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kaufsox
05-10-2011, 01:38 PM
don't know if this is taboo, but for the first time in recent memory I've seen/heard media discussing Cubs attendance. http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/05/10/bernstein-where-are-the-cub-fans/

Waddell and Silvy discussed it as well.

I'm not posting this to say, "HA, Cubs suck! Wrigley Sucks!!" but more about what's going on with the Cubs and their attendance. I think Bernstein hits a couple of key points, economy still causing difficulties, cheaper options and the like. I think the problem is, and if I'm taking a dig at anyone here it's here, the ownership and marketing operation, but mostly Rickets and his public statements. I've heard him use the term, "up against it" referring to the Cubs budget and "economic realities." Both of these phrases, to my ear anyway, is codespeak for crying poor, which true or not, don't match the perception of the Cubs and I think that's a little off putting to fans. Further, all of this talk of public money and improvements to the park is alienating fans. Again, I hate to agree with Boers and Bernstein, but if all the argument basically boils down to, "you paid for the Bears and White Sox, now it's our turn" isn't going to work. Some kind of leverage is needed in these kind of negotiations and it's also not a good idea to bring it up in the aforementioned crappy economy. Finally, about Rickets anyway, and again this is my perception, but he comes off as a smarmy, entitled jerk. As much as he wants to connect with fans, he just can't and he really shouldn't try. The last thing I think the Cubs have been doing wrong, and I'm sure many of my fellow Sox fans will loathe, is that the Cubs SHOULD NOT market baseball. Pictures of Pujols and Fielder aren't what built the Wrigley fan base, it was sunshine and fun, baseball was the afterthought. I'm sure when the weather warms up, folks will go to Wrigley, but I think the image problem the Cubs are creating is their biggest handicap going forward.

doublem23
05-10-2011, 01:42 PM
We've already had some discussion about this topic, but yeah, the general consensus seems to be the trust fund babies running the show now are not setting the world on fire with their business management skills.

Also, the Cubs suck.

ewokpelts
05-10-2011, 02:03 PM
always worth a laff when the media ****s thier pants when the cubs dont draw these days

WhiffleBall
05-10-2011, 02:20 PM
I think the Cubs attendance issue has a lot less to do with the Ricketts then it does with the current state of the economy. The Ricketts have made no major changes for the better or worse. Fans are just being more pickey about how they spend their entertainment dollars. It's happening all over MLB, Yanks tix for a dollar on stubhub, Fenway 2/3 empty after a few innings, etc. Even bulls playoff tickets are selling below face value. Once the economy picks up and if the Ricketts wisely spend the $60 million coming off the books next year then attendance at Wrigley will improve.

The biggest losers here are Cubs season ticket holders. It seems like 3 out of 5 ads on craigslist are for cubs tickets. Lots of season ticket holders dumping their tickets. Prices for Yanks and Sox at Wrigley are no where near what they would have been in the past. Cubs vs Cards tix are selling way below face value.

If the Sox go into rebuilding mode next year and the economy stays the same or gets worse then (as we all know) attendance will be ridiculously bad. Let's hope they pick things up enough to make it at least interesting but hopefully more! If the Bulls get knocked out of the playoffs then there will be a void this summer for many Chicagoland sports fans and the better baseball team will see a lot of their dollars.

DumpJerry
05-10-2011, 03:31 PM
Attendance in MLB is down generally. It's not just the Cubs.

ewokpelts
05-10-2011, 03:34 PM
I think the Cubs attendance issue has a lot less to do with the Ricketts then it does with the current state of the economy. The Ricketts have made no major changes for the better or worse. Fans are just being more pickey about how they spend their entertainment dollars. It's happening all over MLB, Yanks tix for a dollar on stubhub, Fenway 2/3 empty after a few innings, etc. Even bulls playoff tickets are selling below face value. Once the economy picks up and if the Ricketts wisely spend the $60 million coming off the books next year then attendance at Wrigley will improve.

The biggest losers here are Cubs season ticket holders. It seems like 3 out of 5 ads on craigslist are for cubs tickets. Lots of season ticket holders dumping their tickets. Prices for Yanks and Sox at Wrigley are no where near what they would have been in the past. Cubs vs Cards tix are selling way below face value.

If the Sox go into rebuilding mode next year and the economy stays the same or gets worse then (as we all know) attendance will be ridiculously bad. Let's hope they pick things up enough to make it at least interesting but hopefully more! If the Bulls get knocked out of the playoffs then there will be a void this summer for many Chicagoland sports fans and the better baseball team will see a lot of their dollars.bulls STH playoff tickets have a lower face value than those sold to the public.

doublem23
05-10-2011, 03:47 PM
Attendance in MLB is down generally. It's not just the Cubs.

