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So is no one falling on the sword for 2018?

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The Sox have had winning teams that did not draw well. For the size of their market maybe the worst. 

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10 minutes ago, pcq said:

The Sox have had winning teams that did not draw well. For the size of their market maybe the worst. 

How come nobody is commenting on this year's attendance? I say the fans were great, as many turning out as they did to average just under 20,000 a game. What do you all say? I think attendance was pretty darn strong all things considered. I don't see the book, but enough profit for the team to make some money as well I betcha.

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7 minutes ago, pcq said:

The Sox have had winning teams that did not draw well. For the size of their market maybe the worst. 

Part of the issue is the fact that often they'll come out of nowhere and have a good season but don't follow up on it to keep the momentum going the next season or two or when they have been expected to do well, they fall right on their collective faces.

That's been an on-going issue for years and I go into detail on this point in my historical series called "Sox and the Media..."

As others have said the way to help solve the attendance issues are to consistently be competitive. Not necessary make the playoffs three years in a row (or five out of seven, although God knows that would be huge...) or have eight straight winning seasons but honestly have a realistic chance. You can't have a winning season one year, then tank for three years, have another two winning seasons, then fall apart for four.

You can't build a fan or advertiser base that way.

Recent history:

Sox have had nine losing seasons in the last 12 years

Sox haven't had consecutive winning seasons since 2003-2006

Sox have made the playoffs one time since the start of the 2006 season (even with expanded playoffs)

Anyway you cut it, that's tough to overcome.  

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1 minute ago, greg775 said:

How come nobody is commenting on this year's attendance? I say the fans were great, as many turning out as they did to average just under 20,000 a game. What do you all say? I think attendance was pretty darn strong all things considered. I don't see the book, but enough profit for the team to make some money as well I betcha.

I think Sox fans by and large are still supportive and on-board with the rebuild. But their patience won't last forever, progress needs to be starting to show in 2019, certainly by 2020 or they'll be leaving the bandwagon in droves and this also comes from a member of the front office when I discussed this point with them. They agree with that conclusion.

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1 hour ago, pcq said:

The Sox have had winning teams that did not draw well. For the size of their market maybe the worst. 

Especially in the modern era, it's also in part about the season ticket sales. When people are buying playoff tickets for 2005, they get sold a season ticket package for 2006 and that boosts the 2006 season ticket sales and 2006 attendance.  In 2000 attendance jumped from 1.3 mil in The Kids Can Play year to 1.9 mil the next year, and then even though 2001 was the David Wells Disaster embarrassment, attendance still stayed up at 1.7. 

When people are buying playoff tickets in 1993, they sell them season tickets for that great 1994...oh yeah.

2008 somewhat broke this trend, but that's also because they were coming down off the huge peak from 2005 and that slope was bigger.

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2 hours ago, Jack Parkman said:

They should, but MLB won't give it to them for some strange reason. The Sox are NOT the Mets or Angels. The size of the NY and LA metro areas larger enough than the Chicago metro area to get a significant boost. 

NY Metro: 20.5 M

LA Metro 13.5M 

Chicago Metro 9.5 M, but when you take into account that the Cubs hold 70% of the market it gets a lot smaller. 

9.5* 0.3= 2.85M. That is the potential market.

Twin Cities metro area is 3.5M. 

When you take into account market share, the Sox have a smaller market than the Twins. If you were to rank market size in just the ALC, it would be the following: 

1. Tigers

2. Twins 

3. Sox

4. Indians

5. Royals. 

If the Indians and Royals get Competitive Balance Picks, the Sox should too. 

 

This is just way too simplistic of an assessment.  Where in the world did you come up with the Sox only having 30% of the market?   I’m sure the Cubs have a larger share of Chicago, but their real edge is a fanbase that extends outside of the city limits.  And the potential market is not based on their current share, but as the word says “potential”.  The Sox with a strong run of competitiveness over a few years can steal a large part of the casual fanbase in Chicago.

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1 hour ago, Chicago White Sox said:

This is just way too simplistic of an assessment.  Where in the world did you come up with the Sox only having 30% of the market?   I’m sure the Cubs have a larger share of Chicago, but their real edge is a fanbase that extends outside of the city limits.  And the potential market is not based on their current share, but as the word says “potential”.  The Sox with a strong run of competitiveness over a few years can steal a large part of the casual fanbase in Chicago.

Twitter follows. if you do that, 30% is generous. It is closer to 25% than 30%. 

