October 19, 2019 at 1:12 pm #112152BlackHillsCardParticipantFree
So a lot was made about the number of increasing empty seats this year. Sure the attendance figures released showed great paid attendance with the Cardinals coming in second place again in the entire league, but as we can see from our own eyes those numbers were misleading because if you watched the games on tv or at the stadium you could see the large section of the stadium with only a handful of fans. Additionally, the Cardinals discounted tickets for several games and included more promotional nights. Now, however, we’ve gotten reports that the TV ratings for Cardinals games also went backwards.
— 101 ESPN Radio St. Louis (@101espn) October 18, 2019
So what gives? I’m not an expert but I believe there are several factors that played into this:
1. Dish Network & Sling TV cutting off Cardinals Games and FSMW
2. The Matheny years cannot be taken lightly regarding the frustration of the fanbase
3. The lack of offense cannot be understated
4. The Cardinals Broadcast itself isn’t really that good. Switching the camera angel, the broadcast team talking how bad the game is, guys yacking about nonsense, and the game taking longer to play than ever before (BTW great job by Manfred…he tried to fix the game length and it got worse)
5. Blues Hangover
6. An aging team where the star players are old and didn’t perform wellOctober 19, 2019 at 9:38 pm #112181mudvilleParticipantPaid - Annual
Fan’s feeling let down by Carpenter, Fowler, Ozuna, and Goldschmidt getting big money and then not playing up to expectations could be part of the problem. All the strikeouts could also be a factor. Trying to convince fans that they should consider a player with a batting average of .260 or .270 a star player could be part of it. Could it be that fans are turned off by the shift and players’ inability to put the shift to rest by learning how to bunt? Hearing a young, emerging star pitcher talk about how players with major league experience are being mistreated by an unfair system even after they’ve already been paid millions of dollars by the ‘unfair’ system.October 20, 2019 at 12:16 pm #112234
This is a very interesting topic. On the surface you would think that a Cardinal team that makes the NLCS would have no problem selling out most nights without the aid of discounts and would have no problem attracting as many TV viewers as ever.
There seems to be some kind of disconnect between the fans and this team and organization. Some of the items listed by BHC are probably true. The only other thing that comes to my mind is I think there is still a perception by the fan base that the front office/ownership isn’t aggressive enough to build a championship caliber team therefore “if they aren’t going to go all in why should I?”
And for those company loyalists out there who will want to hammer me for making such a subjective statement and will want a detailed explanation of what I mean all I can tell you is if you really don’t know what I mean then I probably will never be able to explain it to your satisfaction.October 20, 2019 at 2:05 pm #112246bicyclemikeModeratorPaid - Annual
As BHC alluded to, there are likely multiple reasons for the waning interest – perhaps as many reasons as there are fans.
My take is that the primary cause for open seats are the cost of attending a game, and the fact that the games tend to drag out too long.
Many seats are resold in the secondary market (Vivid and StubHub for example), and go unbought. Week nights can be especially tough for most people who work traditional hours. Then you have the price – admission is pricey, food and beer outrageous.
That makes it easy to stay out home and not deal with transportation, and watch however much or little you want.October 21, 2019 at 6:41 pm #1123771982 willieParticipantFree
well there are lots of reasons attendance can be lower. I do think way too many tickets get bought and resold on other sites or never sell. theres no difference between that and doing it out on the street corner. weather can quickly change from too cold to too hot just like that in the Midwest. baseball in general is a declining sport. to me the cost is astronomical. yea they give you deals but they aren’t always that good of seats. but even if you get a good deal, you have refreshments, souvenirs, and any of the other stuff you can spend money on. so just one trip can be outrageous. then if you just watch around you as you are sitting there, you can basically just see the money just flowing around the stadium. then you ponder how cards management can tell you they don’t have the money to really compete with some of the other teams for free agents. so lots of reasons, im sure more. but they still have better attendance than most teams, just remember that.October 21, 2019 at 9:16 pm #112384CariocaCardinalParticipantPaid - Monthly
The price of tickets shouldn’t affect no shows which is the real issue here. Ticket sales were up this year for the Cardinals.October 21, 2019 at 10:29 pm #112389
The number of tickets sold were up. However, we have no idea if revenue from those ticket sales was up. My guess is not because the frequency of specials may also have been up – at least that is what I perceive. One could argue that the lower the price of the ticket, the less not showing up would matter to the buyer. Sadly for this discussion, we lack most of the really pertinent facts.October 22, 2019 at 3:35 am #112396Cardinal in FranceParticipantFree
Ah, I remember the days when I bought good grandstand tickets in Sportsman’s Park for $1.50.
On the other hand, I guess, mediocre ballplayers weren’t paid millions of dollars back then.
On the third hand, the game is still by and large the same game.October 24, 2019 at 10:27 am #112628
This is from Ben Frederickson’s chat yesterday.
My theory with the empty seats and decreased playoff ratings are that, frankly, the Blues, MLS, and XFL hampered the Cardinals. People spent money/energy or the Blues or are planning to spend money on the XFL/MLS. The Cardinals will probably have a permanent drop in relevance due to the new sports teams.
