LADY AT THE BAT: Is Baseball Becoming Less Interesting?

Friday, February 9, 2018

Is Baseball Becoming Less Interesting?

Written by Steven Sanders, this is the first of what I hope will become a series of guest (not sponsored) posts by fans throughout the country. I will be posting a set of guidelines for submitting in the very near future.


The smell of popcorn and grass, the cheers of fans, and the clack of the bat on the ball. Baseball has been America’s pastime for centuries but lately, it’s failed to hold the attention of old and new fans alike. Why? What about the sport has led to its decline?

There is actually a lot to consider. From prices rising to interest declining, there are a lot things attacking general interest in baseball. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons that baseball is seeing a decline in viewers.

New Viewers Are Hard to Come By

As of late, kids aren’t getting into baseball as much as they used to. This is due to myriad reasons that we will go over later but the important thing is that new fans are hard to come by. That fact makes it difficult for baseball to keep a fan base up as old viewers fade out and no new viewers are coming in to take their place.

Baseball Isn't Fast Paced Enough


Remember how we said that kids aren’t as into baseball? Well, part of the reason is that baseball isn’t fast-paced enough. Think about it. Most kids are raised on technology. The things they do provide instant gratification. Even playing a video game puts baseball to shame.

With a video game, at least they get to participate. When they are watching baseball, they have no control over what happens.

In addition, games just take longer. Since the mid-70s and mid-80s, the average game length has gone up to around 3 hours and 8 minutes. This makes these games harder to watch because people don’t have the time to sit down and watch a game.

It’s Expensive to Play Ball

If you do want to participate in the sport, it can cost you a pretty penny. From gloves to bats to balls to uniforms, it is one of the more expensive sports that you can choose.

It is also expensive to go to a game. According to the 2015 Fan Cost Index, it costs the average family about $211.53 to go to a ball game. This is a 2.5% increase from the year before and costs have only gone up since then.

Single-Parent Households Inspire Sports Less

There is more to this theory than the semi-antiquated idea that children get into sports because of their dads. In fact, there is the fact that single-parent households can’t afford the same things that two-parent households can. This means fewer tickets to games and less money for gear to play.

Baseball Isn’t as Glorious as Other Sports

Baseball doesn’t have the glory of other sports. The fame of football and basketball just isn’t present. Sure, the World Series is exciting but you see far more advertising for Super Bowl Sunday.

Baseball is, by its nature, is a humble sport. This is fine and well but it does lose some of the fan hype that other sports offer.

Kids Don't Play Outside As Much Anymore

With the rise of technology, as we discussed before, the way kids play is changing. There’s no more staying out until the streetlights come on and when friends come over it is to play Call of Duty not Little League. Kids aren’t making neighborhood games anymore and that declines the number of children who have an interest in or aspirations towards baseball.

Conclusion

Today, it is harder to snare new fans and interest casual fans in baseball. However, that doesn’t mean the sport is dead. There are millions of baseball fans who are die-hard and ready to defend their favorite teams.

Steven Sanders is a writer and blogger at BaseballProf. He lives in Los Angeles, California, and enjoys spending time with his family and playing baseball in his free time. He can be reached at oneroadtorecovery@gmail.com. 

1 comment:

Uncle Mike said...

There are ways that Major League Baseball can be improved. Certainly, they've never had the promotion that the NFL has had.

But not interesting enough? Red Smith was right decades ago, and he's right today: "Baseball is dull only to those with dull minds." Anybody who says baseball isn't interesting isn't somebody I want to talk to in a ballpark, in a bar, or anywhere else. Let them watch NASCAR, or its non-automotive equivalent, professional "wrestling."