If you combine the total number of twitter follows for the Cubs and Sox, and then divide the Sox share it is roughly 27% I rounded up to 30 just to make it easier. 

 

Edited by Jack Parkman
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7 minutes ago, Jack Parkman said:

Twitter follows. if you do that, 30% is generous. It is closer to 25% than 30%. 

If you combine the total number of twitter follows for the Cubs and Sox, and then divide the Sox share it is roughly 27% I rounded up to 30 just to make it easier. 

 

How many of those followers are outside of Chicago?  And I’d wager the Cubs’ fanbase is far more likely to have Twitter accounts that ours.  I think this an incredibly flawed way to determine our share of the city.

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4 minutes ago, Chicago White Sox said:

How many of those followers are outside of Chicago?  And I’d wager the Cubs’ fanbase is far more likely to have Twitter accounts that ours.  I think this an incredibly flawed way to determine our share of the city.

You're probably right, but that isn't a good thing. I ask you this question: Have you seen a random kid wearing Sox gear in the past 5 years? I haven't, and it isn't good. 

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10 hours ago, southsider2k5 said:

It doesn't surprise me at all.  This is the fan base we have always had.

And this is the team the fan base has always had - the one that is one of ONLY THREE TEAMS in all of baseball that has never gone to the playoffs in consecutive seasons, AND has made only five playoff appearances in the 59 years since the ‘59 World Series.  

The fan base we’ve always had simply reflects the team we’ve always had.  

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10 hours ago, southsider2k5 said:

Which is why there are only a few teams that can spend through adversity out there. 

How about just “operate EFFECTIVELY through adversity”, like the tiny market Oakland Athletics have managed to do throughout their ENTIRE existence in that city?

19 trips to the postseason in their 51 years operating in Oakland.  FIVE trips to the World Series during that time , with FOUR WS titles to show for it. 

All of this achieved despite NOT playing in a facility that the owner’s were able to design with optimal revenue-generating potential, OR taking in three decade’s worth of handsomely subsidized, taxpayer provided profits.  

 

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35 minutes ago, Jack Parkman said:

You're probably right, but that isn't a good thing. I ask you this question: Have you seen a random kid wearing Sox gear in the past 5 years? I haven't, and it isn't good. 

Sure, I see random kids wearing Sox gear all the time.  The Cubs are obviously more possible, but it’s not like our fanbase is dead.

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44 minutes ago, Fan O'Faust said:

How about just “operate EFFECTIVELY through adversity”, like the tiny market Oakland Athletics have managed to do throughout their ENTIRE existence in that city?

19 trips to the postseason in their 51 years operating in Oakland.  FIVE trips to the World Series during that time , with FOUR WS titles to show for it. 

All of this achieved despite NOT playing in a facility that the owner’s were able to design with optimal revenue-generating potential, OR taking in three decade’s worth of handsomely subsidized, taxpayer provided profits.  

 

 

 

1 hour ago, Fan O'Faust said:

And this is the team the fan base has always had - the one that is one of ONLY THREE TEAMS in all of baseball that has never gone to the playoffs in consecutive seasons, AND has made only five playoff appearances in the 59 years since the ‘59 World Series.  

The fan base we’ve always had simply reflects the team we’ve always had.  

I love that you actually believe what happened 60 years ago actually factors into who goes to games in 2018. Then the classic tantrum about money.  So much anger.

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35 minutes ago, Chicago White Sox said:

Sure, I see random kids wearing Sox gear all the time.  The Cubs are obviously more possible, but it’s not like our fanbase is dead.

I'm not worried about our fanbase being dead now, I'm worried about 10-15 years down the line when they could leave. I think this rebuild is incredibly critical for the long-term viability of the Sox in Chicago. If they fail, the majority of the fanbase in 15 years could be 50-75 years old. Hell, I'm in my early 30s and I'd be pushing 50 myself by then. 

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There's no doubt that Sox gear (there was a brief burst for Moncada, then Kopech) simply is almost non-existent except for hardcore fans and random rappers/entertainers. (This is definitely the case a mere 175 miles away, in the Quad Cities.)

That said, the real spread in Chicago's probably closer to 60/40 than 70/30, it's just that it has basically been a dormant/hibernating fanbase since the disappointment after the predicted 2006-2009 dynasty fell flat on its face.   They have obviously attempted to lower prices significantly from the 2006-2012 era, but now there's simply many more entertainment options, MLB.tv/Extra Innings has improved by leaps and bounds, the incentive to actually go to the park is decreasing in all the professional sports, except for the post-season and All-Star games and post-game concerts, etc.

