Attendance across baseball is down. Ten teams average under 20k per game! Hell, nine teams are below 50% attendance. What can baseball do to boost these numbers? Here’s some suggestions.
Serious: MLB Salary Cap + Floor. And cheaper seats.
100% makes sense 0% of ever happening. This would mean players giving up money, it would never happen.
The average team salary is 130M, With the Red Sox all the way at $235M and the Marlins at $67M. So let’s start here, Cap $200M, floor $130M (adjusting each year). The difference between the highest and lowest team is more than the Marlins pay their team currently. But 1) This would make the teams more competitive and even. And team *could* lower the ticket prices (not that they would). This would also force team to manage their roster better, and punishes them more for terrible contracts. Teams can’t just buy every player. We could even add Bird’s rights like NBA where you can go over the cap to sign your own guys.
Moderately Serious: Dog batboys/ballboys.
The Trenton Thunder had a batdog, Derby, who was a very good boy. Derby would fetch the bats after at bats. Derby sadly crossed the rainbow bridge in Jan. He became good friends with Reggie Jackson and you can even get a bobblehead of them together.
- Something I’ve just purchased!
Can’t we get more dogs involved? Batdogs, balldogs, boozehounds (bring you beer), dog ushers, seeing eye dogs for Cowboy Joe West.
The MSPCA does an event at Fenway called Bark in the Park and Dogs on Deck. Why not get those dogs looking for homes involved in the games.
Sadly Serious: Universal DH
I’m not a DH fan. I’d rather have pitchers bat. But for baseball’s sake let’s get the DH in each league. It’s simple, make the worst batter in the lineup one of the better batters. Plus “chicks dig the long ball”.
Fun but pointless: If a batter reached 2nd base before their fly is caught they’re safe.
More speed/excitement. Would only work in certain circumstances.
Maybe someday: Robot umps
I don’t mean an electronic strike zone. I mean an actual robot behind the plate. It would read the strike zone with lasers and call out the balls and strikes. Imagine Buck Showalter arguing with a robot and getting tossed from the game!
- “Doesn’t look like anything to me”
This should already be a thing: Pitch Clock
What’s the harm in this? People against it will argue that it forces the pitchers routine and it tees up the timing for baserunners. Well MAYBE the pitcher doesn’t need to wait until halfway through the pitch clock to start their routine! It’s already happening in the minors. Why not bring it up!
- Don’t stop selling booze at a certain time
- Turn parts of the stands bars that people can sit at and see the game over the bar with the game to the bartenders back
- Partner with Uber/Lyft to discount rides with fans who had a receipt from the concession stand (this will cut down drivers)
- More hard liquor.
Act like the Minor Leagues
Look at all the ridiculous things the minors does to bring fans in? Teams have had Space Jam Night, Jar Jar Binks Jerseys, Field of Dreams night, Taco Truck Throwdown. DON’T TAKE THE GAME TO SERIOUSLY! Remember you’re playing a game, people are here to have fun.
More Fan Participation!
Basketball brings out fans for half court shots. What about doing something between every inning. Throw a strike through a hoop, drop a bunt vs a scrub pitcher, race the bullpen catcher around the bases, let a fan sit in the dug out, in the bull pen, have a single night, have theme nights. There’s so much dead time, fill it with fun things! And I don’t mean the Wally Wave.
Ok, maybe not. But it wasn’t the worst thing to happen to baseball.