OT: MLB's declining interest

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by AtlantaWhaler, Apr 6, 2011.

  1. AtlantaWhaler

    AtlantaWhaler Thrash/Preds/Sabres

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    I was just listening to one of our local sports stations, and they were discussing the declining interest in MLB. They started off by talking about declining television ratings (mentioned the Pro Bowl had a higher rating than some of the World Series), and then talked attendance.

    I understand this is only a one day sample, but as a baseball fan, these figures have me worried. Attendance figures from last night:

    Cleveland: 9,025 (with the popular Red Sox in town)
    Florida: 10,482
    Tampa: 13,173
    Cincinnati: 11,821
    Toronto: 11,077
    Kansas City: 12,641
    HM - Cubs: 27,039 (not like the Cubs to only sell 65% of the tickets)

    Yankees had over 40,000 announced, but this observation was from a blog:

    Only 3 games last night had over 25,000. I know that, historically, attendance is lower before school lets out, but I've never seen numbers this low. Note that I am not picking on any one franchise or market. It appears baseball as a whole needs to make changes.
     
  2. straka91*

    straka91* Guest

    Its a little too early to tell but I think its popularity is going down. Unless you played the game and understand it why watch 2 hours of a ball getting thrown, hit, and catched with maybe one extordinary play?

    Baseball is 200x funner to play than watch.
     
  3. Pure West

    Pure West Registered User

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    I'm a big baseball fan, and even I feel that the salary-competitive structure is so flawed that its not exciting anymore. If you're a fan of the Yankees/Red Sox/Phillies ok, but if not its really depressing sometimes. For the fan's sake, changes are needed, however its likely not gonna happen. The model for small market owners has become simple, collect revenue sharing checks, spend as little as possible on payroll and be profitable. Why risk losing money to field a competitive team when you have this guarantee?

    However we should note that this is the worst drawing time of the year normally.
     
  4. TheMoreYouKnow

    TheMoreYouKnow Registered User

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    I'm not a huge baseball fan so this is just a guess. Could it be down to weather? With games dragging out to 3+ hours I imagine the motivation to spend that time outdoors in 40 degrees isn't all that great.

    I am ignoring the Florida teams because those always have rather poor attendance, don't they?
     
  5. MisterD

    MisterD 5-14-6-1

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    I used to watch plenty of ball games, but over the last couple of years I maybe watch 5 games all year long. The lack of parity in the league just doesn't give me any desire to watch anymore. If the league can implement some type of system that allows teams to compete on a more level playing field - I might start watching again.
     
  6. frontsfan2005

    frontsfan2005 Registered User

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    Cleveland (9,025) - Bad weather so far this spring, even last year, in the middle of June, they barely drew over 14,000 against Boston.

    Florida (10,482) - Pretty much the same as last year early in the season

    Tampa (13,173) - There were some midweek games last April when they were just over 10,000

    Cincinnati (11,821) - Surprising they drew that little after last season, thought they'd clear at least 20,000/game this year.

    Toronto (11,077) - Drew poor crowds last April, going up against Leafs also hurts.

    Kansas City (12,641) - Better crowd than some early April games last season.

    Chicago (27,039) - Pretty low for the Cubs, although it was pretty cool last night. Going up against Hawks/Canadiens game with the Hawks battling for their playoff lives might have hurt also, as well as the first place Bulls playing at home.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2011
  7. BAuldie

    BAuldie Registered User

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    Yea, the Jays drew great for the opening series. Last night against Oakland (joy) and up against a Leafs game that was in TO.. it was bound to happen.
     
  8. jessebelanger

    jessebelanger Registered User

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    Move them to Canada!!
     
  9. DeathToAllButMetal

    DeathToAllButMetal Let it all burn.

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    Don't think those numbers mean much this early. But MLB is going to have to address the pace of games at some point. It's ridiculous that baseball games take up to four hours to finish in the playoffs. I just don't have the time to sit through a whole MLB game. Baseball games should be 2-2:30 hours, tops, like they used to be. MLB has to eliminate the constant stepping out, wandering off the mound, etc. between every pitch. It's incredibly boring to sit through.
     
  10. Roomtemperature

    Roomtemperature Registered User

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    Baseball thrives because its plays so many games and a majority of those games are played during a time when there are no other regular season games playing. The middling teams make what ever money they make, make it because there is nothing much to watch or do during the summer sports wise. That's a reason I think the NBA should move their season to try and avoid the NFL and go up more head to head against the MLB
     
  11. MayDay

    MayDay Registered User

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    This is why I believe that if the MLS is going to make gains in North America, they are mostly going to come at the expense of MLB. Both are summer-time outdoor sports and the only pro sports leagues operating for most of that time.

