MLB Attendance

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  • #207232
    1toughdominican
    Participant

    Free

    Best I can tell, the total attendance by MLB fans peaked in 2007 with a gate of 79.5 MM and remained reasonably steady averaging right at 74 MM until a noticeable drop-off and downward trend starting in 2016, and continuing in that Southerly direction all the way to last season’s relatively low total of a 64.5 MM paid gate. Obviously, it’s easy to understand the glaringly low total of 45.3 MM in the 2021 season following the flu pandemic, but it also seems to me that this downward trend directly corresponds with current MLB brain-trust ideas such as the implementation of drastic rule changes designed to shorten games, the serious discussions of pitch clocks and robo umpires, and effectively eliminating the age old tried and true concept of a pennant race in the form of packing more and more teams into the post-season. I’m wondering if maybe baseball fans are genuinely put off by the constant changes to what seemed to be working just fine. It’s claimed that all of these drastic changes are for the purpose of improving the product, but are these guys in fact simply feeding themselves enough rope to eventually hang themselves? At any rate, I’ll never quite understand a belief or conviction that seems to be if something is enjoyable, the best approach is to end it as soon as is possible.

    #207238
    Brian Walton
    Keymaster

    Paid - Annual

    Gate revenue is becoming less and less important in the overall MLB revenue pie. Also, it seems to me that TV/streaming ratings would be a better measure of fan interest than attendance in today’s world.

    I do recall seeing data that the MLB fan base trends older than most other sports so MLB is trying to attract younger fans. Some of those changes may not be of interest to older fans. To that end, I shared a recent survey I received from MLB> It is here.

    Major League Baseball Solicits Fan Input

    #207240
    blingboy
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    If I’m paying $15 for a beer I want to see Babe Ruth and Cy Young out there. Since they’re not, I stay home and watch on tv.

    #207245
    1toughdominican
    Participant

    Free

    I’m sure that’s the case in regards to the relatively low priority placed on gate revenue by both the bosses of MLB and team owners. In a sense, that’s a portion of what I’m driving at. I’ve been led to believe that there’s a genuine concern that Big League baseball isn’t attracting as many young fans who will remain faithful and ardent followers of the game for the long haul. Well, my genuine belief is that the best way to get these youngsters to closely follow the game of Big League baseball from a very young age is for them to sit in the sunshine on a beautiful summer day, enjoy a hot dog or two with a Coke and watch Big League ballplayers pitch, hit and field while the crowd goes crazy. You know…like a lot of us did. From my seat, that’s the way you hook them up and land them for good. If the MLB hierarchy and team owners are really convinced that TV/streaming ratings are the first order of importance in regards to drawing young fans who will stick around for awhile, I genuinely feel they’re either kidding themselves or have been misled. In any event, I do believe that there’s a good chance that baseball will continue to slide down the ladder of popularity. I can’t remember the last time I saw a couple of kids walking down the street with a mitt and a ball & bat on a summer day. It was once a common sight. That’s too bad.

    #207247
    gscottar
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Most of us on this board would be fine watching a 3 1/2 hour game 162 times a year because we are diehards but MLB seems to take us for granted. Their belief is that in order to grow the game they have to appeal to the young crowd which is why there is such an emphasis on speeding up the game and gambling. I happen to watch a lot of college football and I have noticed that most of those games now last about four hours yet I rarely ever hear anyone talking about speeding the games up.

    I don’t know if attendance and revenue have fully recovered from the covid pandemic for all of MLB but I am confident it did in St. Louis because of Pujolspalooza and Yadi mania. The question now is how much of that restored revenue will be put into the product on the field.

    #207288
    Oliver
    Participant

    Free

    Football may last over 4 hours but it has more action than baseball. I struggle with the long baseball games. I am fully on board with speeding up the game.

    #207289
    1toughdominican
    Participant

    Free

    Simply limit a game to 7 innings. Problem solved.

    #207292
    gscottar
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Football may last over 4 hours but it has more action than baseball. I struggle with the long baseball games. I am fully on board with speeding up the game.

    I don’t think speeding up the games is really possible. There have been too many changes. Television rules everything so they are going to want x amount of advertising time. Replay slows down the game. And of course analytics states that most starting pitchers should never go more than 5 or 6 innings, therefore, you can almost count on at least 4 or 5 pitching changes per game. None of that is going to change anytime soon.

    #207301
    1toughdominican
    Participant

    Free

    I still don’t understand the rabid desire to get the ballgame over as soon as is possible. Some of the greatest back and forth battles in both the regular and post-season have been long, hard fought games. I enjoy watching baseball. Why in the world would I want it to be over in a hurry? And you’re right, advertising is the primary culprit. Football games are drawn out in the same manner due to TV commercial breaks. I understand the desire for advertising revenue, but it’s silly to change the rules of the contest in order to tailor the contest to offset the effects of advertising. It’s simply a dumb approach and all it does is water down the very contest that is drawing enough viewers to attract advertising dollars.

    #207364
    bicyclemike
    Moderator

    Paid - Annual

    Big time sporting events, professional and college, are television programming first and foremost, and fan events second. Went to a college football game weekend before last and it is really evident there. The game started at 5pm, so it was cold. And they have the guy on the field with the timer showing when they could resume play after the commercial break. There was one sequence where they had a break, ran one play, and went to another 2 and a half minute break.

    With baseball, part of the attempt to speed up the games is aimed at families. It is tough to bring kids to a weeknight game that can run past 10pm.

    I prefer a quick pace, where batters stay in the box and pitchers are ready to go soon after getting the ball back. But I understand that the game is going a lot faster in your mind as a hitter or pitcher, than what the fans see.

    #207367
    1toughdominican
    Participant

    Free

    In my view the pace of football games are significantly worse than baseball regarding the constant commercial breaks. It sometimes seems like they’ll break for an ad every time a ref blows his whistle. And again, if it’s trip to the dentist or a tax audit, I’d prefer to get it over with quickly, but I don’t at all mind extra innings or overtime.

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