I was chillin here, basking in the glow that is Sports Illustrated giving Brenden and I some love on its Hot Clicks when I thought about just how sad the World Baseball Classic Attendance here in America has been.
According to Baseball-Fever, the attendance during the 1st round of the tournament was up 38% when the games were in San Juan, Toronto, Mexico City and Tokyo, as the international fans helped to make the 1st round a success. Then when the second round was moved into the United States for games in Miami and San Diego…..lets just say that Rick Sutcliffe should advert his eyes.
The Games in Miami and San Diego compared to the 2006 venues in Anaheim and San Juan saw attendance drop the same 38%. Here are some numbers from Baseball-Fever to back up these stats.
First Round attendance rose 38 % over three years ago, from 326,629 to 450,471, the average crowd increasing from 13,610 up to 18,770. But attendance gains in the First Round were soon squandered away in the Second Round.
Second Round attendance shrank 38 % over three years ago, from 283,880 down to 206,180, the average crowd shrinking from 23,657 down to 17,182. Ticket buyers in Miami and San Diego legitimately chose to pass on outrageously high priced tickets.
Now the stats can be looked at a little different. First of all Miami is a much bigger stadium then San Juan and really isnt a good stadium for anything other then football. Then San Diego hosted teams that other then Mexico really dont have a major following in America and comparing it to Anaheim, which had the American team playing there is somewhat unfair.
The fact of the matter is that Im sick and tired of hearing Rick Sutcliffe keep telling me how classic this tournament is, and the fact that this tournament means something to the players. It matters only a little what the players think and more about the paying customer, the fact that some bailed out is more then enough to make me believe that most really just don’t care. Its also evident that the fans really dont care and as a Mets fan, I could care less that David Wright got a clutch hit in March, talk to me in September when it actually matters for something.
The World Baseball Classic is almost over and a champion will be crowned come Monday Night, but with the economy still falling apart, (Hey Everybody, Obama cant pick College games right either!, he’s 11-5) and March Madness taking over our sporting lives this weekend, its gonna be hard for the WBC to make a stand this weekend. So the question still stands…