    I wouldn't cherry-pick single game attendance stats or TV ratings to try to tell you anything. But the bigger problem for MLB is that their fanbase is much older than the fans of all the other North American sports leagues. That means baseball has less potential for growth, and will run into problems as a good chunk of their fanbase starts dying off.

    Don't get me wrong, I actually like baseball. But I think it is in for a long-term decline.
     
  12. worstfaceoffmanever

    worstfaceoffmanever These Snacks Are Odd

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    I would imagine a lot of it has to do with the weather. In much of the US, it's still fairly cold. Denver got snow last weekend. Hell, even Tennessee still has 45 degree nights, which is not terribly common for this time of year. That always hampers outdoor sporting attendance.
     
  13. dungeonmaster

    dungeonmaster Registered User

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    I believe a lot of those poor attendance figures can be attributed to the weather right now. I do not know the exact figures of last years opening week but it was definetily nicer than it was last weekend. Baseball is seen as a summer sport and when you have to dress in layers to go to a game it really takes something out of it.

    edit: got beat to it
     
  14. molsonmuscle360

    molsonmuscle360 Registered User

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    I lived in TO when I was like 9 and 10 in 92/93 and even then I could allways get a decent seat for cheap. I wish more parents these days were like my dad. He used to give me 30 bucks and tell me it was up to me whether I wanted to go to school or jump on the bus and head down to the skydome to catch a game. But it seems like these days parents are too wary to let their kids go anywhere like that solo.
     
  15. Confucius

    Confucius Registered User

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    Not likely. The Jays had a sale back in February that would make any Southern U S hockey ticket sale seem like scalping. You could have gotten season tickets in the 500 level for 110 bucks. I did the math for you, $1.35 per seat
     
  16. tarheelhockey

    tarheelhockey Highest Boss

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    If I were running baseball I'd be more worried about the sharp decline in amateur participation. Fewer kids and adults play the game, and fewer MLB players are US natives. Much like the NBA, baseball is going to have to start looking overseas for an audience. That's a problem for a league which is about as nationalistic as it comes.

    It has long been my opinion that baseball is an outdated sport from the pre-television era. It just so happened to be a team sport, unlike boxing or horse racing, and so it survived on team loyalties and traditions after its contemporaries faded. Soon, time and demographic trends will catch up with MLB and at that point I don't think it will be financially viable in its present state.
     
  17. danishh

    danishh Registered User

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    the thing is with baseball, it`s not about single game attendance so much as it is about full season attendance and non-attendance revenue streams.

    toronto still makes 10-20M a year (forbes numbers), and they are 26th in MLB revenue.

    the only big issue the MLB has is the yankees, as they bring in 200M more a season than the next highest teams. With the yankees, MLB average revenue is 196M. W/o them it is 189M. Baseball needs more/better revenue sharing.
     
  18. Buck Aki Berg

    Buck Aki Berg Done with this place

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    ...and then how much for a telescope so you can see what's going on? I've sat in the 500s, and watching a ballgame from there is like watching nine ants wrestle over a crumb.
     
  19. IU Hawks fan

    IU Hawks fan They call me IU

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    Champions this century

    Yankees
    Red Sox
    Angels
    Marlins
    White Sox
    Cardinals
    Giants
    Phillies
    Diamondbacks

    Nearly a 3rd of the league has one it all in the last 10 years. But baseball has no parity :sarcasm:
     
  20. Confucius

    Confucius Registered User

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    That may be true, but in 92/93 the jays sold them all, for two years running, 55,000 a game, every game. So long ago, never to return.
     
  21. obsenssive*

    obsenssive* Guest

    not sure if serious...
     
  22. molsonmuscle360

    molsonmuscle360 Registered User

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    He meant Fahrenheit i do believe there sunshine ;)
     
  23. IU Hawks fan

    IU Hawks fan They call me IU

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    :laugh: stupid metric
     
  24. molsonmuscle360

    molsonmuscle360 Registered User

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    Yeah, really...Those 3 countries that use the imperial system really must know somethin :P
     
  25. Moobles

    Moobles Registered User

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    As a huge cricket fan I don't believe the length of the game really hurts its enjoyment. Baseball's got a near monopoly over sports in summer and can be very entertaining to leave on in the background while you grill up a few steaks, pop open a beer on the lawn or go throw a ball around outside and want a short break. And cricket lasts for ****ing ever, even one-day limited-overs goes for a good 8 hours.

    But the difference is, in Cricket, the game's fast as ****. There's no commercial breaks, there's no players taking their sweet time around the mound. They play every ball and every wicket, so the game moves on. I agree with you in baseball they probably could cut it down an hourish or more if they quit stepping out, wandering off the mound, etc. every 2 seconds.

     

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