The Coronavirus Pandemic and our nation’s response to it have undoubtedly changed how we move forward with life. Sports affected like everything else in life, is at a unique crossroads, and some sports like Baseball, have to take a serious look at their future.
With Major League Baseball seeing a decline in ticket sales over the last 12 years, MLB owners and league management feel like they are in a great space for change, but do the fans still feel the same about America’s Past Time?
Baseball is the first major American sport (*Note soccer has been playing internationally and nationally) to return since the COVID-19 Pandemic. With no sport taking the risk of having fans in attendance, Major League Baseball is going to see first hand the strength of its new TV deal. As I said, ticket sales are declining and fan attendance waining, but the MLB is banking on both national and regional TV deals to carry the sports revenue base.
This means Major League Baseball will have to keep fans tuned into what we can all agree has become fairly lackluster gameplay. Since the home run derby of a season MLB saw when McGuire, Sosa, and Bonds were in a swinging war, baseball has yet to capture younger fans similarly to football and basketball. The popularity of other sports games has also left baseball sitting in the dugout and younger sports fans are finding it harder to connect with the game.
Personally, baseball has always been one of my favorite sports, however in recent years, it is very hard to watch several hours of games to come out with a 2-0 score. The emphasis on pitching is what is losing me. Great pitching is a part of the game, no question. But without a stronger focus on scoring, base-running, you know the active part of baseball, fans like myself are easily going to make other choices.
Listen, at the end of the day, there are just too many options. International sports, UFC, Boxing, the return of NBA and NFL. Baseball has an obligation to its players to come up with an exciting way to market a sport with little action and even less room for growth. For now, I’m going to be happy the A’s are back on and I don’t need an overpriced beer to watch them lose games.