Thinning Crowds Across America

Word on The Street Thinning Crowds Across America

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If You Build it They Might Come

Has anyone noticed the many empty seats in stadiums around the league? Now, teams can tell you – and THEY DO, that the game was sold out – emphasis on SOLD. But that doesn’t mean that everyone uses their ticket.

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These games are not at capacity and there are probably many reasons why. And it’s not just football, it’s baseball too. Here in Baltimore, the Orioles are struggling in a big way, to build a half-full stadium in the midst of a pennant race. How sad!

I can’t speak for any of you listening, but for me, I’ve lost the burning desire to go to games. Sure I enjoy a few but lately when I go I’m reminded of why I only go to a few:

• Traffic
• Delays in and out of parking lots
• Skyrocketing costs to park
• Bathroom lines
• An ungodly number of delays during the game
• The cost of concessions
• The cost of tickets
• Investing 8 hours in a 3-hour game

Add it all up and that comfortable lounge chair at home, watching in HD, just seems like an infinitely better idea.

Am I missing something?

And then there’s this arrogance at the stadium, particularly at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

I’ve had lower level seats before and sometimes, around let’s say, the 6th inning, when it is obvious that no one would be using the better seats closer to the field, my group might try to move down. Forget about it! The ushers shoo you away.

Last Saturday night I went to the game and I ventured out to the centerfield bar for a couple of $9 before tip beers, and went to sit in one of the bar-like seats that they sell out there to watch the game. I wasn’t in the seat for 30 seconds and an usher came along and told me to get up. I said that I, along with my wife and another couple just wanted to observe, look around a bit…and that we’d get up as soon as those who purchased the seats arrived.

Nope, not good enough. We had to leave.

In a nutshell it’s the inconveniences, costs and now the arrogance that make staying home a lot more attractive.

Maybe all of professional sports should start treating us like customers and not like they’re doing us a favor.

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is the founder and His work has been featured on various sports websites and he hosts The Russell Street Report and Armchair Quarterback both seen and heard on Fanimal Radio. Among his favorite things in life are his wife, kids, family, friends, The Beatles, Breaking Bad, Gladiator, The Godfather, Guinness, orange crushes, meatballs and Key West, not necessarily in that order. Follow Tony on Twitter @RSRLombardi. More from Tony Lombardi

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