MLB attendance trending down for the 4th straight season

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Sports' started by LeHab, May 31, 2019.

  1. LeHab

    LeHab Registered User

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    MLB attendance down another 1.4%, 4th straight drop

    Secondary market has been an issue for MLB for some time. Wonder if they will try to somehow control resale.
     
  2. razor ray

    razor ray Registered User

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    According to the Sports Business Journal in 2016 the average age of a baseball fan is 57 where the MLS is 40, NBA is 42, and the NHL is 49.

    It just feels like the game is more geared toward an older generation. I know people on this board discuss the MLS being a threat to hockey but I believe it’s more of a threat to baseball.
     
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  3. KevFu

    KevFu Registered User

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    I always cringe at these kinds of data points, because they usually pit fans against each other as if they're not the same people. Some of you here view MLB and MLS as "rivals." I'm a fan of NHL and MLB and if someone asked me if I was a fan of MLS, as a soccer fan I would say Yes just to promote the sport even tho I don't actively participate in the MLS fandom.

    So much of this type of thing is methodology: "What's your favorite sport?" instead of "What leagues are you a fan of?" And that kind of thing.

    The idea that there's a significant amount of Americans who say "I like ____, and I don't like the other sports" is pretty silly. If you did a poll of people with St. Louis Blues jerseys in their closets, 85% of them or more ALSO have a St. Louis Cardinals jersey in their closet. It's not mutually exclusive.
     
  4. generalshepherd141

    generalshepherd141 Registered User

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    The trend won't change until games become affordable for the average family again. Spending $100+ to go to a ballgame is ridiculous and not doable for many.
     
  5. Hooby Dooby Doo

    Hooby Dooby Doo Registered User

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    I enjoy baseball but its a struggle to spend tons of money to sit for hours on end watching a live game. I have a local High-A baseball team about ten minutes away and it's sometimes better just to go to those for about 7-8 bucks. Tim Tebow was here two seasons ago for about half a season. I'm heading to Tampa next month when the Yankees come down and between two games with two tickets a piece with parking is $360. I can get a half season for the Panthers with that price and enjoy it 100 times better
     
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  6. Edenjung

    Edenjung Registered User

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    Might be because baseball is a bit boring for younger generations?
    Ok my brother likes it (he watched a game of the blue jays when he was in toronto when working there [also watched the raptors, but coulden't get a seat for the leafes])
    But i know nobody that really watches it and likes it.
    Most people think its not a challenging game (it's liek Brennball but only with a bat and not indoors [Brennball is a p.e class game ]), i know it isn't and it is a hard sport but it's simply to boring to watch it, i once watched the game my brother was attending and i got bored strait away.
    It's takes too long.

    And who needs 162 matches in a season? Who came up with something that stupid? For a game that can take hours (not as bad as some cricket variants [a game can last days there]) that is too much efford used for simply sitting around and doing nothing.

    For people who are into statistics its great though.

    And it's easy and cheap to play so almost as good as football (no not american football) in that regard.
    You just need a glove and a ball, not even a bat, though football only needs a ball and a bit of space and you can play it.
    This makes it affordable and you can enjoy more teams.
     
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  7. David Dennison

    David Dennison I'm a tariff, man.

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    Yeah but I would argue it's still the most affordable of the big 4. Bottom line is the supply of MLB tickets is quadruple that of the NBA or NHL, stadiums are twice as big and there are twice as many games. Maybe the prices are this crazy for the big teams in the biggest metros (Yanks, Cubs, Red Sox, Dodgers, Miami jkjkjk), but I live in St Louis where attendance is relatively high and tickets can almost always be gotten for less than $20 a ticket.

    But yeah, I would rather be just about anywhere besides an outdoor baseball stadium in July or August.
     
