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Lip Man 1
09-27-2012, 05:58 PM
Folks:

I was interviewed for the segment today by Michael Puente. He told me the segment on the Sox and their attendance issues will run as part of the local 'All Things Considered' segment twice between the hours of about 4:30 and 6:30 Chicago time Friday.

He said the finished piece will run five to six minutes.

He also said that when it was completed he'd send me a link which I'll include in this thread if you are interested or can't listen to the original broadcast.

I have no idea how much or how little they'll use from me, but it was nice to be contacted. Puente said he's been a Sox fan for years by the way so we'll see what angle he takes on this.

Here is the station info:

Michael Puente| Reporter, WBEZ 91.5 FM Chicago Public Media
Listen online at http://www.wbez.org/ (http://www.wbez.org/)

Lip

Mr. Jinx
09-27-2012, 06:29 PM
Sounds cool. I'll have to listen, although I suspect you mean NPR :wink:

Lip Man 1
09-27-2012, 06:33 PM
Yo're right, my bad. Perhaps a mod can fix the title.

Lip

roylestillman
09-27-2012, 07:03 PM
Will be listening.

Maybe during the off season, and with mods permission, we could have a civil, measured discussion of the attendance issue. I don't want to start it here, but I have to say a lot of my opinions I had at the beginning of the year have changed.

Hitmen77
09-27-2012, 08:23 PM
Folks:

I was interviewed for the segment today by Michael Puente. He told me the segment on the Sox and their attendance issues will run as part of the local 'All Things Considered' segment twice between the hours of about 4:30 and 6:30 Chicago time Friday.

He said the finished piece will run five to six minutes.

He also said that when it was completed he'd send me a link which I'll include in this thread if you are interested or can't listen to the original broadcast.

I have no idea how much or how little they'll use from me, but it was nice to be contacted. Puente said he's been a Sox fan for years by the way so we'll see what angle he takes on this.

Here is the station info:

Michael Puente| Reporter, WBEZ 91.5 FM Chicago Public Media
Listen online at http://www.wbez.org/ (http://www.wbez.org/)

Lip

When I read the thread title and saw it said "story on Sox runs", I thought it was going to be a story on how this team lives and (now) dies with the long ball. :redface:

I probably won't be able to listen to the original broadcast so I look forward to the link.

ChiSoxFann
09-27-2012, 08:47 PM
Will be listening.

Maybe during the off season, and with mods permission, we could have a civil, measured discussion of the attendance issue. I don't want to start it here, but I have to say a lot of my opinions I had at the beginning of the year have changed.


I thought the posters on this board had a great discussion about attendance issues, ticket prices, marketing the team, etc. earlier this year and I'm glad the mods let it slide. I had my own opinions, but it's great to see how everyone else feels about all that stuff.

I definitely think another one this off-season won't hurt. I just hope the people viewing this site from 35th St. would pay attention.

thomas35forever
09-27-2012, 09:23 PM
I'll be working, but hope it's good.

Mr. Jinx
09-27-2012, 09:27 PM
Yo're right, my bad. Perhaps a mod can fix the title.

Lip

Ha ha, just giving you ****. Looking forward to putting a voice with a name now!

Nellie_Fox
09-28-2012, 12:07 AM
Yo're right, my bad. Perhaps a mod can fix the title.

LipTaken care of.

Madvora
09-28-2012, 07:42 AM
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.

Golden Sox
09-28-2012, 08:49 AM
Taking everything into account, I'm surprised the White Sox draw as well as they do. Years ago former writer/ life long White Sox fan Bill Gleason said he never thought the White Sox would draw a million people a year at Comiskey Park.(Keep in mind he grew up in the 1930's) I never thought the White Sox would draw 2 million people a year and then have people say they have an attendance problem. When you stop and consider the fact that the White Sox fan base is no longer on the Southside of Chicago and the high ticket prices(especially for the prime games) have kept the crowds down I don't think they're attendance is all that bad. The Cell should of never been built at its present location and having the 4th highest ticket prices in MLB hasn't helped matters.

doublem23
09-28-2012, 09:19 AM
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.

Lip Man 1
09-28-2012, 09:32 AM
Two thoughts:

1. In a story done by reporter Ted Gregory on this subject for the Tribune on September 1st, he quoted a Cub official directly as saying that 40% of overall Cub attendance comes from tourists. That's a sizable amount to pad attendance.

I posted a summery of the story since it was a "members only" feature and it might have been missed so I post it again here for anyone. Has some interesting numbers on the demographics of Cub vs. Sox fans:

"He talks about the good season the team has had so far, how unexpected it was but says they rank 24th in home attendance. He calls it "particularly galling, and perhaps embarrassing" considering the Cubs as bad as they are outdraw a first place club.

