Admittedly, I’m a bit out of the loop when it comes to going to a baseball game as an average fan. Truth be told, I think I went to three games last year in a non-working capacity where I sat in the stands and watched the game like most of you. The year before that it was maybe four or five.
And all of those occasions, I never paid for nice seats. My buddies (who buy a block every year) either had them, or else I would pay for the $6 general admission seats and then usually hang out in the centerfield beer garden.
So when it comes to the game experience, I’m admittedly unfamiliar with what the average costs are for fans to go to the game. Other than the $8 for a Miller Lite, I’m pretty much out of the loop. Tickets? Parking? I have a rough idea, but not completely. I’m pretty sure it’s kind of expensive.
What is the purpose or reference for these three paragraphs of blatherings that will most likely you resent me? Well, the Associated Press recently polled a group of baseball fans about the game and certain aspects of it. Here’s the story on it.
Here’s the full poll and results.
The results are semi-interesting, though not surprising.
The lead of the story is that the soaring costs of going to a game – tickets, parking, concessions – is what a large portion of the fans polled believed is the biggest problem facing Major League Baseball. Officially 45 percent of the fans polled said that was the biggest problem, with 29 percent saying it was players’ salary, 19 percent thinking it was steroids and 6 percent saying the length of games.
In the last AP poll conducted in 2006 – it was players’ increasing salaries. The same in 2005, but now it’s the cost of games.
Look everybody knows the economy is in shambles. And baseball is an entertainment expense. At some point, people will be priced out of it. Many people I have spoken with have already been priced out. For many families, going to games isn’t a weekly occasion or monthly occasion, but a once or twice in a season occasion. It’s simply too expensive.
Just think if you were trying to go to a game at the new Yankee Stadium.
If you remember last season, the Mariners had 7 of the 10 smallest crowds in Safeco first 17 games. Of course, it was freezing for those games. But the attendance was significantly down last season. Will it continue this year?
Drawing more fans does matter to the Mariners, or Ken Griffey Jr. wouldn’t have a $3 million attendance-based incentive in his contract.
But let’s get back to the poll other, you’ll notice some other results from the poll in this graphic. People want to see the other names on the infamous A-Rod list, and most don’t think any steroid user should be in the Hall of Fame.
I’ll be the first to admit that polls are far from perfect. But it doesn’t hurt to look at the results because some truths can be found. What are your thoughts? Are you surprised at the results? How about a better idea, here’s the poll below, feel free to answer it. I’d be interested to see your answers or your thoughts on some of the things asked.