Why low attendance is good for the Chicago Cubs
The idea that the Cubs have low attendance is fairly shocking. On April 4, 2011, the Cubs dipped below 27,000 fans at Wrigley for the first time since 2002. Even last year during Labor Day Weekend I attended a rooftop game and noticed the bleachers were half-full… yes, half-full.
Not since the late 90′s early 2000′s has the attendance been so paltry. It’s also the last time Cubs management gave a shit about winning baseball games. With new ownership and an unfortunate inheritance of a unfathomable contracts unheard of in the MLB, the Cubs have struggled with winning and appeasing their die-hard fans. Normally this isn’t a problem because it’s the norm, and the “not so die-hard” fans fill in the cracks in the attendance drop. This season, not so much.
The problem with the Cubs isn’t that they don’t have talent, its just that it’s not consistent. The problem with the fans attending the games is not that they’re not fans, it’s just that they haven’t cared if the team is doing well or not. They’ve finally gotten fed up with this issue, probably due to a mixture of the recession-like atmosphere in the USA and the fact that the Cubs are just completely horrible at playing baseball.
Hopefully, this low attendance rate does a few things for our beloved Cubs. I’m hoping that it causes the Cubs to maybe work a little harder at making the team better.. now it’s a far shot, but I think the new ownership is probably the best we’ve had. I think they’re sincerely wanting to do this and unfortunately are held hostage with some high-priced contracts. This will take a few years, but it will resolve.
Secondly, I hope that this allows fans who can’t afford the high prices of tickets to come to the games by purchasing on secondary markets. I’ve noticed stubhub, craigslist, and various other ticket brokers selling tickets for dirt cheap and in some cases almost giving these tickets away. Hopefully this allows baseball to be enjoyed by families for cheap. You can easily spend $200-300 for 4 tickets to the game plus food, drinks. It’s ridiculous. It’s not a vacation, its a day at the ballgame.
Thirdly, I hope that this is a wake-up call for all the tools and tanning bunnies who come to the game to catch a bbq. I hope that this makes them a tad less inclined to go to the games since the attendance has gone down. It’s just not as hip to go to the Cubs game for them, so they may not attend games as much, which would be great for everyone else involved. As much as I liked watching people make fools of themselves when I was younger, I think I’m more about enjoying the game and atmosphere now than ever before.
As much as I dislike seeing the Cubs do poorly in all aspects of their business, I think this is definitely a wake-up call for fans and the organization alike. I hope that this low attendance trend changes back to high attendance, but only if the team gets back on their feet and plays baseball again. Hopefully ticket prices in the secondary market allow for whole families to enjoy the game without breaking the bank. The Jersey Shore isn’t in Chicago, folks, take your GTL and head East, we’re not interested in seeing you party at Wrigley.