He quotes a fan as saying his best guess as to why are because of the bad 2011 and that Kenny Williams used the "rebuilding" word this past winter.

He quotes Brooks Boyer (who never mentioned ticket prices or the dynamic pricing concept) on why the fans aren't turning out as saying that Sox fans are loyal and unique, but last year's disappointing performance was followed by several changes, including the exit of manager Ozzie Guillen and beloved pitcher Mark Buehrle.

"You add the frustration of last season and you put it in an off-season where there weren't many expectations," Boyer said, and it created "a perfect storm."

Gregory then goes into the neighborhood issue quoting fans on how there are other things to do at Wrigley Field but nothing around U.S. Cellular. Adds that according to the Cubs 40% of their attendance comes from tourists.

Then he goes into the factual differences in the fan bases.

Research by Scarborough Sports Marketing, of New York City, indicates contrasts, some distinct.

Compared with fans at the Cell, a slightly higher percentage of adults attending Cubs are employed full time — nearly 59 percent to 56.4 percent, while fewer are self-employed, according to Scarborough surveys. Also, nearly 54 percent of adults at Cubs games are white collar; 52 percent attending Sox games are white collar.

Scarborough's research also shows that nearly 40 percent of adults who attend Cubs game are college graduates while that figure drops to 34.1 percent at U.S. Cellular Field.

Nearly half of all adults in 17 counties in the Chicago area watched, attended or listened to a Cubs game in the past year, Scarborough's research shows, while slightly more than 41 percent of them did the same for a White Sox game.

But the White Sox draw a higher percentage of first-time customers than the Cubs do, Scarborough found, and TV ratings of Comcast SportsNet, which broadcasts many of each teams' games, show the Sox have gained ground while the Cubs have dropped. About 70,000 households tune in to Sox games on CSN, the network reports, 10 percent more than last season.

The Cubs, meanwhile, draw slightly more than 66,000 households to their CSN broadcasts, down 11 percent from last year.

Boyer then makes an interesting statement that the Sox are lowering some ticket prices for the remaining games because "it was an effort to regain the trust of fans."

The story concludes on this note, long-range optimism for larger crowds at U.S. Cellular Field may be found in the higher TV ratings, a sign that the pool of new Sox fans has expanded, said Bill Nielsen, vice president of sales for Scarborough."

2. For right or wrong, fair or unfair Kenny is remember for his early comment that "he can't ask the owner to spend a dollar if he only has fifty cents..."

In following years Kenny told the truth linking attendance to team payroll since that is the operating philosophy of the franchise and it did not go over well. In the past few years he has, wisely in my opinion, stayed away from speaking as bluntly as he had been about the linkage issue.

Lip

Madvora
09-28-2012, 09:39 AM
"He talks about the good season the team has had so far, how unexpected it was but says they rank 24th in home attendance. He calls it "particularly galling, and perhaps embarrassing" considering the Cubs as bad as they are outdraw a first place club.


Yeah, this is one of the points I'm trying to make. Why doesn't someone walk over to Wrigley and ask them why they aren't showing up to Sox games? They're just as much as fault as anyone else in the city. Well, it's because they choose not to be Sox fans. That's their problem, not the Sox fans' problem.

Lip Man 1
09-28-2012, 11:30 AM
This and That:

Because I have no idea how much of my interview is going to make it into the final piece I thought I should give an account in general terms of what I said.

Interview lasted about 15 minutes.

Michael first asked for my background which I gave him.

His first question to me was the reasons I thought Sox attendance had dropped.

Basically I said it was a combination of things... the "dynamic pricing concept" which based on the comments at WSI many fans don't understand, dislike and in some cases feel they are being taken advantage of given the cost of tickets at other legit ticket broker sites.

I talked about because attendance has dropped, it has got to be hurting 'walk up' sales which are a large part historically of the Sox fan base. I said even with the team in first, the cost of the tickets overall and the economic situation in this country is making it very hard for fans to come up with the money to go particularly on the spur of the moment. I mentioned the Tribune story on September 1st quoting a CSN official as saying Sox games on TV are up 10% from last year, that fans are still intensely interested but simply can't go to the game in person.

I talked about the average ticket cost for a Sox game, 4th highest in baseball almost up there with the Yankees and Red Sox then linked that to the Sox performance since winning the World Series. I said Sox fans care about winning and will pay high prices if the team does so but if they are not they won't. I reminded him the Sox drew almost three million after winning the World Series.

Michael asked me 'but the team has been in 1st place most of the year' I answered go back to my comments about walk up sales and TV ratings. I also said that because the club was picked to finish so badly this year there was little off season buzz and fans remained skeptical about their chances which has proved to be correct based on crunch time.

Michael asked me if Ozzie's leaving and the notion that the team is boring without him,had anything to do with attendance.

