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  #46  
Old 09-29-2012, 12:14 PM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
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Sox author / historian Rich Lindberg weighs in on the issue:

"The fact that they cannot shade two million raises serious concerns about the long term future of this franchise in Chicago. 26,000 is not an acceptable crowd for a Friday night with so much on the line.

On average they have dropped 100,000 to 200,000 a year since 2006.

Next year with the loss of free agents, I expect another precipitous drop.

I believe the Sox fan base has shrunk. The location of the park and the failure to create a "Comiskeyville" bar scene due to the intransigence of the Bridgeport people has deeply impacted the team.

My personal opinion is that the Sox are safe in Chicago as long as Jerry Reinsdorf is around, but after that, we could see a replay of 1969, 1975, 1980 and 1988, years when they threatened and nearly to left town because of poor attendance and other issues.

In this Cub crazy town it is just becoming harder and harder for them to compete. Also I seriously question the contention that Sox fans are such great fans. They have their core group of course, but cannot win over the peripheral baseball fans who almost inevitably choose the Cubs.

I remember 1970 when we drew 495,000 fans for the whole year and other seasons like that, I am not optimistic about the future of this team in Chicago.

Rich Lindberg
Author of Total White Sox and other books
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  #47  
Old 09-29-2012, 12:25 PM
Golden Sox Golden Sox is offline
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Default The Future

Nobody knows what the future holds but as long as the White Sox are 10th in total revenue in MLB they're not moving anywhere. They would never get the TV money they're getting now anywhere else. Their deal with Comcast expires after the 2016 season and I wouldn't be surprised to see their TV money greatly increased. The White Sox TV ratings are higher than the Cubs TV ratings. That being said I would think they would get more TV money in the future. To the best of my knowledge the White Sox Stadium deal at the Cell runs through the 2026 season. There's no way the State of Illinois would ever let them out of that deal. I wouldn't be surprised to see the State or some other government agency build them another stadium somewhere in the Chicago land area once this lease expires. The attendance issues of 1969, 1975, 1980 and 1988 are not comparable to the attendance issues of 2012. If the White Sox had drawn in 1969, 1975, and those other years what they are drawing now either the Allyn or Veeck families would still be owning the White Sox. Last but not least if anybody actually believes the White Sox are not making money here, they're definitely misreading the situation.

Last edited by Golden Sox; 09-29-2012 at 01:00 PM.
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  #48  
Old 09-29-2012, 01:25 PM
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JB98 JB98 is offline
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Lip,

My question for Rich would be this: If he thinks the Sox are gonna leave Chicago, where are they gonna go? What market that doesn't have a team right now is gonna be better?

I just don't buy that argument. This stuff goes in cycles. The Sox drew over 33,000 per game with an awful team in 2007. They still had a good season-ticket base just a couple years removed from the World Series. That season-ticket base has eroded significantly, I would say, over the last three years. The Sox have fielded mediocre, uninspiring teams.

In fact, I would go so far as to say the 2011 club was flat out boring. The atmosphere in the ballpark last year was ABYSMAL, from my perspective. Dead team, idiot manager, no life on the field or in the stands.

It will take more than one surprising season to bring people back. A postseason bid this year sure would help, which has made this September slide all the more frustrating. In the grander scheme of things, the Sox are in danger of squandering a chance to gain more attention in the city. The Cubs absolutely ****ing suck right now. Look at the Double-A **** they are putting on the field. Historically bad, even for that horse**** excuse for a franchise.

The door is open for the Sox. Unfortunately, this franchise has a history of not kicking the door down when the opportunity exists. Much of Sox history is about finishing in second place, both in the standings and in the minds of Chicago fans.
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  #49  
Old 09-29-2012, 01:40 PM
TaylorStSox TaylorStSox is online now
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Another issue is that the team is kind of boring and doesn't really have any marketable stars. The biggest ambassador's for the team are probably Konerko and AJ. Konerko's as vanilla as they come and AJ's an *******. The Sox desperately need their Derrick Rose. They need an exciting kid to put up on billboards and commercials. If you walked up to the average non-baseball fan on the street and asked them to name some Sox players, they probably couldn't name more than 1.
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  #50  
Old 09-29-2012, 01:50 PM
Frater Perdurabo Frater Perdurabo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaylorStSox View Post
Another issue is that the team is kind of boring and doesn't really have any marketable stars. The biggest ambassador's for the team are probably Konerko and AJ. Konerko's as vanilla as they come and AJ's an *******. The Sox desperately need their Derrick Rose. They need an exciting kid to put up on billboards and commercials. If you walked up to the average non-baseball fan on the street and asked them to name some Sox players, they probably couldn't name more than 1.
Gordon should be that guy because he's home-grown and reasonably handsome, but he hasn't produced like a star, yet. I really don't see how a #9 hitter can be a leader. Rios plays like a star, but he's quiet and reserved. Perhaps Sale can be like Blackjack McDowell?
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  #51  
Old 09-29-2012, 01:55 PM
Noneck Noneck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lip Man 1 View Post

My personal opinion is that the Sox are safe in Chicago as long as Jerry Reinsdorf is around, but after that, we could see a replay of 1969, 1975, 1980 and 1988, years when they threatened and nearly to left town because of poor attendance and other issues.



