MLB attendance trending down for the 4th straight season

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

  1. garnetpalmetto Administrator

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    Ditto for me and for my wife. We keep miniplan seats for the Durham Bulls and often travel to visit other ballparks (currently planning a trip down to Fayetteville, NC to check out the park they build for their High-A team and maybe a trip down to Augusta, GA to check out the new park their Low-A team's in).
     
  2. ziggyjoe212 Registered User

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    That's great, obviously there are some younger people who still watch and play baseball. But there's no denying that younger people are watching less baseball.
     
  3. razor ray Registered User

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  4. AdmiralsFan24 Registered User

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    It’s not just a baseball thing. With a ton of TV channels, video games, phones and tablets kids just aren’t going outside and playing as much and parents aren’t forcing them to because sitting a kid down in front of the TV or gaming system is a lot easier than driving them around for games or having to track them down when it’s time to come home.

    That and the competitiveness of youth sports is ridiculous. You get a bunch of idiot coaches and parents thinking their 8 year old is playing in game 7 of the World Series and even if the kid likes it, it’s just not fun for them.
     
  5. robert terwilliger the bart, the

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    this is pretty much the reason. the ball being different and moving baseball further onto three true outcome baseball isn't helping but look at the standings in the american league.

    tampa/yanks/red sox are all fighting for the division (yes the red sox are still in it, shut up). the jays and orioles are rebuilding and took the offseason off and the orioles might be one of the all-time worst pitching staffs in the history of the game.

    minnesota is running away with the central. the white sox, royals and tigers are all sitting 2019 and most likely 2020 out and the indians just took the offseason off because they assumed they'd cruise to another division title.

    houston probably has the division sewn up, the rangers have been surprising but are 9 back and wildcard contenders if they're lucky. the a's have been up and down, the mariners started hot but fell off a cliff that was on a cliff that was on a cliff and have already started selling. the angels have willie mays and ohtani and are improving but still miles away.

    that's literally six teams who are competing for five playoff spots. blue jays @ orioles tonight, 705pm, trent thornton v. john means. i've no idea who either of those people are. tigers v. royals! catch the measles fever! royals fever! anyone who goes to either of those games shouldn't pay more than four dollars to get in.
     
    DaveG, MikeCubs, Ghetty Green and 2 others like this.
  6. BigBadBruins7708 Registered User

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    bingo.

    the game and pace of play isnt baseball's big problem.

    the problem is there are too many teams that are perfectly content to be bad every year, collect their revenue sharing check, get some gate/concessions revenue and call it a day.

    far too many leetches and not enough teams truly trying to win/compete.
     
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  7. eddygee Registered User

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    I can concur as a O's fan I was a diehard but the part about teams being content at being losers and just being happy to collect revenues check is the ACTUAL biggest problem with baseball, then you add in fans having no hope. As a fan of those other 24 teams outside of the 5-7 rotating perennial contenders it SUCKS knowing your team only has a 2-3 yr shot out of every 10 yrs at being competitive. The current set up of baseball just isn't sustainable long term 10-20 yrs. Its a serious issue and this is coming from a formerly die hard 34 yr old who'd watch games from start to finish growing up with my dad even up to about 2008. Once you kill competitive hope you create long lasting apathy. I though after turning things around from 2013-15 my passion would return it did briefly I watched more games BUT not start to finish I check in and out of games up and watch the last 2-3 innings now I've checked out again because of the aforementioned status quo.
     
  8. Pez68 Registered User

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    Baseball is boring. That's really the bottom line. Kids hate standing around or sitting around doing nothing, which is what you do most of the time in baseball....

    My son enjoys throwing and catching a ball, and swinging a bat. He does not enjoy sitting around doing nothing most of the time.

    Lacrosse, football, hockey, basketball, soccer... He would play any of them over baseball.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
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  9. JerseyMike34 Registered User

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    I'm not going disagree at all about the amount of poor MLB Teams year-over-year, that happens, NBA has that problem too. But you can't tell me the game and pace of play aren't a problem. AND the price.

    I complain about MLB on social outlets far far far too often.

    The game is boring. Painfully boring. There isn't anything but HRs anymore. None of the little nuances that differentiated the game from a home run derby or a simulation of a game. You could have the batter hit the ball, never leave the batters box, and award him a base. He doesn't even have to go to the base, it's not like he's going to steal, or someone will bunt him over (none of them can bunt anymore). It's a simulation of an older game now.

    Now, lets talk about the price for a second, but I'm going to combine it with how LONG it is. Forget the average person going with a buddy, who really loves the game and sits there for 3 hours a game. Hell, add 1 hour each way for travel. You're looking at a sport that will take you 4-6 hours to enjoy. And you're going to pay $100 for a ticket, and who knows was for parking, food, drinks, merch.... You've just paid what? $50-$300 to head out to see 17 minutes and 58 seconds of action over the course of a three-hour game, that takes 1/4 (if your lucky) or 1/6 of your DAY.