Yeah, but the Cubs are down big time from 2010. Attendance across the league is down 640 fans per game, the Cubs are down over 3,500 per game, and only the Dodgers, Rays, Mariners, and Braves have seen steeper declines from 2010 to 2011.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/current_attendance.shtml

DumpJerry
05-10-2011, 03:51 PM
Yeah, but the Cubs are down big time from 2010. Attendance across the league is down 640 fans per game, the Cubs are down over 3,500 per game, and only the Dodgers, Rays, Mariners, and Braves have seen steeper declines from 2010 to 2011.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/current_attendance.shtml
Wow. The White Sox at being down 641 fans per game are right at the average for MLB. Now that we're on a 30 game winning streak, that number will improve.

miker
05-10-2011, 04:32 PM
Yeah, but the Cubs are down big time from 2010. Attendance across the league is down 640 fans per game, the Cubs are down over 3,500 per game, and only the Dodgers, Rays, Mariners, and Braves have seen steeper declines from 2010 to 2011.

You know this wouldn't be happening if the Trib was still in charge...they'd have this story buried in the Deep Tunnel and eliminate any one else who'd try to report it.

jdm2662
05-10-2011, 04:38 PM
This has been discussed before. The myth that the Cubs always sold out every game was just that, a myth. They didn't max their season tickets until after the 2003 season. Sure, they always drew good crowds in the summer months and weekends, but smaller crowds during April and May day games weren't uncommon. And, from the very few games I always watched, the announced attendence was much higher than actual people in seats. The scalpers aren't getting many bites. It also doesn't help I know many Cub fans who are fed up with them, and aren't exactly flocking the park.

And I like going to sporting events as much as the next guy. Howveer, it's just too damn expensive to go more than every so often. It's just the reality of life. It's no accident attendance is down across MLB.

amsteel
05-10-2011, 05:03 PM
I think where the Cubs are hurting themselves is in their price restructuring:

More cheap games in April and May, great!
72$ for the bleachers against the Marlins? MAJOR BUMMER!

They can advertise that their average ticket price was the same or only slightly went up by increasing the number of bronze level games, but by wayyyyyyy jacking up the premium games. 100$ for the bleachers against NYY and the Sox seems insane, but they're currently all sold. Of course I wouldn't doubt to see a bunch get released closer to the game dates. There seems to be a lack of transparency when it comes to ticket sales with the Cubs. Rather, a greater lack of transparency compared to other teams.

Like the article said if the Cubs think they have a shot at a major signing(s) next off season, they need asses in seats. Especially the bleachers, especially during the summer.

Also, the idea that MLB advanced media as an alternative to people being in the parks is bull****. What team do fans want to watch? The team that they are fans of. Where do the fans primarily live? In/near the city the team plays in. Where are teams blacked out? Home markets. MLBAM is good for baseball fans who will consume all media available, it's not good for the casual fan/family who want to spend their weekends (and in turn $) at the park.

Foulke You
05-10-2011, 05:17 PM
always worth a laff when the media ****s thier pants when the cubs dont draw these days
The attendance was by far their #1 source of pride so it is alarming to them when they see it falter like this.

Fenway
05-10-2011, 05:25 PM
I think where Ricketts is in trouble is his debt service on the team - it is a major nut the Tribune never had to worry about.

Then since he took over he raised ticket prices in a way that even the most loyal fan said huh?

MLB is down partly because weather in the NE and Midwest has been awful all spring.....

fox23
05-10-2011, 05:46 PM
bulls STH playoff tickets have a lower face value than those sold to the public.

And the only ones going below face are terrible seats in the upper corners. Any decent seat is going for at least 2x face.

ZombieRob
05-10-2011, 09:12 PM
And the only ones going below face are terrible seats in the upper corners. Any decent seat is going for at least 2x face.
Ticket Prices, Gas, and an iffy economy to blame IMO.

LongLiveFisk
05-10-2011, 11:28 PM
I think where Ricketts is in trouble is his debt service on the team - it is a major nut the Tribune never had to worry about.

Then since he took over he raised ticket prices in a way that even the most loyal fan said huh?

MLB is down partly because weather in the NE and Midwest has been awful all spring.....

I think there's a lot of truth to this statement. Some of those Sox games on cold, wet nights (and days) would have had some very nice walkup numbers if only the weather had cooperated.