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  8. MikeCubs

    MikeCubs Registered User

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    The problem is tanking. Too many totally unwatchable teams with in many cases not having 1 player worth watching. The Astros/Cubs changed baseball. The goal in baseball these days is to get as many good young players as possible due to steroid testing making signing 30 year olds a bad idea. To do that you get rosters like the Orioles, Royals, Marlins etc...
    The formula is the same. Trade off every valuable piece you have that won't be part of the next championship team for prospects/get high draft picks to top it off.

    If teams are going to have Oriole type rosters with literally no one worth watching they need to charge minor league type prices until at least a few players worth watching come up.
     
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  9. PCSPounder

    PCSPounder Stadium Groupie

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    I don't want you to look at this differently. I NEED you to look at this differently.

    NBA and the overarching "soccer" have done things to get kids involved beyond simply little league. NBA has those $10 tickets in amongst the others and a demographic that is where USA is headed. MLS has all the swearing supporter groups guaranteeing youth latch onto them because of the inappropriateness... plus not so expensive tickets. And I'm talking about kids before they're able to make purchase decisions....

    My broader point ties to the next comment made about the $100 tickets AND youth at the point they can make purchase decisions. You need a starter level that's not stifled by season ticket buyers, followed by the ability to graduate from level to level as you grow up. Frankly, while I know many people here try to make the ticket price issue a virtue, my warning is that this is why the NHL's average age skews too close to baseball (and I've seen other data that put NHL and MLB neck and neck). Otherwise, you're shutting out the next generation.

    Now... baseball has a history of reasonably priced tickets. Thing is, I can tell from pricing around this year that, while you can easily get in several outfields for around $30, that runs over the expectations of said youth compared to how they value 1 of 81 home games... and how much they likely value baseball. MLB is, in reality, choking themselves, too.

    BTW... if you want me to get started on how solid someone is as a TV-only consumer versus someone who buys tickets to establish loyalty, I acknowledge that I don't have the data to suggest that the former is more tenuous than the latter. It's certainly my instinct, however.
     
  10. Gnashville

    Gnashville HFBoards Hall of Famer

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    My issue is the game has changed. No stealing, hit and run, well pitched games, and great defensive plays. Now it’s just walks, strike outs, Home Runs, ridiculous defensive shifts, and pitch counts. I still attend and watch but find college baseball is more exciting now.

    I find it funny that everyone talks about the age of MLB fans but fail to mention that NFL fans are also on the same age range. No one is saying the NFL is failing.
     
  11. AdmiralsFan24

    AdmiralsFan24 Registered User

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    lol wut?
     
  12. Gnashville

    Gnashville HFBoards Hall of Famer

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    Someone not pulled after a pitch count reaches a certain number. I like complete games. The Dodgers pulled their pitchers in the WS last year because of pitch counts instead of letting them finish their start. Big time pitchers succeed in big games and Walker Buehler was in control when he was pulled.
     
  13. PCSPounder

    PCSPounder Stadium Groupie

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    How many people relate to sports through their game consoles versus just watching on television?

    The Most Popular Sports Video Games Right Now

    I suspect this isn't the list I'm looking for... but if we take this as gospel, FIFA, NBA, NFL, and NHL are the top 4, MLB is 6, and there's two more soccer games and two more basketball games in the top 20.

    MLB cannot be the most exciting game to play.

    Meanwhile, if you're on your way to saying gameplay reflects interest, I point at the numbers of soccer fans who bring up promotion/relegation PRIOR to Premier League getting on NBC to say that the relationship might be the other way around. Besides, you can't explain FIFA's American popularity by the vast numbers of people who aren't filling NFL stadia to watch MLS, and Premier League isn't getting NFL numbers on TV here. Something to at least consider.
     
  14. TheTotalPackage

    TheTotalPackage Registered User

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    This is what I was going to say/suggest, but you did a great job of spelling it out.

    There is minimal to no incentive to spend your hard earned money and time to attend a game during a season which your team has no intention or aspirations of contending.
     