    Now wait, that's just you. Imagine bringing children to an event like that? Add a few tickets, more food, more merchandise. Hell, maybe the sight lines aren't even the best. Why leave the comfort of home, where you have the sport in HD or 4K, and the hassle and cash aren't even an issue.

    Now, lets get on MLB for a second, they will have you sit in a rain delay for HOURS, they won't give you any reasonable time frame for the game starting up again. They will delay games for the threat of rain (May 25, 2019 - TB vs CLE, the game was delayed 2:48 minutes. No rain had fallen.) The league could have FORCED teams making new stadiums to include a ROOF. They didn't. So now you have a sport that gets screwed over consistently by weather. They have rules in place to shorten games, call games "official" and yet they don't do it nearly often enough. (I'd like to see the adapt the MiLB Double-header rules)


    A lot of this changes if they could ever get the game back to being under 2.5 hours average game time. But I don't think they will. They will restrict shifts, and minimum batters for pitchers, but I've been rather vocal that I believe they just add a pitch clock it would help the pace of play, things would happen quicker, the game could be entertaining again. M2C
     
  10. Pez68 Registered User

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    It's the biggest problem, actually. 90% of the time your participation in a baseball game is ZERO.
     
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  11. AdmiralsFan24 Registered User

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    This isn't really new though. You're just not going to be very involved defensively most of the time unless you're a pitcher or catcher and I guess maybe 1st base.
     
  12. Pez68 Registered User

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    But kids have changed. There's just so much more to keep them entertained. Baseball is bottom of the barrel.
     
  13. ShelbyZ Registered User

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    I'm not a baseball fan, but from an outsiders perspective I'd say the following have a pretty heavy hand in attendance issues:

    -Tanking: You have a ton of teams that from the on set of the season have already resigned to losing for the sake of a rebuild. Yes, NBA teams do this too, but IMO it seems a lot different, because...

    -There really isn't any "excitement" to be had from that tanking: In the NBA (and NFL and NHL) you're usually tanking because you're in some sweepstakes to get a highly showcased and widely known player or players in the next draft, and you're likely also playing some exciting young talent that you already have in the system. In baseball, you have a draft while the season is in progress, with a bunch of players that non baseball fan average Joe has never heard of. Then it's going to be multiple years before those players even get a sniff at the lop level, if at all. The only sport I really follow is hockey, but I like to listen to local sports radio here in Detroit, which gives my favorite sport about 1% of it's time. While the Red Wings and Tigers are in similar positions (both rebuilding), the Red Wings rebuild seems to get more positive reaction, while the Tigers are seen as more of a punchline. And (at least from what I see on my local FB news stuff) there seems to be much less "acceptance" of tanking in baseball. When the Red Wings started missing the playoffs, you had even casual fans ready to wave goodbye to good players in trades, where as a lot of what I saw when the Tigers started moving big names was generally negative.

    -Lack of "superstar" players or maybe marketing of them?: I actually go to Tigers games here and there or have a game on the radio here and there in the back ground. I watch a couple of Lions games and watch the Superbowl, but I haven't sat down to watch an NBA game since the Pistons were in the finals 14 years ago... That said, if someone asked me to name some current NBA players, where they currently play and maybe something notable about how they play/etc., I could probably name enough to count on at least two hands. Ask me the same about MLB players, and I can maybe name a few current and past Tigers and tell you that Justin Verlander in now in Houston and that's about it. I've obviously heard of big names like Trout and Harper, but would have to look up where they play, position, etc.

    Of course that last one might just be a symptom of the lack of interest in the game from my generation. I can think of maybe one Facebook friend that posts anything baseball related and he has to be at least in his mid 40's. Otherwise it's chatter about football and basketball which is, despite my lack of interest, where I probably get some recognition of names from those sports.

    One odd observation I've had is that every female I've dated or been in a relationship with in the past 15 years or so seemed to always have some desire to get to at least one game that summer, even if I'd never seen them watch a game or follow the sport. In some cases it was because they had some attraction to a certain player on the team. One was Brandon Inge, and my current GF's was/is Justin Verlander. A few years, we went to a game where they allowed fans onto the field while the players warmed up. My GF took about a zillion selfies with JV in the background while on the field. She's even tried to go to the games where Verlander is in Detroit to pitch against the Tigers now. Maybe they need to capitalize on this somehow?
     
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  14. tarheelhockey Nostrildamus

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    I lol’ed
     
  15. nilan30 Registered User

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    Would baseball be better if it was 120-130 game regular season and expand the playoffs to NHL/NBA style? Really you could even add a fifth round and more teams because baseball is a game that can be played every night for a week to a week and half with no break. Have the four best in each league get a bye to round two and the next eight play a best of five to get to that second round. Now 24 teams can make the playoffs. Maybe a little too much, but nowadays people are so much more invested in playoff games than regular season games. I think it would keep fans a lot more interested and there'd be incentive to not miss the playoffs and lose that revenue year after year.
     
