Baseball attendance – down ~6% for 2009. Why not down 25%?
If the US economy is doing as badly as the bloggers and media would suggest, why isn’t paid attendance at MLB games down much more?
Considering that fans paying to see a live game almost always have an alternative — watch it for free on TV — if the economy was so weak, the attendance figures should be down much much more.
Can anyone explain this?
I’d compare paid attendance at baseball games to travel and tourism revenue for the summer 2009 season. If travel revenue is down significantly more than 6%, then I would postulate that families chose to go to baseball games as a form of summer entertainment and shortened summer vacation plans.
I would also suggest that baseball is the more “relaxing” of the professional sports… people go to summer afternoon games to get their mind off of daily troubles. My hometown of Detroit is a perfect example of this… the Tigers’ attendance figures are down from last year at this time (2.7 million vs. 2.2 million), but still quite high for a region with over 25% unemployment. Their attendance is currently 4th highest in the American League. People in the Metro Detroit area consider the Tigers to be a bit of respite during difficult times.