of hits in a game), resulting in so many at-bats in which the ball is not put in play. That's boring.
The starting pitcher now might last 6 innings on a good start, resulting in several pitching changes for the rest of the game -- not to mention the innumerable trips to the mound. Boring.
Commercial breaks have gotten more frequent as well as longer, cuz we have to pay for those incredible salaries somehow, right? Don't get me started on ticket prices, as Raymo said.

All of these things has made for a longer, more expensive experience that is less interesting than baseball used to be.

Is it any wonder that attendance is down?
 

Crusaders

Moderator
Length of the season is an issue too, I think. The season doesn't get interesting until July, and by then at least 1/4 of the league is already definitively out of the playoff race. If they could end the season in September instead of November, it would add more meaning to the regular season games. But I don't see that happening unless there's a complete collapse in salaries.
 

Gh0st

Active member
The major league season is very predictable. Most years you could pick the teams that will make the playoffs at the beginning of the season. Maybe you get a surprise wildcard or division winner, but for the most part, not hard to see coming. The playoffs get a little less predictable.

Also some franchises field a winning team once a decade, sometimes not even that often. Why would that draw fans?
 

thavoice

Well-known member
Myself and many of my baseball pals have not been to the ball park for a game in years because of $$$ and length of games.
Length of games, when in attendance, does not bother me one bit. When I went to one game a year as a kid I felt cheated if it was less than three hours. If the first three innings took less than an hour I felt like I was going to get jipped.


Even as an aduilt I don't mind how long they last.

The price? Yes, that is prohibitive. Sure, you can buy cheap tix with a poor vantage point, and in CIncy you can pack a cooler with some drinks and snacks but in reality when you go most want to sit closer. The thrill of just going for the spoiled rotten kids isn't enough.

FOod, drinks, parking......it all just adds up for a family.
We go to many more MiLB games than the bigs.


ONe thing that I believe is really disheartening is I believe that interest in the game of baseball itself is way down. So many go to games just as something to do and not really caring for the game.

With every game on TV nowadays I really don't want to carve out a full day of my life to bring the family to a game and spend that much jack.
 

thavoice

Well-known member
I've been a baseball fan for 60 years. I've always loved the intricacies of the game, which have made a 2-1 games just as interesting as a 8-7 game.
Now, though, the game has gotten, if not boring necessarily, just not near as interesting to watch.
Now, we have two teams whose only strategy seems to be "Slug Away". Whoever can hit the most homers wins. The trouble is, strikeouts have increased dramatically (now equalling if not exceeding the number of hits in a game), resulting in so many at-bats in which the ball is not put in play. That's boring.
The starting pitcher now might last 6 innings on a good start, resulting in several pitching changes for the rest of the game -- not to mention the innumerable trips to the mound. Boring.
Commercial breaks have gotten more frequent as well as longer, cuz we have to pay for those incredible salaries somehow, right? Don't get me started on ticket prices, as Raymo said.

All of these things has made for a longer, more expensive experience that is less interesting than baseball used to be.

Is it any wonder that attendance is down?

Strikeouts are cool.
Homeruns are cool.

but with the amount of those we see nowadays it just doesn't excite like they should.

Last Clippers game I was looking at the stats on the board. So many of the players were striking out over 30% of the time they went to the plate. They scored I think 8 runs....with all of them on 4-5 home runs.


I like HRs but I would not like to see them so much......
 

14Red

New member
For the first time, we are looking at a generation of mellinials who just don't attend sporting games in person. They's rather follow games on their phones, they don't want to invest a couple of hours in a game that sadly many of them didn't play and know little about. This is why soccer has more appeal to them. Soccer is very contained in an hour and a half, two hours, there is specific time limit and you don't have to pay attention much.

As far as cost?? C'mon, most teams have discounted seats where you can get into the ballpark for under $20 a seat. You don't have to pay for concessions. Stop and eat before the game, then take in a soft sided cooler and you don't have to spend money.

