And they ask why MLB attendance has been decreasing

Gdiguy

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The part that the article leave out is the MAJOR LEAGUE baseball isn’t the only “baseball” you can choose to attend.

You want free parking, cheap tickets and affordable F&B? Go to a minor league game, or a college game, or an independent league game.

You want the best beef, you go to a $100 a plate steak house for a special occasion...and when you need a cheeseburger to fill your gut at lunch on a Tuesday, you go get the $6.99 special at Denny’s.
That's fine; but this past week Mets fans outnumbered Marlins fans in Miami (the game on Tuesday drew just 5,934). At some point, it's A) embarrassing for MLB, and B) detrimental to the long-term health of the game to lose an entire generation of young fans.
 

dhappy42

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Even though I brought up ticket price inflation, I don’t think that’s the main reason for falling attendance. At most ballparks, there are plenty of affordable seats.

It’s probably other things mentioned here, such as the ubiquity of baseball games on TV, not to mention there’s a ton more entertaining distractions than there were 20-30-40 years ago.

But it doesn’t help that game times have become a lot less family friendly — much fewer day games — and way more expensive at many, but not all ballparks.
 

Adrian's Dome

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But there is no auction, so there has to be another barometer. Isn't the market simply what people are willing to pay? Isn't that what sets the market?
If you want to find what tickets are really worth, set the prices at zero and wait for the best offers.

StubHub prices are generally set near or around face value.
 

Gdiguy

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Even though I brought up ticket price inflation, I don’t think that’s the main reason for falling attendance. At most ballparks, there are plenty of affordable seats.

It’s probably other things mentioned here, such as the ubiquity of baseball games on TV, not to mention there’s a ton more entertaining distractions than there were 20-30-40 years ago.

But it doesn’t help that game times have become a lot less family friendly — much fewer day games — and way more expensive at many, but not all ballparks.
I don’t think it helps

I mean, first of all you have to define affordable - most places even cheapest tickets are in the $12-$15 range, so that’s $50 for a family of 4. Then you have either $20 parking or mass transit (often similar in many areas). Add in any food and you’re talking $100 easily.

Now if you’re a long-term fan and your team is good, that’s not outlandish for a family event - it’s around the cost of all going out for pizza and a movie. But if you’re in Miami or San Diego or Baltimore, is it worth it to do that to see a mediocre at best team that’s got essentially zero chance to even make the playoffs?

If you want casual fans, it either needs to be about the environment (Boston’s been lucky in that regard for many years now) or cheap enough to be a ‘sure, whatever’ option. I mean I like baseball, but if I had the choice of going to a movie or going to an A’s - Royals game...
 

Plympton91

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The A’s won 97 games last year and just made the Red Sox look like a little league team.

Pittsburgh and Miami are repeat tankers. They don’t deserve fan support at any price.

I do think that the affordability of big screen TVs and Dolby surround sound in the home is a threat to entertainment generally. I absolutely refuse to pay movie theatre prices anymore except for a really rare movie event, and even then I smuggle in a bottle of water and skip the concessions absurdity of $14.50 for a coke and popcorn.
 

dhappy42

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The A’s won 97 games last year and just made the Red Sox look like a little league team.

Pittsburgh and Miami are repeat tankers. They don’t deserve fan support at any price.

I do think that the affordability of big screen TVs and Dolby surround sound in the home is a threat to entertainment generally. I absolutely refuse to pay movie theatre prices anymore except for a really rare movie event, and even then I smuggle in a bottle of water and skip the concessions absurdity of $14.50 for a coke and popcorn.
This is probably the biggest factor. I’d much rather watch a Red Sox game on my TV, or even a laptop, than from section 1-7 in the upper right field grandstands at Fenway. Regular games, I mean. Not special events like opening day, Yankees games or post-season.
 

charlieoscar

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I live 55-60 miles from Fenway so the drive time is over an hour each way and then I have to deal with parking. Inexpensive parking near the ballpark sells out months in advance of the game, which means I either need to fork out a bundle or park a long distance away and take the MTA or walk with increasingly larger crowds as I near the stadium. In all, I'm probably adding as much time in traveling as the game itself takes to play and I haven't even gotten to the costs at the park or the uncomfortable seating. On the other hand, I can watch it on tv in the comfort of my home or if I really want a ballpark experience, I can walk three-quarters of a mile down the street and see a minor league game.
 