Let's just say the belief/confidence in the organization has gradually withered on the vine.   2008 was great, 2010 was exciting in the middle of the season (the Thome dumping notwithstanding), but then you had Dunn's historic for the wrong reasons 2011 and the 2012 run that nobody expected was going to be able to withstand the Tigers' challenge in the end (losing franchise icon Mark Buehrle also stung). 

Obviously, 2007/09/11 also had a LOT to do with why the fans started to lose confidence in the front office...zero consistency or predictability in having a good product from year to year kills season ticket sales.

In a lot of ways, the fans were absolutely correct, it should be added.  Look at the 2012 roster again.  It was all smoke and mirrors.  What happened to all those rookies and young pitchers, other than Sale/Q/Nate Jones/Addison Reed?   Look at the line-up, and compare it with the Tigers that year.  Unsurprisingly, the "Ventura Defensive Magic" wore completely off after one season, and 2013/14 were complete disasters, with terrible fundamentals, defense and lackluster excitement/hustle being the commonalities connecting 2013-2016, with the exception of the first five or six weeks of 2016 (yet another mirage that left us shaking our heads at James Shields).

 

Edited by caulfield12

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12 minutes ago, southsider2k5 said:

 

 

I love that you actually believe what happened 60 years ago actually factors into who goes to games in 2018. Then the classic tantrum about money.  So much anger.

Bears fans do this all the time. "Ditka said they throw around nickels like manhole covers." Yeah he said that in 1963 there Grandpa

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8 minutes ago, Jack Parkman said:

I'm not worried about our fanbase being dead now, I'm worried about 10-15 years down the line when they could leave. I think this rebuild is incredibly critical for the long-term viability of the Sox in Chicago. If they fail, the majority of the fanbase in 15 years could be 50-75 years old. Hell, I'm in my early 30s and I'd be pushing 50 myself by then. 

Honestly this is a structural problem all of baseball is going to have to reckon with when the older fans eventually start dying off and the people who are middle school kids now become full adults. Most of us thirty and fourty-somethings latched onto baseball as kids, but the interest level with today's kids isn't there like it was.

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9 minutes ago, lostfan said:

Honestly this is a structural problem all of baseball is going to have to reckon with when the older fans eventually start dying off and the people who are middle school kids now become full adults. Most of us thirty and fourty-somethings latched onto baseball as kids, but the interest level with today's kids isn't there like it was.

I'm note 100% sure how to assess without MLB marketing data. Right now baseball is a secondary sport, which means that it's always going to look small compared to football and it's always going to feel like there isn't the same interest, but that could easily be buried in the fact that football really and truly is bigger. But, if 10% of the population are really big fans, and another 20% pay attention every now and then, it would still have a solid community and it would still look weak compared to football. 

Plus...football has its own issues for kids in the next decade or two, baseball isn't killing them at the same rate.

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17 minutes ago, lostfan said:

Honestly this is a structural problem all of baseball is going to have to reckon with when the older fans eventually start dying off and the people who are middle school kids now become full adults. Most of us thirty and fourty-somethings latched onto baseball as kids, but the interest level with today's kids isn't there like it was.

I think it is more of a problem with those about college age and younger. Baseball was an absolutely huge deal culturally when I was in grade school in the early-mid 90s. I grew up playing pickup baseball, basketball, and football. Little league was a huge deal. Everyone played. I don't see nearly as many kids playing baseball at the park than when I was a kid. I do wonder if baseball is going to become a niche sport like hockey. I think the thing that hurts baseball and hockey the most is that they are much more expensive to play. Football would be an issue too if parents had to buy all of their kids gear. Kids realize they can't afford to play, so they gravitate toward basketball, football, and soccer which are much more reasonable for their parents. Baseball, like hockey, has become a rich white kid's sport in America. There is no getting by that fact. I know people in their mid 20s that really like baseball, but younger than that is a problem. 

Edited by Jack Parkman

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25 minutes ago, lostfan said:

Bears fans do this all the time. "Ditka said they throw around nickels like manhole covers." Yeah he said that in 1963 there Grandpa

I mean if the Sox made the playoffs in 1960, he'd totally have season tickets now.