ChiSoxGirl
05-11-2011, 07:40 AM
To use one of John Rooney's lines, "There were a lot of people dressed as seats" at last night's game against the Cardinals. It wasn't too long ago that there wasn't a seat to be had at the Shrine when St. Louis came to town. You can't really blame the weather last night, either. It seems the times are changing....

soxnut1018
05-11-2011, 08:27 AM
To use one of John Rooney's lines, "There were a lot of people dressed as seats" at last night's game against the Cardinals. It wasn't too long ago that there wasn't a seat to be had at the Shrine when St. Louis came to town. You can't really blame the weather last night, either. It seems the times are changing....

I'd imagine that the Bulls game had something to do with all the empty seats.

Fenway
05-11-2011, 08:32 AM
I'd imagine that the Bulls game had something to do with all the empty seats.

The Cubs could just put the Bulls up on the scoreboard - oh wait
http://www.boston.com/sports/blogs/thebuzz/May11sports/13_fenway.jpg

kittle42
05-11-2011, 09:25 AM
I'd imagine that the Bulls game had something to do with all the empty seats.

I don't really think so. Even two years ago, the place would have been packed for a Cubs/Cards night game with great weather, no matter what else was on.

ewokpelts
05-11-2011, 09:45 AM
I think where Ricketts is in trouble is his debt service on the team - it is a major nut the Tribune never had to worry about.

Then since he took over he raised ticket prices in a way that even the most loyal fan said huh?

MLB is down partly because weather in the NE and Midwest has been awful all spring.....dont forget the phantom increase due to them charging tax above face value. your $10 ticket is now $11.20, where it was $8.92 with the tax being $1.08.

ewokpelts
05-11-2011, 09:46 AM
And the only ones going below face are terrible seats in the upper corners. Any decent seat is going for at least 2x face.
SRO tix arent really doing so well either.

ewokpelts
05-11-2011, 09:47 AM
the cubs could just put the bulls up on the scoreboard - oh wait
http://www.boston.com/sports/blogs/thebuzz/may11sports/13_fenway.jpg


ba-zing!

ewokpelts
05-11-2011, 09:48 AM
I don't really think so. Even two years ago, the place would have been packed for a Cubs/Cards night game with great weather, no matter what else was on.um..what should i do? pay up the nose to watch a sub .500 baseball team, or sit at home and watch the bulls in the playoffs for free?

DumpJerry
05-11-2011, 09:56 AM
I'd imagine that the Bulls game had something to do with all the empty seats.
Last night's Bulls game was not a clinching game. Anyway, Cub fans all carry five Smart Phones and six iPhones to stay on top of the latest beer specials, they could follow the Bulls game on one of those.

Also, the good part of the Bulls game took place after the Cubs game ended in the 7th. Cub games do end in the 7th, right? That's why everyone leaves......

miker
05-11-2011, 10:22 AM
um..what should i do? pay up the nose to watch a sub .500 baseball team, or sit at home and watch the bulls in the playoffs for free?

Don't they just go for the "Wrigley Field experience?":puking:

PatK
05-11-2011, 10:43 AM
Economy and weather have been bad, and the Cubs haven't played too hot either.

You'll see attendance pick up when school lets out.

kittle42
05-11-2011, 12:07 PM
You'll see attendance pick up when school lets out.

Yes! The old Sox fan mantra!

PatK
05-11-2011, 02:40 PM
Yes! The old Sox fan mantra!

Someone had to do it

Hitmen77
05-11-2011, 03:58 PM
This has been discussed before. The myth that the Cubs always sold out every game was just that, a myth. They didn't max their season tickets until after the 2003 season. Sure, they always drew good crowds in the summer months and weekends, but smaller crowds during April and May day games weren't uncommon. And, from the very few games I always watched, the announced attendence was much higher than actual people in seats. The scalpers aren't getting many bites. It also doesn't help I know many Cub fans who are fed up with them, and aren't exactly flocking the park.

And I like going to sporting events as much as the next guy. Howveer, it's just too damn expensive to go more than every so often. It's just the reality of life. It's no accident attendance is down across MLB.

Bingo. It's not like 2003 was a long time ago either. I find it puzzling that people seem to think the Cubs have always sold out (even in April and May) "forever"(:rolleyes:)

The Cubs got an attendance bump beginning in 1998 when Wrigley became the Sammy Sosa McSteroids Show. Just as his culthood among Cubs fans was flaming out, the team went one game away from the World Series and that boosted ticket demand once again.

When people say Cubs fans show up and fill up Wrigley even with though the Cubs are "always" bad, they make it sound like the Cubs are always in last place. The fact is that, over the last 10 years or so, they've kept themselves in contention enough times to avoid serious erosion of ticket demand (until now).

