Originally Posted by Madvora
The attendance issue is always tied to why more people go to Cubs games than Sox games. I don't understand how attendance at Comiskey is a rip on Sox fans. Sox fans are the ones at the park. If anything this issue should be a rip on Cub fans or most of the city. Why is it that 60%-70% of the city chooses to follow the team that sucks every year instead of the one that's more often in contention? This isn't the Sox fans' fault. They're already doing their part. They can't help it that the majority of the people in the city are idiots.
A major reason for that, too, though is Wrigley's status as a tourist destination. I would estimate that roughly 95% of the people that come to Chicago from out of town and catch a baseball game go to Wrigley. It just is what it is. You can see the crowds at Wrigley are dwindling now that the tourist season is winding down and all that's left to fill the seats are Cub fans... Not too many are bothering.
I know people only look at "butts in the seats" and see the Sox at 25 K a night and think, THIS IS A HUGE PROBLEM, but if you look a little deeper, the picture's not so bleak. Thanks to their high average ticket prices, the Sox are always around the Top 10 of the league in terms of average dollars pulled in from attendance (attendance x ticket price). They might be even higher, generally the Cell's most expensive tickets (Scout Seat, Lower Bowl around home plate) are full while the cheapest seats (deepest parts of the Upper Deck) sit empty. I would suspet if the Sox actually felt there was an attendance problem, they'd actually do something about it.
I've always felt that the Sox are content to price their tickets so their targeted goal is about 24,000-25,000 fans per night. It's a pretty safe number, not too unattainable, and leaves open for a huge payday if the team really plays well and demand goes up. Seems to be smarter business than cutting tickets so you can expect to draw 30,000+ nightly every year but then leave all that extra revenue to the hands of the secondary market. I really don't know why that's so controversial to some people.
I don't know why so many fans seem to have such a chip on their shoulder with attendance. In the post game thread from last night, there are scores of people commenting on how the Sox "always blame the fans." Uh, when? Seems like every time KW comments on the subject, he's always noting that when attendance is down the team "hasn't done enough to earn fans' support." When he talks about simple payroll problems, he's referring to the simple rules that the Sox and seemingly all teams beside the Yankees, must adhere to; you can't spend more than you make. The Sox have been in or just outside of the Top 10 in MLB payroll for going on near a decade now. That doesn't scream "MAJOR PROBLEM" to me.