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Recent Articles... Attendance Concerns

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Recent Articles... Attendance Concerns

Postby Edible14 » Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:58 am

http://sports.yahoo.com/top/news?slug=y ... ans_091511

From 2001 to 2010, the Indians saw the sharpest decrease in attendance of any of the "big 4" major league teams. And it's not even close. To make things worse, the attendance issue hasn't gotten much better this year, even with the added competitiveness. The Indians have drawn (according to ESPN) a mere 1,627,118 fans this year, 6th worst in baseball. But this isn't just about the Indians.

Of the 12 teams on that list, half are baseball teams, including the ENTIRE top 5. This has to be red flag for the league. It's becoming harder and harder to run a competitive team in the smaller markets. Baltimore, Cleveland and Seattle were all consistently in the top 10 in payroll from 95-2000 and were consistent playoff contenders, but they all ran into the same harsh economic reality: baseball no longer has anything resembling financial parity. In that time, the top payroll (Yankees) went from $58M to $113 M, almost double. It's more than doubled since.

This has to be addressed when they figure out a new CBA. This, to me, is a warning sign of things to come.I posted awhile ago that the Indians have seen just two seasons above 25k/game, zero above 30k/game since the first rebuild. That's even with exciting playoff-caliber teams in 2011, 2007 and 2005. I once noted that even in our best years of attendance, we were still in the bottom 10. But here's the thing, we wouldn't be now. This year, 11 teams have less than 25k/game. 16 have fewer than 30k/game. In 2007, the Indians drew 28,448/game, good for 21st place in attendance. This year, that would be 16th, close behind the Atlanta Braves and right in the middle of the pack. That means that attendance is down not just here, but across the board.

It's been noticeable on Sportscenter, where it seems like every other baseball highlight is backdropped by a comically empty stadium. It seems to me like the apathy generated in lesser baseball markets has to be considere poisonous to the game, long-term.
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Re: Recent Articles... Attendance Concerns

Postby daingean » Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:28 am

MLB does a huge disservice to middle to small market teams. I live here in Georgia and I can only watch the Indians when they play the Yankees or the Red Sox. ESPN, even when we had the best record in baseball, always questioned our team negatively. I know ESPN is a private organization but MLB can dictate certain terms to their broadcasts.

The MLBN is a bit better but still didn't show us 1 time in June (yes we were the alternate game 1 Thursday but not in my market) when we were in first place.

Not entirely blaming the league here but the financial model stinks, their PR stinks. Plus in that time the Indians faced economic hardship, rebirth of Cleveland's #1 favorite team, and a basketball player (who shall remain nameless...on purpose) that competed for the sports dollar.

As for myself, I haven't made it up for a game in years because my step-son plays competitive armature baseball and we pretty much are consumed with his games and travel.
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Re: Recent Articles... Attendance Concerns

Postby indianinkslinger » Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:16 pm

Edible14 wrote:http://sports.yahoo.com/top/news?slug=ys-247wallstreet-pro_teams_losing_fans_091511

From 2001 to 2010, the Indians saw the sharpest decrease in attendance of any of the "big 4" major league teams. And it's not even close. To make things worse, the attendance issue hasn't gotten much better this year, even with the added competitiveness. The Indians have drawn (according to ESPN) a mere 1,627,118 fans this year, 6th worst in baseball. But this isn't just about the Indians.

Of the 12 teams on that list, half are baseball teams, including the ENTIRE top 5. This has to be red flag for the league. It's becoming harder and harder to run a competitive team in the smaller markets. Baltimore, Cleveland and Seattle were all consistently in the top 10 in payroll from 95-2000 and were consistent playoff contenders, but they all ran into the same harsh economic reality: baseball no longer has anything resembling financial parity. In that time, the top payroll (Yankees) went from $58M to $113 M, almost double. It's more than doubled since.

This has to be addressed when they figure out a new CBA. This, to me, is a warning sign of things to come.I posted awhile ago that the Indians have seen just two seasons above 25k/game, zero above 30k/game since the first rebuild. That's even with exciting playoff-caliber teams in 2011, 2007 and 2005. I once noted that even in our best years of attendance, we were still in the bottom 10. But here's the thing, we wouldn't be now. This year, 11 teams have less than 25k/game. 16 have fewer than 30k/game. In 2007, the Indians drew 28,448/game, good for 21st place in attendance. This year, that would be 16th, close behind the Atlanta Braves and right in the middle of the pack. That means that attendance is down not just here, but across the board.

It's been noticeable on Sportscenter, where it seems like every other baseball highlight is backdropped by a comically empty stadium. It seems to me like the apathy generated in lesser baseball markets has to be considere poisonous to the game, long-term.

Nice write, Ed. But I think your hopes for a change in the CBA to address this issue is contrary to both the players and the owners who receive the welfare from the CBA and those that give the welfare. The teams in financial trouble know the only way they can continue to exist is the money they receive from their wealthier owners which will only give them enough to survive and not to be competitive long term. Both sets of owners get what they want and so do the players who get salaries set by the bidding of the wealthy franchises for the services of the best players. Everybody benefits and can applaud abut how well the CBA works when one of these beleagured franchises like Tampa has a short term run with success. Then the Players Association and rich owners get to pick up the spoils from Tampa's carcass. Or Cleveland if we are so fortunate to build a winning team with players the wealthier franchises. Yosarrian had a point. :pleasantry:
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