The most recent threat to Cubs ticket sales was in late 2006 when the Cubs lost 96 games while the Sox were finishing their season-long WS victory lap. At the end of '06, empty seats appeared at late season Wrigley games (mostly no-shows). That lit a fire under the Trib to go on a spending spree and hand out huge contracts that they knew would be the problem for the next ownership. This bought them back into the playoffs for 2 years. Now the bad economy and a mediocre team is catching up with them.

Despite what some people think, there are plenty of Cubs fans that are like Sox fans (and fans elsewhere): 1) they find it hard to spend $200 on tickets to take their family to a game when the economy is bad and the weather is bad and 2) they're fed up with paying to watch a bad team. The big difference is that there are just more Cubs fans around to pick up the slack and also (until now) demand has been good and people buying Cubs tickets have felt confident that they could unload them at a good price.

Hitmen77
05-11-2011, 04:05 PM
I think where Ricketts is in trouble is his debt service on the team - it is a major nut the Tribune never had to worry about.

Then since he took over he raised ticket prices in a way that even the most loyal fan said huh?

MLB is down partly because weather in the NE and Midwest has been awful all spring.....

I wonder how that's going to affect their pursuit of free agents this next offseason. I won't feel too sorry about his debt service if he can find enough money to keep the Cubs at one of the top payrolls in the NL.

Red Barchetta
05-11-2011, 04:23 PM
Bingo. It's not like 2003 was a long time ago either. I find it puzzling that people seem to think the Cubs have always sold out (even in April and May) "forever"(:rolleyes:)

The Cubs got an attendance bump beginning in 1998 when Wrigley became the Sammy Sosa McSteroids Show. Just as his culthood among Cubs fans was flaming out, the team went one game away from the World Series and that boosted ticket demand once again.

When people say Cubs fans show up and fill up Wrigley even with though the Cubs are "always" bad, they make it sound like the Cubs are always in last place. The fact is that, over the last 10 years or so, they've kept themselves in contention enough times to avoid serious erosion of ticket demand (until now).

The most recent threat to Cubs ticket sales was in late 2006 when the Cubs lost 96 games while the Sox were finishing their season-long WS victory lap. At the end of '06, empty seats appeared at late season Wrigley games (mostly no-shows). That lit a fire under the Trib to go on a spending spree and hand out huge contracts that they knew would be the problem for the next ownership. This bought them back into the playoffs for 2 years. Now the bad economy and a mediocre team is catching up with them.

Despite what some people think, there are plenty of Cubs fans that are like Sox fans (and fans elsewhere): 1) they find it hard to spend $200 on tickets to take their family to a game when the economy is bad and the weather is bad and 2) they're fed up with paying to watch a bad team. The big difference is that there are just more Cubs fans around to pick up the slack and also (until now) demand has been good and people buying Cubs tickets have felt confident that they could unload them at a good price.

I agree. Plus you will always have the out of town "Wrigley Visitor" who shows up because he is supposed to when in Chicago and the Cubs are playing. The Tribune marketed the ballpark more than the team and what was once an old, outdated ballpark with no lights, is now a treasured baseball shrine. At least from a national media perspective.

I am old enough to remember the upper deck being closed during the Dave Kingman era due to lack of attendance. I remember going with youth group buses and the place was 1/2 empty while the Pirates were knocking the Cubs around.

It's sad the SOX are not giving Chicago a better alternative right now...

Bruizer
05-11-2011, 04:56 PM
Well my attendance at Wrigley is down. Haven't been to a single game there this year! :cool:

Dan H
05-11-2011, 08:27 PM
I think there are many reasons for a decline in Cubs attendance. One is 2008. The team won 97 games and then rolled over in the playoffs. There was something about that 100-year mark that really turned some people off. Even Cub fans can lose patience and a century without a World Championship has a huge stigma.

Red Barchetta
05-11-2011, 09:42 PM
I think there are many reasons for a decline in Cubs attendance. One is 2008. The team won 97 games and then rolled over in the playoffs. There was something about that 100-year mark that really turned some people off. Even Cub fans can lose patience and a century without a World Championship has a huge stigma.

What I also noticed was that Cub fans realized after watching the SOX win the WS in 2005, that winning a division was no longer enough. Even though they sported the best record in the NL, they knew it did not mean anything until they at least got to the World Series. Then, after watching their team completely roll over in the divisional series and get swept, they really got quiet.

g0g0
05-12-2011, 08:13 AM
I think there are many reasons for a decline in Cubs attendance. One is 2008. The team won 97 games and then rolled over in the playoffs. There was something about that 100-year mark that really turned some people off. Even Cub fans can lose patience and a century without a World Championship has a huge stigma.