Oct 22 2019 12:28 PM
It’s hard for me to imagine the Cardinals taking much of a hit, if any, because of MLS and XFL teams that have not yet played a game.
The Blues, perhaps.And perhaps in more ways than one.
I’ve heard from a few folks who felt the Blues did a better job of pulling fans into their run.
They certainly did a good job of promoting, incorporating and including.
But they were also doing something historic.
Winning a team’s first-ever championship is going to be hard to compare to anything else.
I think whatever the disconnect between the Cardinals and fans exists boils down to a few things.
1. Fans like offense. This offense was hard to watch.
2. Fans were frustrated that the team didn’t show urgency at the trade deadline.
3. Some of this team’s highest-paid players under-performed. That creates a bit of distaste.
Those are just based off my interactions, conversations and observations. Please steer me in a different direction if I’m wrong.October 24, 2019 at 10:58 am #112635Cardinal in FranceParticipantFree
Any baseball fan that abandons the Cardinals in favor of a hockey game or soccer or a non-existent football team isn’t much of a baseball fan in the first place.October 24, 2019 at 11:49 am #112649
Ben Fred wasn’t buying it either. His three reasons for the disconnect had nothing to do with MLS or XFL.October 4, 2020 at 10:14 pm #143781October 5, 2020 at 8:57 am #143798jj-cf-stlParticipantPaid - Annual
Dish Network dropped Fox Sports Midwest during 2019 and hasn’t re-added it. In rural areas, with no cable available, most rely on a mini dish with limited choices, Dish or Direct TV. I’m surprised it’s not down more than 4%.October 5, 2020 at 9:06 am #143799stlcard25ParticipantPaid - Annual
I would think a couple of things could contribute to a drop in viewers this year. First, the team won the Central last year and struggled to make the playoffs this year. People tune in to watch winners. Second, the schedule this year included a lot more “off prime” games. I can’t imagine it helps ratings to play so many doubleheaders with games early and late. We saw here at TCN where game threads for second games didn’t seem to get as much traffic.October 5, 2020 at 9:15 am #143801ZTRParticipantFree
It’s been a weird, weird, year all the way around. I don’t read too much into a small viewership decline.
Now, the product on the field hasn’t been really good since the first half of 2015 – so we’re pushing 5 years of not much better than .500 baseball.
Yes, a late Cards push / Cubs collapse last season led to a division crown but for all but about the last 6 weeks of 2019 it was a .500 baseball team.
This year, yes they ‘made the playoffs’ at 30-28 but, that’s about a .500 baseball team.
I think years of .500 baseball. the bad contracts, etc are just starting to show a litle.October 5, 2020 at 9:20 am #143804
I had thought the issue with Dish was not specific to this one regional network. Did I misunderstand?October 5, 2020 at 10:14 am #143812jj-cf-stlParticipantPaid - Annual
Dish in other regions? I have no idea, but as far as Cardinal viewership being down, Dish had a huge impact on local area fans I know. I know dozens that don’t get FSMW broadcasts any longer, myself included.October 6, 2020 at 7:35 am #143836colhuskerParticipantFree
I missed more games this year because of my own ball, play three nights a week. Add in, people were/are looking for reasons to get out of the house right now.
As for the team, no need to watch, you know they will win a few and then loss that many and end up right about .500. Front office needs to do something to make folks excited about tuning in again. Watching 3 regulars hit below or right at .200 is not that.October 6, 2020 at 1:47 pm #143870bicyclemikeModeratorPaid - Annual
This year’s Cardinal club had a lot of negatives. They just barely got going on the season, then were shut down for a couple of weeks. They came back strong and might have drawn some additional interest, but then fell into a predictable outcome where they would lose close games, then break out for a game, then back to a week of low scoring games, etc.
I think the lack of offense, coupled with very little ability to manufacture runs, is boring to the casual fan. And maybe some of the political stands early on turned fans away.
There could be thoughts that management has blundered too many times in player personnel decisions, and segment of the fan base is staying away due to that.
It will be interesting to see if next year returns to normal, and how the viewership numbers look.October 6, 2020 at 6:31 pm #143876CariocaCardinalParticipantPaid - Monthly
4% is probably noise on a control chart. Not that I would expect a sports journalist to understand that or resist the opportunity to create click bait even if they did.October 6, 2020 at 7:31 pm #143877GACardParticipantFree
It’s what happens when you don’t give guys like voit and arozarena a shot and trade them for two ham sandwichesOctober 6, 2020 at 8:12 pm #143882
Ratings are a fairly tried and true process. But I guess if they don’t tell you what you want, then they can be discredited. I do know that for the last 20 years when the Cardinals were ranked in the top two every year, it was crowed about.
It is natural to be disappointed when traded players do well, but calling Gallegos and Liberatore ham sandwiches suggests one is not being fully balanced in trade assessments.October 6, 2020 at 9:51 pm #143888GACardParticipantFree
Definitely an exaggeration Brian. Just tough to see our offense get worse and worse and two players who were never given a shot thrive in a new situation. Obviously arozarenas success is premature to call
At the same time, maybe they wouldn’t thrive here. Ozuna didn’t and his two seasons sandwiching the St. Louis seasons were both great
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