The Gray Eagle

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The Red Sox used to hold a Futures Game when they scheduled a couple of their minor league home games at Fenway for an afternoon. They knocked the ticket prices way down, along with the costs for food, drinks, and parking. It was a great way to get seats in areas of the park that you generally couldn't get/afford. For example, one year I got standing room on top of the Green Monster for $11; another year it was Club 6 in the State Street Pavilion for $35 (today that would be about $210 and $264, respectively, for a Sox game).

Of course, the first Red Sox game I attended at Fenway was in 1952 and I sat in the third row directly behind home plate. That ticket cost $3.50.
Fenway is hosting the Baseball Beanpot again this year on April 17th.
That's always a fun time, with $10 tickets for the doubleheader, easy parking, and vast sections of the park empty so you can try watching from different parts of the stadium, without feeling crowded. (I'm not sure if they allow people in the Monster seats for this, probably not.) But there's always plenty of empty seats right next to the field.
 

YTF

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If you want to find what tickets are really worth, set the prices at zero and wait for the best offers.

StubHub prices are generally set near or around face value.
If that was the system in play, then sure you could use it as a barometer. But that's not the system in play so what we have to use a combination of the current available ticket sources and the prices that fans are willing to pay be it face value, above or below.
 

Adrian's Dome

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If that was the system in play, then sure you could use it as a barometer. But that's not the system in play so what we have to use a combination of the current available ticket sources and the prices that fans are willing to pay be it face value, above or below.
How is going off what teams are charging a representation of what the market realistically should be?

Are you missing the entire point of the topic?
 

YTF

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Are we talking what the market is or what you feel it should be? Your words from post #46. "StubHub isn't a valid barometer of what the market is, nor is face value." What other barometer do we currently have? I'm not missing the point of the topic at all, in fact I agree with many of the points made here including some of yours. I'm just trying to get an idea of what you feel the current barometer is.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I absolutely refuse to pay movie theatre prices anymore except for a really rare movie event, and even then I smuggle in a bottle of water and skip the concessions absurdity of $14.50 for a coke and popcorn.
I can only imagine the look on your face when you get to your seat . . . .


:drums:
 

Fred not Lynn

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The A’s won 97 games last year and just made the Red Sox look like a little league team.

Pittsburgh and Miami are repeat tankers. They don’t deserve fan support at any price.

I do think that the affordability of big screen TVs and Dolby surround sound in the home is a threat to entertainment generally. I absolutely refuse to pay movie theatre prices anymore except for a really rare movie event, and even then I smuggle in a bottle of water and skip the concessions absurdity of $14.50 for a coke and popcorn.
You’re missing the point. You’re not paying the theatre to see the film, you’re paying for the overall experience; The huge screen, state of the art sound, camaraderie of a co-audience, the smell of hot popcorn, and yes cold, overpriced pop...

If you’re not into that, then you’re not who they’re after anyway.

That and first date people, because she’s NOT coming to your house quite yet...
 

Adrian's Dome

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Are we talking what the market is or what you feel it should be? Your words from post #46. "StubHub isn't a valid barometer of what the market is, nor is face value." What other barometer do we currently have? I'm not missing the point of the topic at all, in fact I agree with many of the points made here including some of yours. I'm just trying to get an idea of what you feel the current barometer is.
That's the exact point, we don't know what the market should be, but face value (and therefore StubHub) is too much, hence decreasing attendance. People just aren't willing to consistently spend hundreds of dollars to go to baseball games. It's not freaking rocket science.
 

Plympton91

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I checked stubhub for AZ vs PIT on April 23 in PIT and there were tickets for $8.
 

