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  #76  
Old 10-01-2012, 04:11 PM
Hitmen77 Hitmen77 is offline
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Originally Posted by Lip Man 1 View Post
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
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Originally Posted by JB98 View Post
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.
I agree with JB. In fact, I highlighted some of the points he made that I especially agree with. The main culprit is the ****ty play by this team since its 2008 playoff appearance that has driven fans away. 3 of 4 of those years saw the same old story: the Sox in first place in the 2nd half only to see them totally lay an egg against the team they need to beat and free-fall from contention. The one year in the last 4 that this didn't happen was last year - and that was a total train wreck of a team that was very unwatchable.

In response to Rich's comment, I don't think the Sox are in danger of moving. Where would they go? Unless MLB starts contracting teams, there are much worse places to be than the 2nd team in Chicago. Just ask the A's (who are in much worse shape as far as fan support and revenues go) how easy it is to find a new city to move to.

I don't necessarily agree that the Sox fanbase has shrunk. I guess it depends on what time frame he is talking about. Since 1967? Since 1983? Yeah, I could see that. I think the Sox's moves to UHF in the late 60s and, more catastrophically, the move to pay TV SportsVision in 1982 is what really decimated this fan base in a way that this team has yet to recover. But, in the last 10 years? I'd say Sox support in the Chicago market is much better now than it was before 2005. I think the 2005 team won over a bunch of youngsters to the Sox and that we'll see this translate to more paying customers once these kids grow up and enter the work force in another 10 years or so

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lip Man 1 View Post
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
Lip,
You are absolutely right. Failing to make the post season in consecutive years EVER is a pretty damning stat for the White Sox. If you are already the "underdog" team in a 2-team market, you're not going to build up a huge following when you make the playoffs typically once every 5 years or so. It's pathetic that we're in the 18th season of the 3-division, 1 wild card arrangement and the Sox have only been able to scatter a few playoff appearances.

The Tigers are on the verge of making the playoffs for a 2nd consecutive year. Say what you will about their lousy defense, but their ownership is willing to put up the big bucks to build a contender. They brought in Prince Fielder. They were willing to essentially eat Dontrelle Willis's contract to get Miguel Cabrera. These are things that Sox ownership won't commit to doing unless their bottom line supports it.

Don't forget that part of the problem is the continual lack of much talent in our minor league system. I'm glad to see Sale and Reed look like home-grown successes. But the depth in this organization is just too thin. We can't continue to rely solely on expensive signing like Dunn or scrap-heap success stories to become a consistent winner. What the Sox have been able to do well in the last 10 years or so is be a consistent "average or better" team. Just being around .500 most years with a smattering of post season appearances every 5 years isn't going to cut it.

What really pisses me off is that this is always turned around to be an indictment against Sox fans. "Oh, where are the fans!!!! They should be packing that place every night! even though they're coming off 3 disappointing seasons and an offseason where Sox management seemed to emphasize budget austerity."
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  #77  
Old 10-01-2012, 04:27 PM
Hitmen77 Hitmen77 is offline
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Originally Posted by JB98 View Post
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.
JB,
This is so spot-on, it should be framed.

This has been a golden opportunity for the Sox while the Ricketts era on the North Side has gotten off to a bumpy start. Since 2005, I think it's been clear that the people are no longer buying the notion that all things Cubs are wonderful.

....but the Sox are once again pissing away another golden opportunity. If you think Sox attendance and competitiveness in Chicago is lackluster now, I'd hate to think what will happen if the Cubs ever got their act together while the Sox continue on their continue path of not being serious contenders year in and year out.
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  #78  
Old 10-01-2012, 04:32 PM
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I'm always fascinated by how the TV numbers play into things. I find it really hard to reconcile the increase in TV viewership for 2012 (which makes total sense) with a drop in ballpark attendance. For one, TV viewership indicates some level of overall "sox fans" in the region, and ever since the Sox had higher TV numbers than the Cubs in 2006, I've believed that the Chicago-region numbers were evening out a little. I'm sure the Cubs still own a healthy margin of "I'm a cubs fan" vs "I'm a sox fan" if asked, but the number gap wasn't that large post 2005. I'd say more along the lines of 60-40 cubs-sox in the overall chicago region. Maybe a bit higher, but that still should mean the Sox fan base is larger than many entire markets.