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17 minutes ago, Jack Parkman said:

I think it is more of a problem with those about college age and younger. Baseball was an absolutely huge deal culturally when I was in grade school in the early-mid 90s. I grew up playing pickup baseball, basketball, and football. Little league was a huge deal. Everyone played. I don't see nearly as many kids playing baseball at the park than when I was a kid. I do wonder if baseball is going to become a niche sport like hockey. I think the thing that hurts baseball and hockey the most is that they are much more expensive to play. Football would be an issue too if parents had to buy all of their kids gear. Kids realize they can't afford to play, so they gravitate toward basketball, football, and soccer which are much more reasonable for their parents. Baseball, like hockey, has become a rich white kid's sport in America. There is no getting by that fact. I know people in their mid 20s that really like baseball, but younger than that is a problem. 

Anecdotally, I was coaching youth baseball until a couple years ago. I loved it, there was a fair amount of interest from kids starting from the lowest ages until the first year they do live pitching, then at age 10-11 (proper "Little League" age) there was a sudden, sharp dropoff in the numbers of kids. I don't know if that was overall participation or just the league I was playing in, but I was really surprised and kind of disappointed to see that. That was the age I taught myself to be a switch hitter so I could swing like Ken Griffey Jr.

Also the environment was different from what I remember growing up... we used to ride our bikes to practice by ourselves and our parents were barely involved except as coaches or to come to games, these kids' parents would drive them to practice and watch them the whole time. I would be thinking "GO HOME AND COME PICK THEM UP LATER. DON'T YOU HAVE ANYTHING BETTER TO DO?"

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13 minutes ago, Chicago White Sox said:

Baseball is a rich white kid’s sport now?

I would not say that but travel baseball seriously siphons away the pool of available kids, and that gets really expensive. It's hard for families without some sort of means to stay with it for very long. The regular leagues start to atrophy and the kids that aren't as talented start to lose interest. If you're a kid from a lower-income family, basketball is a LOT easier to get into (at least until you get into the debacle that is AAU). That's always been true, though.

Edited by lostfan

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15 minutes ago, lostfan said:

Anecdotally, I was coaching youth baseball until a couple years ago. I loved it, there was a fair amount of interest from kids starting from the lowest ages until the first year they do live pitching, then at age 10-11 (proper "Little League" age) there was a sudden, sharp dropoff in the numbers of kids. I don't know if that was overall participation or just the league I was playing in, but I was really surprised and kind of disappointed to see that. That was the age I taught myself to be a switch hitter so I could swing like Ken Griffey Jr.

Also the environment was different from what I remember growing up... we used to ride our bikes to practice by ourselves and our parents were barely involved except as coaches or to come to games, these kids' parents would drive them to practice and watch them the whole time. I would be thinking "GO HOME AND COME PICK THEM UP LATER. DON'T YOU HAVE ANYTHING BETTER TO DO?"

Times of course have changed. We used to play baseball every day in the summers on our own and in Little League. Kids played so much (without parental interference) that our Little League coaches demanded we not play on our own on game day. They wanted our official LL game to be our only game of the day. I heard Mt. Greenwood Little League now is a travel league only. Is that true? As far as parents, our parents never went to our practices, never went to our games until we reached the World Series and we loved it that way. Parents would let kids ride their bikes to the games, lock em up at Mt Greenwood LL fields and drive the bikes home. Now we all know parents have to be there every step of the way, every single pitch cause of societal dangers. Not judging them. It's just the way it is. I remember my dad going to our first World Series LL game at Mt. Greenwood after going to zero games during the regular season and playoffs and he couldn't believe how good both teams were. Kids 10 to 12 did not make errors and the pitchers were dominant.

My friend in Wichita started a baseball league for inner city youths. All they have to pay is something like 25 bucks a season and they get a mitt, uniforms, equipment provided, fields provided for practice and games with coaches and it's been a huge hit. Kids frankly couldn't afford baseball and his League 42 has him up for civic honors as the community has embraced it.

Edited by greg775

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Those summer travel baseball leagues where they travel all over the region/country and cost at least $5000 per summer for parents to fund...that's what is killing youth participation.

It's winnowing down the numbers earlier and earlier.

It might not be a "white sport" because of the growing influence of Latin America, but no matter how much MLB puts into Reviving Baseball in the Inner City, the Bulls/Sox Academy, ACE...other sports are still drawing more kids, not just the NBA/NFL, but some of the secondary sports like soccer (in America), golf, tennis, etc.

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