YTF

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We also have to remember that the ticket only gets you into the stadium. Depending on who you're going with and what you feel compelled to spend, concessions and souvenir prices are astronomical as well. Seriously, where else do we shell out $5 for a hot dog, $6 for a slice of pizza, $5 for a fountain soda and $10 for a 16oz beer other than a sporting event? Granted there are other options as some stadiums do allow outside food, but add in travel, parking, additional meals and perhaps even lodging for some and a trip to see a game for a family of four is a major expense. My wife and I would typically see 3-6 games each season driving in from western MA. I'm now in a position where I have more disposable income than I have ever had yet we've only seen one game each of the past few seasons. Somehow it seems harder for me to justify spending the money now than it did when I didn't have it.
 

Gdiguy

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Standing room or high bleachers for a game between two bad teams in cold April weather? Great job. Not the point.
Also, stubhub fees alone probably double that - Which is part of the problem, even if you find cheap tickets (by face), the ancillary costs set an annoyingly high floor

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a ton (especially relative to other major sports). But to me when you have teams at sub 1/4 full attendance for years, you need more drastic measures
 

YTF

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Surely not as bad as what the ticket agencies charge, but the handling fees that the teams charge aren't real fan friendly either. I'm guessing that the overwhelming percentage of ticket purchases aren't happening via walk up traffic.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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We also have to remember that the ticket only gets you into the stadium. Depending on who you're going with and what you feel compelled to spend, concessions and souvenir prices are astronomical as well. Seriously, where else do we shell out $5 for a hot dog, $6 for a slice of pizza, $5 for a fountain soda and $10 for a 16oz beer other than a sporting event? Granted there are other options as some stadiums do allow outside food, but add in travel, parking, additional meals and perhaps even lodging for some and a trip to see a game for a family of four is a major expense. My wife and I would typically see 3-6 games each season driving in from western MA. I'm now in a position where I have more disposable income than I have ever had yet we've only seen one game each of the past few seasons. Somehow it seems harder for me to justify spending the money now than it did when I didn't have it.
At the movies? At a theme park? Beyond security at the airport? At a concert? Basically almost anywhere you don't have alternatives?

What do I win?
 

Plympton91

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We also have to remember that the ticket only gets you into the stadium. Depending on who you're going with and what you feel compelled to spend, concessions and souvenir prices are astronomical as well. Seriously, where else do we shell out $5 for a hot dog, $6 for a slice of pizza, $5 for a fountain soda and $10 for a 16oz beer other than a sporting event? Granted there are other options as some stadiums do allow outside food, but add in travel, parking, additional meals and perhaps even lodging for some and a trip to see a game for a family of four is a major expense. My wife and I would typically see 3-6 games each season driving in from western MA. I'm now in a position where I have more disposable income than I have ever had yet we've only seen one game each of the past few seasons. Somehow it seems harder for me to justify spending the money now than it did when I didn't have it.
The movies are even more obscene about concessions. As I said, local theatre here the “special” is a coke and a popcorn for $14.50. And it’s $16.95 for the movie — almost all of which are now sequels, remakes, comic book knockoffs, or a left-wing political screed du jour. At least at a sporting event you’re getting original entertainment and very limited politics.
 

YTF

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The movies are even more obscene about concessions. As I said, local theatre here the “special” is a coke and a popcorn for $14.50. And it’s $16.95 for the movie — almost all of which are now sequels, remakes, comic book knockoffs, or a left-wing political screed du jour. At least at a sporting event you’re getting original entertainment and very limited politics.
I think it's a matter of perspective as well as location. No doubt that movie concessions rival baseball, but where I am my wife and I usually go to a Saturday or Sunday matinee for $7 per or hit $5 Tuesday. If we split an XL popcorn and drink combo for $11.50 and it's roughly a $25 dollar date. We could dial back the concession and grab an early, casual dinner afterward for another $50-$60 and we're still under the cost of a decent seat at Fenway. Also just as you chose the game that you want to attend, you also chose the movie that you want to see. No reason to go to one that you don't want to see. New flick's opening every week with a variety to choose from, especially if you include small indy theaters that show limited release and lesser hyped movies that are often quite good.
 