I guess I don't believe that the overall sox fanbase is small - and based on the fact that TV numbers went up this year, it means people were paying more attention to the first place team, but just weren't showing up to the park. To me that is directly related to marketing and sales on the Sox side to draw season ticket holders. Also could be a economic issue.
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  #79  
Old 10-01-2012, 04:34 PM
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Nice little slap in the face of the "intransigent Bridgeport people" for the lack of a thriving bar/party scene in Bridgeport around the park.

Somebody show that moron how to use Google Maps and let him see aerial photos of Wrigely Field and Sox Park and maybe he'll figure out what the difference is.
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  #80  
Old 10-01-2012, 05:11 PM
amsteel amsteel is offline
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Talking about 'culture' in general is a crapshoot but here goes:
Something also to consider is what has changed in general since 2006 in the ways people consume media and spend their free time?

HDTVs and online streaming of games have heightened the quality and accessibility of sporting content at home. Spend thousands of dollars on tickets, concessions, and parking or a couple hundred (at most) a year on a nice TV and beer and food at home? No commute to the park, no problem.

Along those lines, if it's a Friday night and you don't want to sit home, go watch the game at bar with 100 HDTVs, cheap drinks, and an atmosphere in which you can easily communicate with you're friends instead of shouting over the PA and the drunk jamook behind you.

Gas was 1$ cheaper per gallon in 2006, and people LOVE to complain about gas prices and use it as an excuse for not driving places.

Why spend 200$ on a Sox game when you could go on Groupon or Living Social and do an outdoor activity for a fraction of the price?

Totally anecdotal, but it seems like there are alot more street festivals/concerts/ethnic fests then I can recall there being.

The Blackhawks won the Cup, superceding the Sox as the city's most recent champion, thus taking attention and money away.

I don't think any one of these things had a huge impact, but collectively there may be an effect.
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  #81  
Old 10-01-2012, 05:48 PM
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[QUOTE=Hitmen77;2997408]I



Lip,
You are absolutely right. Failing to make the post season in consecutive years EVER is a pretty damning stat for the White Sox. If you are already the "underdog" team in a 2-team market, you're not going to build up a huge following when you make the playoffs typically once every 5 years or so. It's pathetic that we're in the 18th season of the 3-division, 1 wild card arrangement and the Sox have only been able to scatter a few playoff appearances.



Except the Sox were outdrawn this season by teams like Colorado, Pittsburgh, San Diego and Toronto. Is this "consecutive/multiple-year" theory exclusive to the South Side of Chicago?
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  #82  
Old 10-01-2012, 05:50 PM
DSpivack DSpivack is offline
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Originally Posted by amsteel View Post
Talking about 'culture' in general is a crapshoot but here goes:
Something also to consider is what has changed in general since 2006 in the ways people consume media and spend their free time?

HDTVs and online streaming of games have heightened the quality and accessibility of sporting content at home. Spend thousands of dollars on tickets, concessions, and parking or a couple hundred (at most) a year on a nice TV and beer and food at home? No commute to the park, no problem.

Along those lines, if it's a Friday night and you don't want to sit home, go watch the game at bar with 100 HDTVs, cheap drinks, and an atmosphere in which you can easily communicate with you're friends instead of shouting over the PA and the drunk jamook behind you.

Gas was 1$ cheaper per gallon in 2006, and people LOVE to complain about gas prices and use it as an excuse for not driving places.

Why spend 200$ on a Sox game when you could go on Groupon or Living Social and do an outdoor activity for a fraction of the price?

Totally anecdotal, but it seems like there are alot more street festivals/concerts/ethnic fests then I can recall there being.

The Blackhawks won the Cup, superceding the Sox as the city's most recent champion, thus taking attention and money away.

I don't think any one of these things had a huge impact, but collectively there may be an effect.
Is any of that unique to the White Sox, though? What does overall MLB attendance look like today vs. 2006? I thought it was higher now than in years past. If true, that suggests to me that it's either the product itself or how it's marketed. In either case, both of those are on the White Sox, not external factors out of their control.
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  #83  
Old 10-01-2012, 05:57 PM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
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Chez:

What are the ticket prices like in those markets for example? How do they compare to the Sox??