What I also noticed was that Cub fans realized after watching the SOX win the WS in 2005, that winning a division was no longer enough. Even though they sported the best record in the NL, they knew it did not mean anything until they at least got to the World Series. Then, after watching their team completely roll over in the divisional series and get swept, they really got quiet.

+1 I took a year off from watching them after that. You can't expect to win a ring every year unless you are a Yankees fan, but to not take advantage of those few and far between times when you have a chance is horrible. It seemed like instead of playing their hearts our, they thought it was just a "team of destiny" thing or something - like everything was going to fall into place. 2003/2008 really knocked the wind out of fans.

PatK
05-12-2011, 12:14 PM
Bingo. It's not like 2003 was a long time ago either. I find it puzzling that people seem to think the Cubs have always sold out (even in April and May) "forever"(:rolleyes:)

The Cubs got an attendance bump beginning in 1998 when Wrigley became the Sammy Sosa McSteroids Show. Just as his culthood among Cubs fans was flaming out, the team went one game away from the World Series and that boosted ticket demand once again.

When people say Cubs fans show up and fill up Wrigley even with though the Cubs are "always" bad, they make it sound like the Cubs are always in last place. The fact is that, over the last 10 years or so, they've kept themselves in contention enough times to avoid serious erosion of ticket demand (until now).

The most recent threat to Cubs ticket sales was in late 2006 when the Cubs lost 96 games while the Sox were finishing their season-long WS victory lap. At the end of '06, empty seats appeared at late season Wrigley games (mostly no-shows). That lit a fire under the Trib to go on a spending spree and hand out huge contracts that they knew would be the problem for the next ownership. This bought them back into the playoffs for 2 years. Now the bad economy and a mediocre team is catching up with them.

Despite what some people think, there are plenty of Cubs fans that are like Sox fans (and fans elsewhere): 1) they find it hard to spend $200 on tickets to take their family to a game when the economy is bad and the weather is bad and 2) they're fed up with paying to watch a bad team. The big difference is that there are just more Cubs fans around to pick up the slack and also (until now) demand has been good and people buying Cubs tickets have felt confident that they could unload them at a good price.

Good post.

I moved into Lakeview in 1995 and for the next 3 years, you could walk up at game time and get awesome seats. Even in 1998.

Then came 1999, where the Cubs had their worst record in 20 years, yet the set their attendance record.

ewokpelts
05-12-2011, 01:05 PM
Good post.

I moved into Lakeview in 1995 and for the next 3 years, you could walk up at game time and get awesome seats. Even in 1998.

Then came 1999, where the Cubs had their worst record in 20 years, yet the set their attendance record.1999 was also the first year of the wristband crap.

miker
05-12-2011, 01:08 PM
Then came 1999, where the Cubs had their worst record in 20 years, yet the set their attendance record.

Doesn't that tell you everything you need to know about the Lovable Losers' fandom?

kittle42
05-12-2011, 01:12 PM
Doesn't that tell you everything you need to know about the Lovable Losers' fandom?

But, but, but - Shut Up and Drink Your Beer!

WhiteSox5187
05-12-2011, 01:28 PM
1999 was also the first year of the wristband crap.

I wonder if that is when the Chad and Trixie boom started. I am taking classes at iO right now (which is practically across the street from Wrigley) and my teacher was saying how the explosion of the bar scene around Wrigleyville is a fairly recent phenomena that dates back only about 15 years or so.

ewokpelts
05-12-2011, 01:33 PM
I wonder if that is when the Chad and Trixie boom started. I am taking classes at iO right now (which is practically across the street from Wrigley) and my teacher was saying how the explosion of the bar scene around Wrigleyville is a fairly recent phenomena that dates back only about 15 years or so.1998 started the over the top party atmosphere at wrigley year round.

SOXPHILE
05-12-2011, 01:52 PM
1998 started the over the top party atmosphere at wrigley year round.

Actually, it's a little older than that. 1984.

As others have already pointed out, Wrigley used to have closed upper decks during day games in the middle of summer. 1984 was like somebody flipped a switch. There have been some down years, then bumps after those down years, like 1998, 2003, etc. The most recent bump has been since 2006, as was also pointed out, the Sox had won the WS the year before, and were playing a 90 win victory lap season. Cubs attendance was down, but following that year, they got guys like Soriano, and the party was back on in 2007.