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Ale Xander

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Watching a movie at home is a much closer experience to watching it at a theater than watching a game at home is to watching it at a ballpark/court/rink.
 

richgedman'sghost

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The A’s won 97 games last year and just made the Red Sox look like a little league team.

Pittsburgh and Miami are repeat tankers. They don’t deserve fan support at any price.

I do think that the affordability of big screen TVs and Dolby surround sound in the home is a threat to entertainment generally. I absolutely refuse to pay movie theatre prices anymore except for a really rare movie event, and even then I smuggle in a bottle of water and skip the concessions absurdity of $14.50 for a coke and popcorn.
I strongly disagree with your classification of Pittsburgh as a repeat tankers. They have made the playoffs fairly recently and did have a winning record last year. They have gotten off to a good start this year too. How many times do we have to read comments by you on a variety of topics Plympton where you don't bother to fact check? Now Miami, I agree with you that they are truly tanking.
 

Plympton91

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I strongly disagree with your classification of Pittsburgh as a repeat tankers. They have made the playoffs fairly recently and did have a winning record last year. They have gotten off to a good start this year too. How many times do we have to read comments by you on a variety of topics Plympton where you don't bother to fact check? Now Miami, I agree with you that they are truly tanking.
I was thinking longer term. Last season was the 3rd time in their ~25 year history Miami blew it up. Pittsburgh roughly similar over that time span, despite being well supported when they win.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Watching a movie at home is a much closer experience to watching it at a theater than watching a game at home is to watching it at a ballpark/court/rink.
Maybe for a team that is trying to win but for a random game between cellar dwellers in June, I wouldn't say the experience for sports is that far off.
 

LoweTek

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I had season tickets to the Royals when I lived in KC for a while. I had two club level (now known as 'Lexus Level') seats in row 6 on the aisle. They were $19 each and the second most expensive ticket you could buy. You had concessions, restrooms and the entry escalator accessible only to club level ticket holders. Never a line anywhere. The Royals sucked back then but still drew fairly well (~20k) until toward the end of the season, mostly due to the Chiefs starting up. This was almost 20 years ago. Parking was plentiful and right there at the ballpark. If you bought a parking pass with your season tickets, you were put in a reserved area close to the stadium and the cost was roughly $5 per game ($14 today).

Today the same ticket in KC is still only $35, lower than the average ticket price at Fenway was during the time frame I was in KC, (2000-2001). This was at Fenway before renovation, just coming under the new ownership. In the 10 years prior to 2001, the Red Sox raised ticket prices more than 250%, the fastest rate of increase in MLB by far. They were the first MLB team to exceed $200 for the family of four attendance cost calculation.

The Boston market bears it so more power to them. At least they put a lot of money into the renovations and the players. Fenway is a far better experience now than it was then.
 

dhappy42

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The Boston market bears it so more power to them. At least they put a lot of money into the renovations and the players. Fenway is a far better experience now than it was then.
The fact that Red Sox tickets are among the most expensive in MLB and Fenway nearly always sells out is strong evidence that the decline in attendance isn’t directly related to ticket prices. So it’s something else.
 

Adrian's Dome

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The fact that Red Sox tickets are among the most expensive in MLB and Fenway nearly always sells out is strong evidence that the decline in attendance isn’t directly related to ticket prices. So it’s something else.
Or...Boston is an exception to the rule because of a much smaller stadium capacity-wise and offers a unique experience you can't get elsewhere (sans perhaps Wrigley.)
 

LoweTek

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Or...Boston is an exception to the rule because of a much smaller stadium capacity-wise and offers a unique experience you can't get elsewhere (sans perhaps Wrigley.)
Boston and Wrigley are exceptional venues and not good examples with which to draw the conclusion cost of attendance is not a driving factor.
 

Spacemans Bong

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The Deadspin article OP posted is obviously designed to crap on MLB, and you can contest the fairness of some of it, but nothing they wrote wasn't true.

I guess I'm getting older, because I'm finding the descriptions of the modern ballpark experience to be depressing. Who fucking cares about clubs with the charm of an airport sports bar with Aramark food service?

