A Dying Breed, The Casual Fan Of Baseball (Photo: money.com)

If MLB Is Truly Listening, Here’s What Casual Fans Are Thinking

If Major League Baseball (MLB) is genuinely listening to what its fans are saying – Joe Torre and Rob Manfred – here you have it – with no spin…

Reflections On Baseball publishes widely on many Facebook Groups for Mets, Yankees, and general fans of baseball. I write, then readers read, and often a discussion ensues via the comment section Facebook provides.

Yesterday, I wrote a column titled “The Disappearing Breed Of The Casual Baseball Fan”. It received wide readership, but more importantly, the story sparked an interest among fans to reply with comments and their reasons why baseball has witnessed a decrease in attendance and TV viewership that reached its lowest point since 2003, and even more significantly, what these fans would do if only they could be Commissioner of Baseball for a day.

MLB Casual Fans (Photo: thesportsfansjournal.com)
MLB Casual Fans (Photo: thesportsfansjournal.com)

If I can locate the email addresses for the powers that be at MLB (can you help?), I will forward this article to them. Comments that follow are naked and are not touched by my hand.

Note to MLB: The “casual fan” does NOT get value from your product. There is more entertainment choices for a lesser price.
Besides the at home experience has surpassed being at the game
Dan Skantar Dan Skantar This Serious Fan is losing interest, too. With dynamic pricing I am reluctant to make a spur of the moment decision to buy a walkup ticket. Why pay more when I can watch on TV or just listen on the radio? Replay is killing my enjoyment, too.
Steve Cole Steve Cole Sounds like MLB isn’t worried. Why lose sleep over chump-change casual fans when you’re awash in guaranteed mega-profits from TV and merchandise for beaucoups years to come? Meh.
Steven Levine Steven Levine I was a rabid fan who went to 70 games a year. They lost me with nets, no backpack rule and other ticky-tack “rules” that ruined the experience. Now saving $13,000 a year and found other things to do with my time! 
Sandy Dubowski Sandy Dubowski They priced the causal and avid fan out of the ballpark. TV and radio like the old days is the medium for most fans now.
Bill Wahl Bill Wahl You don’t have to cut the season back to 154 games. Just go back to doubleheaders every Sunday. That would cut 10 games off each team’s schedule and allow for two days off a week. A win for the players, the owners and the fans. 
Marc Campano Marc Campano What did baseball have in the “Golden Era”? (For me that’s the 60’s & 7O’s) that they don’t have now? Structure! Go back to 4 divisions AL & NL East & West, 4 divisional winners, 2 league championship series leading up to one world championship! Never mind the concept everybody gets a damn trophy!
Eddie Irace Eddie Irace Do away with divisions, do away with inter league, top 5 teams record wise advance 4 seed plays 5 seed in best of 3 series. Then you reseed for the remaining series
Frank Berta Frank Berta I believe the outrageous ticket prices are a huge reason the casual fan has gone away
Sid Percyz Sid Percyz They’ve dis-enfranchised the last 2 generations of people. How many kids, let alone adults, can sustain conciousness when a World Series game ends at mid-night on a school / worknight. I agree with you John in your comment about being oblivious to theSee More

And from here, we could go on forever…

Casual MLB fans (Photo: medium.com)
Casual MLB fans (Photo: medium.com)

The ongoing theme expressed here, MLB, is that fans are not happy campers, and if indeed you care about more than the “Blue Seats” at Yankee Stadium and elsewhere, you need to take heed of what your fan base is saying.

Regretfully, $10 billion a year (MLB’s total take last year) stands in the way of casual fans like myself and those above. Or, maybe not.

Because we have options too, for instance, we can boycott major league teams, choosing instead to bring ourselves, grandkids, and families to minor league games that proliferate the areas we live in. For myself, that means, for instance catching ten games in Syracuse for the Triple-A teams of the Mets and Yankees, rather than pay the exorbitant prices at Citi Field and Yankee Stadium, where all the best seats are “owned” by scalpers.

But that’s not the point, either. We are fans of baseball. To you (MLB), we may not matter much anymore given the TV contract dollars coming your way, enough to support the annual player payroll of more than half of the major league teams when combined.

Nevertheless, here we sit…waiting for answers.

Written by Steve Contursi, Editor, Reflections On Baseball
(Thank You For Sharing)

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Advertisements

2 comments

  1. Baseball has lost so many Generation X and Y fans almost none of whom know more baseball than their fathers. In 1960, Game 7 of the World Series took 2 hours and 38 minutes even though the game was 10-9! Yankee pitcher Bob Turley was throwing a pitch every 12 seconds! The commercial breaks were 60 seconds and the batters stepped into the box within 15 seconds of the end of the advertisement. Batters would take strike one and actually not leave the batters box! What a novel concept! Kids rushed home from school and saw the game to the finish. Nowadays there’s at least 3 minutes of commercial time between half innings in the post season. A 1-0 game in the post season takes over 3 hours. My 9 year old fell asleep in the 7th inning of the World Series clincher of his favorite team. He woke up all upset that he missed it. No wonder that two generations of kids have gravitated to other sports and away from America’s pastime. MLB needs to be a better steward of the game. I could go on about other things but I’ll stop here for now.

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.