Now that they have passed the 100 year championship drought mark, and after having another down, sub .500 season last year, it has continued into this year. Bad weather, shaky economy, high prices, a jackass owner, and bad sub .500 baseball have combined to form the "perfect storm" so to speak this year. The buzz, the "It" that people say exists around The Urinal and the surrounding neighborhood is not quite there right now. Now, whether it reverts to pre-1984 levels, I don't know. That would be a very steep fall, that I think would take more than a couple of years of bad Cubs baseball. Another White Sox playoff run (and World Series championship) would help to expedite this, as would more success for the Bulls, Bears and Blackhawks. Last year, I was at the friday night Sox-Yankees game when they brought out the four trophies- Sox World Series trophy, Bears SB XX trophy, one of the Bulls NBA Championship trophies, and the Stanley Cup. They had a representative from each team on the field with each trophy, and also during the game, on the scoreboard, had a cool pic of all four trophies side by side, with the Sox, Bears, Bulls and Blackhawks logos above them. One of the things I remember thinking on that awesome night, and I even mentioned it to one of the people I was with, was that looking at all that is quite a kick in the crotch to the Cubs and their fans. They were figuratively and literally not even in the picture. They were as irrelevant as could possibly be. It was a great moment for Chicago's four sports teams, and inadvertently, kind of an embarrassing moment for the Cubs.

ewokpelts
05-12-2011, 01:57 PM
Actually, it's a little older than that. 1984.

As others have already pointed out, Wrigley used to have closed upper decks during day games in the middle of summer. 1984 was like somebody flipped a switch. There have been some down years, then bumps after those down years, like 1998, 2003, etc. The most recent bump has been since 2006, as was also pointed out, the Sox had won the WS the year before, and were playing a 90 win victory lap season. Cubs attendance was down, but following that year, they got guys like Soriano, and the party was back on in 2007.

Now that they have passed the 100 year championship drought mark, and after having another down, sub .500 season last year, it has continued into this year. Bad weather, shaky economy, high prices, a jackass owner, and bad sub .500 baseball have combined to form the "perfect storm" so to speak this year. The buzz, the "It" that people say exists around The Urinal and the surrounding neighborhood is not quite there right now. Now, whether it reverts to pre-1984 levels, I don't know. That would be a very steep fall, that I think would take more than a couple of years of bad Cubs baseball. Another White Sox playoff run (and World Series championship) would help to expedite this, as would more success for the Bulls, Bears and Blackhawks. Last year, I was at the friday night Sox-Yankees game when they brought out the four trophies- Sox World Series trophy, Bears SB XX trophy, one of the Bulls NBA Championship trophies, and the Stanley Cup. They had a representative from each team on the field with each trophy, and also during the game, on the scoreboard, had a cool pic of all four trophies side by side, with the Sox, Bears, Bulls and Blackhawks logos above them. One of the things I remember thinking on that awesome night, and I even mentioned it to one of the people I was with, was that looking at all that is quite a kick in the crotch to the Cubs and their fans. They were figuratively and literally not even in the picture. They were as irrelevant as could possibly be. It was a great moment for Chicago's four sports teams, and inadvertently, kind of an embarrassing moment for the Cubs. the neighbor hood was still pretty ****ty before 1997. by the time summer 1999, there were bars literally next to each other within a 3 block radius of the park.

kittle42
05-12-2011, 01:58 PM
Now that they have passed the 100 year championship drought mark, and after having another down, sub .500 season last year, it has continued into this year. Bad weather, shaky economy, high prices, a jackass owner, and bad sub .500 baseball have combined to form the "perfect storm" so to speak this year. The buzz, the "It" that people say exists around The Urinal and the surrounding neighborhood is not quite there right now. Now, whether it reverts to pre-1984 levels, I don't know. That would be a very steep fall, that I think would take more than a couple of years of bad Cubs baseball. Another White Sox playoff run (and World Series championship) would help to expedite this, as would more success for the Bulls, Bears and Blackhawks.

Very well-stated. Who knows - maybe if the economy was better, the Cubs would still be selling out. But all the factors above, combined with the fact that at least the "real" Cubs fans have started to get pretty damn pissed, finally, about the Lovable Loser garbage, has indeed led to a falloff there. Almost all teams would kill to have the Cubs' attendance "problem," but for the Cubs, it is indeed that.

kittle42
05-12-2011, 01:59 PM
the neighbor hood was still pretty ****ty before 1997. by the time summer 1999, there were bars literally next to each other within a 3 block radius of the park.