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  15. Gnashville

    Gnashville HFBoards Hall of Famer

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    Premier League games are like at 7 Am EST 4 PST on a Saturday morning. No wonder they don’t get NFL numbers.
     
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  16. AdmiralsFan24

    AdmiralsFan24 Registered User

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    Most college coaches are just ****ing abusive to their pitchers. Pitchers get worse the longer they go and the more the opponent sees them.

    Using your example, Buehler has a 2.12 ERA in innings 1-3, 3.99 in 4-6 and 5.30 in 7-9. You're a lot better off for the most part bringing in somebody fresh in the later innings who hitters haven't seen 2 or 3 times already.
     
  17. Gnashville

    Gnashville HFBoards Hall of Famer

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    Yeah that worked out real well for the Dodgers when the relief pitchers gave up the lead then gave up a 4 run lead after pulling Rich Hill the next day.
     
  18. AdmiralsFan24

    AdmiralsFan24 Registered User

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    "For the most part." Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. That time it didn't. That doesn't mean the thought process was wrong.
     
  19. cutchemist42

    cutchemist42 Registered User

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    Lots of baseball fans think baseball really shot themselves in the foot with the console exclusivity. Both the past EA series and current PS title are consider top sport video games and I would easily put them over the NHL and NBA games out now.

    However, theres a huge portion that doesnt get to play The Show now because of that exclusive deal years ago. It was short term thinking as I dont think that money was worth the long term appeal to younger kids.

    The Show sells pretty well as I understand it when it comes to just PS sales.
     
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  20. mmvvpp

    mmvvpp Registered User

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    my local little league [coached on and off for about 10 yrs] had 18 teams 15-20 years ago
    they're down to 8, one division
    the spring sport that's sucked participation numbers away from them is not soccer, but lacrosse
    it's a lax explosion around here [southern nj]

    the game has slowly faded away from kids, may be seeing that reflected with the attendance numbers consistently dropping
     
  21. The Feckless Puck

    The Feckless Puck Registered Loser

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    Unfortunately, there's simply too much going on in modern society for people to spend a ton of time and money going to pro sporting events.

    NFL and college football thrive because they only have a handful of home games over the course of the fall, and they're on weekends. Most of the other pro sports see big upticks in attendance for weekend games, but with people working longer and longer hours for less money, it makes no sense at all to drop a few hundred dollars to go see a baseball, basketball, or hockey game during the week.

    The big issue is that now that the money genie is out of the lamp, there's no way to stuff it back in. You can't reduce ticket price points because you can't drive salaries down thanks to agents and player unions - and moreover, owners don't want to cut into their profits, and because they get the same revenue with high prices and low attendance as they would with low prices and fuller houses, they aren't going to do much to reduce the consumer burden.

    Essentially, pro leagues are going to price themselves to death if they're not careful.
     
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  22. BigZ65

    BigZ65 Registered User

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    Those 'age of fan' metrics are almost meaningless once the ticket price reaches a certain point, especially for season tickets and subscription PPV type services. You almost have to be a mid-career professional in your late 30s-40s-early 50s to pay for that stuff.
     
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  23. PCSPounder

    PCSPounder Stadium Groupie

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    College football coaches who feel "empowered" end up whining at their students to go to games. College football numbers ARE falling, too. That discussion is aside from high school participation numbers falling... especially on the coasts.

    BTW... I believe the eye tests you get on social media show that NFL inflates their numbers more and more.

    THAT, I suspect, is more than just price. Baseball is lucky in that regard. One thing I'm seeing... besides less hockey fights, less use of heading in MLS games the last couple seasons. That's but one issue among many.
     
  24. ziggyjoe212

    ziggyjoe212 Registered User

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    This should not be a surprise. There is nothing appealing about baseball if you're younger than 40 years old. Nor is it appealing to immigrants/people new to America. It will keep on declining in popularity in most parts of the country.
     
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  25. AdmiralsFan24

    AdmiralsFan24 Registered User

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    I'm under 40 and baseball appeals to me.
     

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