Rich Lindberg
Author of Total White Sox and other books
As long as that sweet lease agreement exists, I dont see them going anywhere. The point that no one is making, is its real hard for the Sox to lose money with that lease agreement. No one is also mentioning that as attendance has been dropping, the value of the club has been increasing.

After that agreement is over, I can see them moving, probably to the burbs but thats a long way off.
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  #52  
Old 09-29-2012, 01:57 PM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
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JB:

Am at the station we're in the pregame show for ISU football. I agree with your comments. I can't see the Sox moving because from a practical sense, you are right, where are they going to go?

Like I tried to stress to Michael and unfortunately it didn't make the final cut, it's about winning.

The Sox are the only original franchise to have NEVER made the post season in consecutive years. NEVER, even with expanded playoffs since 1969.

If the Sox could somehow figure out how to dominate the weakest division in the league, a la Cleveland in the 90's and Minnesota in the 00's...go to the playoffs say four times in five years, they wouldn't have attendance issues...I'm convinced of that.

Ultimately it's all about winning.

And yes absolutely, historically the Sox have squandered chance after chance to take control of the city. Sometimes it has been forces out of their control (social unrest in the 1960's) but more often it's because they shot themselves (leaving WGN after 1967, SportsVision, not even making the playoffs the year after the World Series because they fell apart in the second half...blowing playoff chances the final two weeks in 2003, falling apart after Buehrle's perfect game in 2009, falling apart the final month and a half in 2010 and potentially throwing away a three game lead with 15 to go in 2012.)

That's NOT the way to excite the fan base, garner more media coverage or make sponsors more willing in this economy to invest and advertise.

Lip
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  #53  
Old 09-29-2012, 02:17 PM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
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Just so everyone knows I made sure to pass along to the folks that I know in the Sox organization all the links including this thread at WSI, the newspaper summaries on this issue, the NPR station links...whatever I could.

It's my hope that they'll take some time to look through these things. It might provide more insight on the situation and give them more honest feedback from the fans.

Lip
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  #54  
Old 09-29-2012, 05:58 PM
Steelrod Steelrod is offline
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Since the current marketing staff came in, the've had 6 consecutive declines in attendance. Maybe the problem lies in the staff.
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  #55  
Old 09-29-2012, 06:11 PM
FoulTerritory FoulTerritory is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelrod View Post
Since the current marketing staff came in, the've had 6 consecutive declines in attendance. Maybe the problem lies in the staff.
This is a good point, but I am curious as to how much input, if any, Brooks Boyer has in the setting of ticket prices.
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  #56  
Old 09-29-2012, 06:48 PM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
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Foul:

Don't know about that issue at all. I do think (not exactly sure) that he might have some input on the dynamic ticket pricing concept itself though.

If someone is going to fault Brooks however you have to note that he came up eith the "us vs. them" and the "grider rules" campaigns that were hugely successful.

Lip
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  #57  
Old 09-29-2012, 06:48 PM
Golden Sox Golden Sox is offline
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Lip: I would ask Rich Lindberg what his defintion of a great White Sox fan is. I've met Lindberg a number of times. I even contributed some of my White Sox items that he put into one of his White Sox books. He questions how great White Sox fans are but to the best of my knowledge he's not a season ticket holder and doesn't go to that many White Sox games. Granted he's considered the White Sox historian but he doesn't go to many games. I have to wonder how many of these people who post on WSI are season ticket holders. With all the different packages the White Sox have I would think more people would sign up and become season ticket holders. For the record tomorrow will be my 32nd game I've attended this 2012 season.
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  #58  
Old 09-29-2012, 08:21 PM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
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Golden:

I'm sure if the Sox were winning a lot of these issues wouldn't be as pronounced.

Lip
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  #59  
Old 09-29-2012, 08:28 PM
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Brian26 Brian26 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelrod View Post
Since the current marketing staff came in, the've had 6 consecutive declines in attendance. Maybe the problem lies in the staff.
Brooks came in mid-2004, so you're numbers are a little deceptive. I'm assuming attendance went up in 2005 over 2004, and I know it went up in 2006. Brooks was here for both of those years, but you could also argue he was handed a very good situation on a silver platter in what was an electric baseball city, as the Cubs/Sox war was pretty much at its peak between 2003-2006 and will probably be considered a golden age.
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  #60  
Old 09-29-2012, 09:46 PM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
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Brian:

Sox attendance went up 412 thousand and change from 2004 to 2005 (that's only regular season of course) and then went up 614,581 from 2005 to 2006.

It's been downhill ever since. Probably around one million total drop from the end of 2006 through the final home game tomorrow. About 2.9 million to 1.9 million.

Not good.

Lip
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