Again for seemingly the thousandth time, there is NO ONE SINGLE REASON OR ANSWER...it's all factoring in...which to my mind makes it that much harder for Brooks and company to figure out.

How do you come up with a plan where you don't know where to start?

It's not apparently, fix A, then B, then C, then D...problem solved.

It's more like, "well because of this factor we have to start with C, get that a little better than we can look at A, then mayby slide over to start on E."

I have no idea how they are going to tackle this.

I will say this though and I believe it to the core having closely watched this franchise now for 52 seasons. If they could put a run together, not get to the World Series four years in a row, just get to the playoffs four years in six...seven times in a decade (like say the Angels, or Boston or the Cardinals or Phillies something like their runs) a LOT of these issues would disappear.

I am firmly convinced of that.

Lip
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  #84  
Old 10-01-2012, 06:25 PM
amsteel amsteel is offline
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Originally Posted by DSpivack View Post
Is any of that unique to the White Sox, though? What does overall MLB attendance look like today vs. 2006? I thought it was higher now than in years past. If true, that suggests to me that it's either the product itself or how it's marketed. In either case, both of those are on the White Sox, not external factors out of their control.
There's no way to normalize any factor, but you have to look at teams similar to the Sox in regards to overall fan base size, age and location of stadium, and recent success, or lack thereof.

Similar teams off the top of my head would be Baltimore (barring this year), Toronto, Colorado, Oakland, Seattle. What ways are their attendance trending?

Last edited by amsteel; 10-01-2012 at 06:33 PM.
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  #85  
Old 10-01-2012, 06:37 PM
Hitmen77 Hitmen77 is offline
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[QUOTE=Chez;2997462]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitmen77 View Post
I



Lip,
You are absolutely right. Failing to make the post season in consecutive years EVER is a pretty damning stat for the White Sox. If you are already the "underdog" team in a 2-team market, you're not going to build up a huge following when you make the playoffs typically once every 5 years or so. It's pathetic that we're in the 18th season of the 3-division, 1 wild card arrangement and the Sox have only been able to scatter a few playoff appearances.



Except the Sox were outdrawn this season by teams like Colorado, Pittsburgh, San Diego and Toronto. Is this "consecutive/multiple-year" theory exclusive to the South Side of Chicago?
So? Whoever said that the Sox having to succeed more consistently to draw well is only a "theory" because of other teams' attendance. I don't get the logic.

It's what's needed for the White Sox. I don't give a **** about what Colorado draws. Apples and oranges. Do most people in Denver root for another MLB team in the same city and are staunchly anti-Rockies? When did the Blue Jays move to pay TV while their crosstown rivals were on a superstation?
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  #86  
Old 10-02-2012, 08:25 PM
BigKlu59 BigKlu59 is offline
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Originally Posted by Lip Man 1 View Post
Chez:

What are the ticket prices like in those markets for example? How do they compare to the Sox??

Again for seemingly the thousandth time, there is NO ONE SINGLE REASON OR ANSWER...it's all factoring in...which to my mind makes it that much harder for Brooks and company to figure out.

How do you come up with a plan where you don't know where to start?

It's not apparently, fix A, then B, then C, then D...problem solved.

It's more like, "well because of this factor we have to start with C, get that a little better than we can look at A, then mayby slide over to start on E."

I have no idea how they are going to tackle this.

I will say this though and I believe it to the core having closely watched this franchise now for 52 seasons. If they could put a run together, not get to the World Series four years in a row, just get to the playoffs four years in six...seven times in a decade (like say the Angels, or Boston or the Cardinals or Phillies something like their runs) a LOT of these issues would disappear.

I am firmly convinced of that.

Lip
Amen Brother !!! Preach on... I'm utterly convinced as well..
Lip, you found the simple answer in all of the whirlwind of rhetoric.. Fielding a consistantly winning competative team with success goals met (Post Season) WC/DC/WS and the oppourtunity to achieve them, will fill the ballpark.Winning teams dont need gimmicks or have to walk around town cap in hand.

BK59
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  #87  
Old 10-03-2012, 12:31 PM
Hitmen77 Hitmen77 is offline
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Brooks has been on cruise-control since 2006.