True - walk around the neighborhood and look at the "EST." date on the signs for the bars. So many of them went up between 1997-2003 or so.

ewokpelts
05-12-2011, 02:09 PM
True - walk around the neighborhood and look at the "EST." date on the signs for the bars. So many of them went up between 1997-2003 or so.and those are the ones that have LASTED all these years. i see plenty of places change YEAR TO YEAR.

kittle42
05-12-2011, 02:22 PM
and those are the ones that have LASTED all these years. i see plenty of places change YEAR TO YEAR.

Yeah, I think it has been tough for a lot of the new places to compete. Of course, when you are opening a bar that operates within two blocks of 20+ bars, what can you really offer to win people over?

SOXPHILE
05-12-2011, 02:22 PM
and those are the ones that have LASTED all these years. i see plenty of places change YEAR TO YEAR.

Yes, more bars per square inch have sprung up in that neighborhood since 97/98, but I also spent more than a few friday and saturday nights in that neighborhood in the early 90's, many not even during the baseball season, and it was still fun. There were still plenty of places one could go pre and post game (or no games at all) for drunken debauchery. I'll grant you, it's even MORE so now and in the last 10+ years than it was back then, but my point is that it was 1984 when it began. Prior to that, the neighborhood had a couple of bars, like Ray's Bleachers (now Murphy's) that one could go to pre and post game, and that was it. There was no mini-Marte Gras in the neighborhood, with the 20 somethings and tourists wandering around, not even a bock or two from the park. 10,000 people would show up for the Cubs game, then 98% of them would go home when it was over. Some diehards would go to the few bars in the 1 or two block radius, and that would be it.

DumpJerry
05-12-2011, 02:23 PM
Wild Hare is shutting down. End of an era and it will cause a 90% reduction in foot traffic in the area.

C-Dawg
05-12-2011, 02:45 PM
Wild Hare is shutting down. End of an era and it will cause a 90% reduction in foot traffic in the area.

Is that the reggae place? That place rocks!

I've only been to the Wrigley Field Experience twice as an adult (after a 24-year lapse) and went to that place each time.

DumpJerry
05-12-2011, 02:51 PM
Is that the reggae place? That place rocks!

I've only been to the Wrigley Field Experience twice as an adult (after a 24-year lapse) and went to that place each time.
Yup, Wild Hare is the reggae place. There was a story in the Tribune 2-3 weeks ago. (http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-04-18/entertainment/ct-live-0419-jazz-wild-hare-20110418_1_reggae-music-tuff-gong-exedus-ii) The owner is moving back to his home, so the place is closing up. It was a fun place to unwind on the weekends, it will be missed.

voodoochile
05-12-2011, 03:10 PM
Last night's Bulls game was not a clinching game. Anyway, Cub fans all carry five Smart Phones and six iPhones to stay on top of the latest beer specials, they could follow the Bulls game on one of those.

Also, the good part of the Bulls game took place after the Cubs game ended in the 7th. Cub games do end in the 7th, right? That's why everyone leaves......

It was a game 5 in a tied best of 7 series. That's a major draw.

voodoochile
05-12-2011, 03:16 PM
Good post.

I moved into Lakeview in 1995 and for the next 3 years, you could walk up at game time and get awesome seats. Even in 1998.

Then came 1999, where the Cubs had their worst record in 20 years, yet the set their attendance record.

Well to be picky, they did make the playoffs in 1998 and they were in the middle of the ShamME* HR binge years. So there were a TON of preseason tickets sold I'm sure.

It's not about how they finished that year, it's about how they finished the previous one. Presale tickets still count as attendance...

PatK
05-12-2011, 03:47 PM
Yes, more bars per square inch have sprung up in that neighborhood since 97/98, but I also spent more than a few friday and saturday nights in that neighborhood in the early 90's, many not even during the baseball season, and it was still fun. There were still plenty of places one could go pre and post game (or no games at all) for drunken debauchery. I'll grant you, it's even MORE so now and in the last 10+ years than it was back then, but my point is that it was 1984 when it began. Prior to that, the neighborhood had a couple of bars, like Ray's Bleachers (now Murphy's) that one could go to pre and post game, and that was it. There was no mini-Marte Gras in the neighborhood, with the 20 somethings and tourists wandering around, not even a bock or two from the park. 10,000 people would show up for the Cubs game, then 98% of them would go home when it was over. Some diehards would go to the few bars in the 1 or two block radius, and that would be it.

Yeah, I reached legal drinking age in the early 90's (91) and the next to the Lincoln Park/DePaul area, Wrigleyville had pretty much the most nightspots to hit if you were a young-20 something.

Red Barchetta
05-12-2011, 04:56 PM
+1 I took a year off from watching them after that. You can't expect to win a ring every year unless you are a Yankees fan, but to not take advantage of those few and far between times when you have a chance is horrible. It seemed like instead of playing their hearts our, they thought it was just a "team of destiny" thing or something - like everything was going to fall into place. 2003/2008 really knocked the wind out of fans.

