The cheapest form of entertainment

“I got hooked on baseball three decades ago as a member of the Dodger-Pepsi Fan Club — six tickets in the top deck for $2. If (Bud) Selig and the owners fail to use the recession as a springboard to renewed affordability, they had better not start blaming video games when the next generation of fans fails to materialize.”


Those are not my words, but the words of Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.  In today’s On Baseball column, he lays out a great case for why the recession might have been the best thing that could have happened to a sport that has lost touch with the common fan.

It’s inexcusable, really, for Major League Baseball owners to have neglected the situation for this long anyway.  Yes, they have every right to create and maximize revenue streams from corporations and big spenders opening their wallets for a chance to experience America’s pastime in its most elite form, often from gleaming luxury suites in brand-new or refurbished stadiums.

But Shaikin is right that the lords of baseball need to continue to make efforts to introduce the beauty of the game to the youth of today. 

Team Marketing Report’s Fan Cost Index makes it clear that it’s not so easy anymore for a family of 4 to afford a day out at the ballpark.  That has got to change – unfortunately, the track record of most of the owners along with the league office leaves the issue very much in doubt once the economy improves. 

MLB has had its up and downs in the Bud Selig era.  Let’s hope that he is serious when he says that baseball really must be “the cheapest form of entertainment.”  Keeping that promise would be a nice way for the commissioner to seal his legacy.

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~ by acm213 on April 12, 2009.

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