I've also always contended that the clown broadcast teams have done nothing but hurt trying to sell the product.
One thing I find interesting is that this is the 2nd year in a row that fans have ended up mocking the Sox's marketing slogan when all was said and done. Last year it was "ALL IN!". This year it's "APPRECIATE THE GAME!".
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  #88  
Old 10-03-2012, 01:36 PM
bunkaroo bunkaroo is offline
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One thing I find interesting is that this is the 2nd year in a row that fans have ended up mocking the Sox's marketing slogan when all was said and done. Last year it was "ALL IN!". This year it's "APPRECIATE THE GAME!".
Yeah how about no slogan next year? Seriously - who needs them.

This year's slogan reminded me of a young boy at the game bored and fidgeting, with his father yelling at him "Sit still and appreciate the game!".
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  #89  
Old 10-03-2012, 03:07 PM
jdm2662 jdm2662 is offline
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To note, in 2011 and some past years, I did buy some tickets in advance before the season started. This year? I did no such thing. Of course, part of that was because we welcomed our son to this world in early April. The other part of it was, why should I buy tickets in advance? I can get them when I want them. Despite having a limited schedule for free time, I still went to five games this year (which they won all five).

Let's face it. Last season was a complete disaster. It was the worst atmosphere at the ball park then I ever experienced in my life. And, I was lucky enough where the Sox went 6-2 in those games. I hardly was excited about this season, and so was a lot of people. I know this was talked about, but I don't think this was really covered enough.

What do the Sox need to do? Well, on the field, they need to build a foundation. Relying on the scrap heap simply only gets you so far. You can't go into a season every time and expect everyone to have career years (like 2005). The early 90s team had a solid foundation. My biggest gripe with the Kenny Williams regime is that there was no long term plans. The best businesses have both a short term and long term plan. In the short term, 2005 worked wonders. But, as we have seen, you can only go so far. Let's give Hahn a chance and see what his way of doing things. Hopefully, Williams will only oversee operations and will only provide input when he is consulted. Which, that is the role of a president.

Now, on to my last comment, which may make me unpopular. But, oh well. There seems to be quite a bit of people in the fan base who are still upset about things that happened many years ago, like 1982, for example. That was 30 years ago, and it has nothing to do with the team today. The past is also talked about as well, and it seems to be held against the organization. I was mightly pissed off about what happened in 1994. I didn't watch baseball for five years after that. But, I don't hold it against the team for TODAY's operation. It's in the past. Hell, I don't even hold them against keeping Ozzie around two years too long. He's gone now. I'm fully aware of the flaws of the state of the organzation today. That should be talked about and what needs to be done to improve it, not something that happened decades ago. If you are that upset about it, then why even bother following the team?

I'm a Bears fan first, and I despised Michael McCaskey when he ran the team. He was probably the biggest idiot I saw on television (of course, this was before reality TV)... But, he's not even with the team anymore, and hasn't run day-to-day operations in over 12 years. Hell, I've only seen his mug on TV once since his mother kicked him upstairs. But, I don't hold it against how the team is ran today. Credit/critisim is given to the people running the team TODAY. What happened over 10-15 years ago has nothing to do with the state of the team today. I can go on all day about this topic, but that's for another thread. Just using it as an example.

Whether you like him or not, probably the guy you need to bring in is John McDonnough. He may be an ******* and not liked by the Blackhawks die-hards, but the man knows marketing. Whether you like it or not, if you want to see an almost full ballpark most nights, you need to bring in such people the Cubs and Blackhawks attracted. Die-hards only get you so far.
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  #90  
Old 10-03-2012, 03:55 PM
Noneck Noneck is offline
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Whether you like him or not, probably the guy you need to bring in is John McDonnough. He may be an ******* and not liked by the Blackhawks die-hards, but the man knows marketing. Whether you like it or not, if you want to see an almost full ballpark most nights, you need to bring in such people the Cubs and Blackhawks attracted. Die-hards only get you so far.

That Sox have never hired a GM with prior GM experience. (Hemond was a carry over) GM's is this organization have to be weened and then controlled. I doubt an outsider will ever be hired under this regime.
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