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  16. SCBlueLiner Registered User

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    Little League baseball numbers have declined due to the rise of USSSA and travel teams. Little League ball is basically rec league anymore and most of the good players don't play, at least in my neck of the woods. There are also many other competing leagues to Little League Baseball like Babe Ruth League, Cal Ripken League, American Legion Baseball, Dixie League, Pony League, AAU, and many more. The state where I live is dominated by Legion ball. Every city & town has at least one Legion team and I believe there are only two Little League associations in the entire state. I think the answer is as simple as Little League is losing in the recruiting war and players/teams are flowing towards other leagues that offer different rules variations, philosophies, etc.
     
  17. SCBlueLiner Registered User

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    Good break down of the American League, now do the National League. Completely different story and competitive as heck. The NL Central is the toughest, most competitive division in baseball. The NL East only the Marlins truly stink. The Dodgers are running away with the NL West but the Rockies and D-Backs are still good and will be competing for the Wild Card. The Padres are still trying given their off-season signing of Manny Machado, they just can't seem to put things together. Only the Giants really stink in that division. So, the NL has only two teams I would classify as "tankers" at this point.
     
  18. cutchemist42 Registered User

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    Im not here to say baseball burns the most calories of all sports, but they are not playing the sport right if they are standing around as much as that.
     
  19. Boxer Courage Registered User

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    I think baseball is as exciting as watching paint dry. It’s golden age is behind it, MLS is the up and comer. MLS already averages higher attendance per game than NBA and NHL, and will soon be knocking on MLB’s door, especially with their downward trend. The only thing affecting total attendance from being higher is number of teams and games played.
     
  20. djpatm Registered User

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    I wouldn't be surprised if the MLS becomes a force within a decade or two based on population demographics and the widening wealth gap (since it's so cheap to play). The question is how much can ticket prices go up before fans don't think it's worth it and if that price is high enough for the teams to afford to compete with the major European leagues. The appetite for soccer in North America is there, the issue is that MLS lacks the respect due to being a middling league world wide which means they cant afford the top players in their prime. It's sort of a vicious cycle that can only stop if they secure a real major dollar tv deal.
     
  21. qwerty Registered User

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    I can see the MLS improving to the point where it easily surpasses the CFL and competes with the MLB at a respectable level. But I don’t see it ever surpassing the MLB as they just don’t have the means to nab the highest quality talent from overseas.

    The changing demographics without a doubt improves the league and product. But I believe they also have the unfortunate title of having the poorest fanbase in all of pro sports which doesn’t exactly draw in the best advertisers.
     
  22. AdmiralsFan24 Registered User

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    First, what's the "right way" to play the sport? Second, even if nobody strikes out how many of the 27 outs are going to go to a fielder? Maybe 8-10 at most? And then whatever balls that go for hits that find their way to you. It's not some new thing that fielder's just don't field the ball that much per game. Go back to 2007, Aaron Hill led the majors with 424 plays on defense, he played 160 games. That averages out to 2.65 plays per game out of 27 outs.
     
  23. robert terwilliger the bart, the

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    i mostly agree. here's the problem:

    the marlins are a joke. while i appreciate that it took the death of jose fernandez to bring about the deluge of shit that took them over, they are not a draw and have never been. the phillies are spending money. the nationals didn't and are probably going to have to deal rendon. the mets, as usual, spent money on the wrong players.

    the central is great. even the reds went for it. that's great. the pirates didn't but whatever, they shot their shot on archer and missed. the west is the rockies spending almost 75 million dollars on dead weight, the dbacks taking a step back and then ahead by accident, the padres still building, and the giants being the most expensive and bad team i've ever seen.

    i appreciate that there are more teams in the national league going for it, but there were still teams like the pirates, giants, rockies, dbacks to an extent, cubs, marlins and nationals basically sitting out the offseason. that's almost half the league, really. if you're a fan of one of those teams, minus the cubs, why the f*** are you making a beeline to the park? so you can spend money to watch a team like the pirates who don't give a shit whether they win 94 or 74 games?

    i think the lesson people are sending w/r/t attendance is to make it worth our while. i go to marlins and rays games. not many because it's expensive and about a 5-6 hour round trip to either park for me. why on earth should i go when i can watch on one of my tv's in the comfort of my home. now, chris sale at the height of his powers against (at the time) a rays team still employing shit like stephen sousa jnr? f*** yeah, i was there.
     
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  24. Centrum Hockey Registered User

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    Marlins Park needs more things around it to get people excited i went there on Tuesday and the only restaurants outside of the park where a subway and a Wendy's maybe if they can build a district around the park they can attract more fans.
     
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  25. robert terwilliger the bart, the

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    they really can't. i don't want to be anywhere near that park or that neighborhood after dark.
     

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