Where Have All the Baseball Fans Gone?

Games are too expensive. The game is too slow and boring. It's time to show the game some love again.

Hey Alexa, play Paula Cole. The other day I was in Arlington at a Texas Rangers game. I looked at my friend Evelyn, and said, “geez, there are full sections completely empty”. She kindly reminded me that it had been storming earlier that day, and that maybe the rain drove people away. Then I was chatting with another friend who went to a Marlins game that same weekend and she got front row dugout seats for 60ish bucks. Marlins Park had looked like a ghost town for a Friday night. So I got to wondering, Do people not like baseball anymore? Where have all the baseball fans gone?   

“It sucks to watch from home, and going to a game can get expensive.” “No one wants to watch baseball.” “The game is so slow.” “Baseball is what it is, a pastime. It’s so boring.” “It doesn’t get decent until the post season.” Well let me tell you something, those statements couldn’t be any more false.  

Let me rule one statement out immediately. People do want to watch baseball. There are people out there that plan their Saturdays around when their favorite team is playing so they can be at home just to watch – oh wait, that’s just me? Okay then, what about the people that are at the ballpark cheering for the team despite the fact that they are 13-33. They sit there with the paperbag on their head, but they are still in attendance, hoping, and waiting for a miracle win. No? Not enough? Okay, fine. But don’t say people don’t want to watch baseball, when there are dedicated channels like MLB Network, and subscription services like MLB.tv that enable people to subscribe to their favorite team and watch every out of market game. People watch, and people will pay.  

Games are expensive. Yes, games are pricey, if you want to be practically on the field. With many, if not all, teams offering dollar dog nights (we all know food ain’t cheap at the ballpark), family fun packs and several standing room only areas in many stadiums, MLB teams are making their games accessible to many. Now I will admit, Yankee Stadium is ridiculous. You will be paying $75 to sit in what many will consider the nosebleeds. But this is the Bronx, this is Yankee Stadium, this is baseball country. They don’t call it the “Cathedral of Baseball” for nothin’. Still, there are options. There are special ticket prices – I believe on tax day, fans could purchase Yanks tickets to select games for $4.15 or for $10.40, and several other clubs have similar offers as well. Also, don’t always look for tickets directly through the team site. There are apps out there that can get you really good deals. We all know StubHub, but there’s also SeatGeekGametimeInwego (in select cities) and more that can get you into the games you want to go to. Don’t let ticket prices hinder you from a fun day out with the family, or even date night. Hey, some girls out there are looking for the guy to just take them out to the ballgame. Take them out to the crowd. Buy them some peanuts and…beer. Anyway, you get the point.  

The game is so slow and boring. Yes if you’re going to go to a game, you will be at the ballpark for at least three hours, but look, it comes with the territory. I know other sports play faster, are done in 2.5 hours blah, blah, blah. But the trade off is, in those three hours, you have some special things happening. How often does a runner get thrown at home…from right field? Or a triple play? Or maybe you’re lucky enough to see someone pitch a no-hitter. The thing with baseball is, yeah – it is slow, but you have no clue what is happening next. Your team could be losing by 7 in the 6th and then the next thing you know they win. Speaking for myself, I have gone through every single emotion during one game. Bored. What was that?! Are you for real? Bored, again. Did you see that?! I can’t believe that just happened? This game sucks. OMG that was amazing, let’s win again tomorrow! I’ve said each and every one of those statements in on game before. I said it all during one just last week while texting a friend while watching a game on tv. You really don’t know what will happen next.  

Post Season is exciting, yes, but regular season is where you see the body of work. Okay, many people know I am a Yankees fan and that’s obvious, but as a fan of the game I have to point of some of the really cool things that happen when no one is paying attention. Here’s what’s cool and kinda bizarre, about baseball right now, while no one is paying attention. Dallas Keuchel still doesn’t have a team. He wants people to pay him what he’s owed. I mean, he is good, I’m just shocked that he hasn’t been scooped up. It’s a freaking homerun derby across the league right now. You thought the derby was only during All Star Break? Yeah, no. Bombs are being hit everywhere and by everyone. It’s not just Trout and Judge (injured), Stanton (injured)…We’re talking Yelich, Springer, Pete Alonso (?!), Bellinger, Gary Sanchez, Bregman, and more. The Minnesota Twins have hit 106 home runs as a team. 106! Like, people, we’re still in May. And we all know home runs, bring the excitement. I get excited to see other teams hit home runs. They are fun to watch. Period. 

Moral of all this is. Go out there, get some cheap seats – outfield is the prettiest view if you ask me and watch the Show. Seriously, you’ll be glad you went. And do me a favor. Eat some helmet nachos for me. Those are my favorite. 

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