The Giants, who have built a mighty big rod for themselves by jacking up ticket prices and explicitly chasing the techie buck during EYBS, debuted something called the Cloud Club, which looks like the lamest place you could ever watch sports in. Tampa Bay going cashless seems insane given their market is disproportionately elderly people on a fixed income who probably prefer using cash. Hell, I prefer using cash. You keep track of your money better, much less the data issues involved. The bag stuff is garbage. It's an obvious scam. The NFL does it, but guess what? The NFL is also a scam. I go to Arsenal FC and the bag check takes less than 10 minutes, and even then people there detest it. Season ticket holders would riot (not now) if they banned bags.

I feel like MLB is deciding the sport is in terminal decline and just milk the ageing baseball fan population and damn the consequences. Who cares if in 2050 baseball is as popular as horse racing or the Indy 500 or boxing or all the other sports that were kings 50 years ago. We'll be dead by then.
 

santadevil

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Is that supposed to be good news?

Will 10-cent beer night be next?
Is it bad news that a team decided to get fans into the park, rather than trying to squeeze every last dime out of them?

Edit/ I guess I'd be annoyed if I had bought a full priced ticket to these games already, but other than that, I don't see the downside here
 

The Gray Eagle

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Yeah, I think more people going to baseball games is a good thing for the game in the long run. Even better if more teams follow suit and offer low-priced tickets.

Someone on one of these "baseball is broken" threads proposed tying revenue sharing to the percentage of seats filled, in order to incentivize teams to get fans to the ballpark. I think that's a great idea for baseball's long-term health.
 

Harry Hooper

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My comment was looking at the news from MLB's perspective.

Hey, when the H/W/L troika arrived, I knocked them for eliminating the half-dozen family games where one full-price ticket was bundled with half-price tickets for the rest of the family.
 

YTF

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The Twins are a really fun team to watch right now. Sort of a shame that they need to do this to get folks into the park but smart to get people in and every dime spent inside the stadium is one that wouldn't have been there without this promotion.
 

Fred not Lynn

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Not that I’ve reviewed the spring’s weather, but April outdoor baseball in Minnesota isn’t really the biggest draw. The money they’re losing not selling tickets is money they saved not building a retractable roof...
 

Ale Xander

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Not that I’ve reviewed the spring’s weather, but April outdoor baseball in Minnesota isn’t really the biggest draw. The money they’re losing not selling tickets is money they saved not building a retractable roof...
How fast do you get the roof money back not having to spend on removing snow or placing and removing a tarp?

3 years in a place like Minny?
 

YTF

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Is it bad news that a team decided to get fans into the park, rather than trying to squeeze every last dime out of them?

Edit/ I guess I'd be annoyed if I had bought a full priced ticket to these games already, but other than that, I don't see the downside here
It's definitely not bad news that a team is trying to get fans into the park and there really isn't a down side to a filled seat vs an empty one. I wish more teams would do this in a proactive manner. Yes, each franchise is different as far as their fan base goes, affordability of tickets, location, etc... which means the need or desire for some teams to do this may not be as great as it might be for others. The data is there for teams to track the trends of their own attendance. It should not be difficult to identify certain sections of seating for certain dates to be sold at a bargain to entice people through the gates during expected slow periods.
 

Pandarama

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Not that I’ve reviewed the spring’s weather, but April outdoor baseball in Minnesota isn’t really the biggest draw. The money they’re losing not selling tickets is money they saved not building a retractable roof...
If by “they,” you mean the taxpayers who put up the lion’s share of the construction money, yes.

My back of the envelope math says that the sold about 1800 tickets per game at the $5 price, which is what, a section or three? Of course they’re hoping to sell a few beers and dogs more than they would to 1800 empty seats.
 

Fred not Lynn

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If by “they,” you mean the taxpayers who put up the lion’s share of the construction money, yes.
Then “They” could have spent more, and charged more on the lease. Bottom line is that MLB in Minnesota really needed a retractable roof. If you’re going to spend all that money on a ballpark, do it right...or be the Texas Rangers and build a new new ballpark too soon.