As far as the long season, what? Isn't more better? I'm sure no one would complain about a 25-30 game NFL season.
 

thavoice

Well-known member
For the first time, we are looking at a generation of mellinials who just don't attend sporting games in person. They's rather follow games on their phones, they don't want to invest a couple of hours in a game that sadly many of them didn't play and know little about. This is why soccer has more appeal to them. Soccer is very contained in an hour and a half, two hours, there is specific time limit and you don't have to pay attention much.

As far as cost?? C'mon, most teams have discounted seats where you can get into the ballpark for under $20 a seat. You don't have to pay for concessions. Stop and eat before the game, then take in a soft sided cooler and you don't have to spend money.

As far as the long season, what? Isn't more better? I'm sure no one would complain about a 25-30 game NFL season.
We always got the 5 dollar top 4 row seats at riverfront and brought our own food and I was happy with it.

Kids nowadays.....hell, they want to be close, eat all they can at the concession stand. YEah, we can eat before or after but once you get there..ya get sucked in.
 

14Red

New member
We always got the 5 dollar top 4 row seats at riverfront and brought our own food and I was happy with it.

Kids nowadays.....hell, they want to be close, eat all they can at the concession stand. YEah, we can eat before or after but once you get there..ya get sucked in.
I've said this before, if 75% of the fans were like me, there would be no concession stands. I eat a good meal before I get to the game. Once I sit down for the first pitch, I don't get up. I stay in my seat for 9 innings, I don't get any concessions, I bring a cooler with any drinks chips that can be brought in. And I don't drink. So there would be no market for people like me. i'm there to watch the baseball game.
 

eastside_purple

Well-known member
I've said this before, if 75% of the fans were like me, there would be no concession stands. I eat a good meal before I get to the game. Once I sit down for the first pitch, I don't get up. I stay in my seat for 9 innings, I don't get any concessions, I bring a cooler with any drinks chips that can be brought in. And I don't drink. So there would be no market for people like me. i'm there to watch the baseball game.
What a beta male. At least get a beer at the park!
 

brianwr112

Active member
I've said this before, if 75% of the fans were like me, there would be no concession stands. I eat a good meal before I get to the game. Once I sit down for the first pitch, I don't get up. I stay in my seat for 9 innings, I don't get any concessions, I bring a cooler with any drinks chips that can be brought in. And I don't drink. So there would be no market for people like me. i'm there to watch the baseball game.
Sounds like a blast to go to a game with. Do you save every scorecard from all the games you've ever been to.
 

Monclova Steve

Active member
I've said this before, if 75% of the fans were like me, there would be no concession stands. I eat a good meal before I get to the game. Once I sit down for the first pitch, I don't get up. I stay in my seat for 9 innings, I don't get any concessions, I bring a cooler with any drinks chips that can be brought in. And I don't drink. So there would be no market for people like me. i'm there to watch the baseball game.
If this is what it takes for most people to afford to regularly attend MLB games, is it any wonder that attendance is down?
 

Monclova Steve

Active member
Cheap tickets are pretty easy to come by. $15 for a hot dog and beer is a bit ridiculous
Yep.
Price is just part of it. Most of it, IMHO, is the game itself. It has become 3+ hours of dead action.
The exciting plays (stolen base, taking the extra base, squeeze play, putting the ball in play to move runners over, etc.) have been replaced by too many at bats w/o putting the ball in play -- not to mention the "ever-exciting" innumerable pitching changes and trips to the mound.
 

Crusaders

Moderator
Advanced stats are probably to blame. Everything is calculated and only in desperate times do a lot of managers call for an aggressive play. I watch or listen to probably 80% of Pirates games and I can probably count on one hand the number of hit-and-runs they've executed.

I don't know what can be done about in-game strategy. If you want teams to not go for home runs, you'd have to change the bats or balls or even stadium dimensions.
 

Gh0st

Active member
I've said this before, if 75% of the fans were like me, there would be no concession stands. I eat a good meal before I get to the game. Once I sit down for the first pitch, I don't get up. I stay in my seat for 9 innings, I don't get any concessions, I bring a cooler with any drinks chips that can be brought in. And I don't drink. So there would be no market for people like me. i'm there to watch the baseball game.
I fell asleep reading this.
 
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