When you compare the attitude of the average Cub fan in 2003 and then again in 2008, it was an entirely different attitude. Granted, they went further into the playoffs in 2003 and were 3 innings away from going to the World Series, however even with the best record in the National League in 2008 and Lou Pinella at the helm, there was guarded optimism among Cub fans trying not to get too "up" compared to the team of destiny euphoria that surrounded them in 2003.

I remember watching the Bartmann game with my Cub-loving brother-in-law. The look on his face of impending doom was there before Gonzalez made the next error. He was literally sick to his stomach and looked like a little kid about to cry when the Marlins knocked out Kerry Wood in game 7. Just three days earlier, he was waving the Cub flag, happy that the Cubs were coming home to win the series instead of on the road in Florida. There was "No way the Marlins are going to come into Wrigley Field and beat both Prior and Wood!" :rolleyes:

...and at the time, as a baseball fan, I thought he was right.

Hitmen77
05-13-2011, 08:53 PM
Yeah, but the Cubs are down big time from 2010. Attendance across the league is down 640 fans per game, the Cubs are down over 3,500 per game, and only the Dodgers, Rays, Mariners, and Braves have seen steeper declines from 2010 to 2011.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/current_attendance.shtml

Here's an article about the Dodgers attendance decline (down over 7,000 per game from last year):

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/05/13/dodgers-attendance-is-down-over-7000-per-game/

this article is linked in the NBC Sports one above:
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/dodgers/2011/05/attendance-at-dodger-stadium-continues-to-plunge.html

Dan H
05-14-2011, 08:04 AM
The Cubs still don't have attendance problems other teams have and probably never will. However, unless the team gets to the World Series soon, I think the fairy tale over there is done. Eventually Wrigley will have to be renovated and Cub fans might not like the results. Winning will become even more important and I have little faith in this new ownership to deliver.

LongLiveFisk
05-14-2011, 09:42 AM
Actually, it's a little older than that. 1984.

That is correct.

roylestillman
05-14-2011, 10:06 AM
The Cubs still don't have attendance problems other teams have and probably never will. However, unless the team gets to the World Series soon, I think the fairy tale over there is done. Eventually Wrigley will have to be renovated and Cub fans might not like the results. Winning will become even more important and I have little faith in this new ownership to deliver.

The trouble is that the Ricketts have a business plan, a payroll and a huge debt payment based upon a flawed assumption that 3 million will continue to come through the turnstyles. Things could get ugly fast if they start missing that assumption by 300,000 or so.

Fenway
05-14-2011, 10:21 AM
Cubs surge in attendance going back to 1984 can be traced to a few things

http://www.sonsofsamhorn.net/wiki/images/6/68/HarryCaray.jpg
His going north..and Sportsvision changed the balance

PLUS WGN-TV became a superstation and at the time were a far better product than Atlanta

http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2011/02/10/alg_ferris-bueller.jpg
This movie created an illusion - do not underestimate the impact it made around the Midwest ( and the country )

To a lessor extent
http://www.bluesbrotherscentral.com/images/scmods/scenes/the-blues-brothers/like-a-rash.jpg
Of course we find out 25 years late that a sentence was cut from the final print
http://www.indyprops.com/pp-elwood-id1.jpg
Jake - 1060 W Addison? That's Wrigley Field ( snip ) That is the last place they would find us, we are White Sox fans.

and finally
http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/david-kaplan-chicago-sports/sp_all_.jpg

But now it is starting to finally crash and burn

LITTLE NELL
05-15-2011, 08:05 PM
Here's an article about the Dodgers attendance decline (down over 7,000 per game from last year):

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/05/13/dodgers-attendance-is-down-over-7000-per-game/

this article is linked in the NBC Sports one above:
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/dodgers/2011/05/attendance-at-dodger-stadium-continues-to-plunge.html

The Angels are outdrawing the Dodgers this year, I may be wrong but I don't remember that ever happening since the Angels were granted an AL franchise in 1961.

PKalltheway
05-15-2011, 08:26 PM
The Angels are outdrawing the Dodgers this year, I may be wrong but I don't remember that ever happening since the Angels were granted an AL franchise in 1961.
It hasn't. From what I could see, the closest the Angels came to outdrawing the Dodgers was in 1987.

Angels 1987 attendance: 2,696,299 (average of 33,298 per game)
Dodgers 1987 attendance: 2,797,409 (average of 34,536 per game)