I said most Sox fans wanted Ozzie gone because he quit on the team, mentioned Tom Paciorek's comments about the feeling in the club house this year compared to last season. Regarding the boring aspect because Ozzie wasn't around mouthing off every day I said it's about winning, everything else to a lot of Sox fans is secondary.

He then asked if I had the 'solution.'

I answered that my comments are based just on what I read, what I see fans posting at WSI and in some cases what I hear but I have no inside idea of what the Sox plan is, just that Brooks is a sharp guy and he must have some logical reasons for doing it the way he is. That said if it was me and I said I'm not a businessman but if sales are bad this off season I'd announce that next year certain section of the park, including some decent seats are going to be sold for 15-20 dollars, all games, all dates, all opponents...no exceptions. I said I'd rather have an extra 15 thousand a game at 15 bucks, plus parking, plus concessions plus souvenirs then five thousand a game at full price. But I also said if the team is bad next year the Sox could almost give tickets away and it will be a tough sell because the bottom line when all is said and done is winning.

It was a pleasant conversation.

He said he'd send me the link to the story which I'll post so fans can listen.

I also told him after he did that I'd send him the link to this thread so he and his station can read comments about the piece or about the problem in general.

So if you want to weigh in on the Sox attendance situation, this is your chance.

Lip

Madvora
09-28-2012, 11:46 AM
Michael asked me if Ozzie's leaving and the notion that the team is boring without him,had anything to do with attendance.
This sounds like a question from somebody who knows nothing about the team or fans. Their only exposure is the national media's perception of this team.

SCCWS
09-28-2012, 01:16 PM
This sounds like a question from somebody who knows nothing about the team or fans. Their only exposure is the national media's perception of this team.


Lip: Great job. Sounds like even from a distance, you have a great handle on what is happening at the Cell.
Now according to MLB, white Sox attendance is only down 500 fans per game on average.

Lip Man 1
09-28-2012, 01:20 PM
Again the story is supposed to run twice between 4:30 and 6:30 Chicago time on 91.5 FM.

If Michael does not have a link to me tonight I'll call him and see if he can get it to me as soon as possible.

Lip

WhiteSox5187
09-28-2012, 01:36 PM
I am sure a lot of people here read SouthSideSox but today Jim sort of got at why the attendance may be so low, especially for "games that count." He used the interesting phrase of "fan murdering" and cited a bunch of recent numbers for the Sox and then asked why would anyone expect people to come to the park just "pay to cover their eyes."

Here is a link: http://www.southsidesox.com/2012/9/28/3421616/ruminations-on-a-white-sox-tailspin

tebman
09-28-2012, 01:49 PM
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.


1. In a story done by reporter Ted Gregory on this subject for the Tribune on September 1st, he quoted a Cub official directly as saying that 40% of overall Cub attendance comes from tourists. That's a sizable amount to pad attendance.

The tourist-attraction quality of that ballpark is what draws the crowds. Does that make them fans? I suppose it depends on how "fan" is defined. There are fans of architecture and pop culture too, and maybe that's what the other 40% are fans of, rather than baseball.

You'd think that more people showing up and the extra revenue they generate would lead toward a better baseball organization. Somehow that hasn't worked for the Cubs, and maybe they simply don't care since they're making money. We've speculated about that for a long time.

One thing I do know is that the Cubs are living on borrowed time with that ballpark. The main grandstand is just under 100 years old and the upper deck concrete is still flaking off. The ballpark is their golden goose and they can't postpone dealing with its poor health forever.

Lip Man 1
09-28-2012, 04:41 PM
Just called the radio station and was told the piece will run between 4:50 and 5PM Chicago time and then again between 5:20 and 5:30 Chicago time if you want to listen live or streaming.

Hopefully I'll also have a link available later.

Lip

WhiteSox5187
09-28-2012, 05:00 PM
Just called the radio station and was told the piece will run between 4:50 and 5PM Chicago time and then again between 5:20 and 5:30 Chicago time if you want to listen live or streaming.

Hopefully I'll also have a link available later.

Lip

It's on now and I am listening to it, Michael Puente mentioned how on a "sun kissed Tuesday afternoon while fighting for first place the Sox barely drew 13,000 in a stadium that holds 40,000" was that the game was played on a Tuesday afternoon and originally scheduled for Tuesday night.

Lip Man 1
09-28-2012, 05:17 PM
Yes.

The story ran a total of 4:43 which is long by today's standards but for an issue this complicated it's hard to give a complete picture...overall I thought it wasn't bad.

The first fan comment was right on where he said he could talk about this issue for an hour giving his opinions. And the women who talked about the high ticket prices somewhat defeated Brooks comment about ticket prices being lower. They are somewhat for the last couple of homestands but obviously the word isn't getting out to the fans is it? And lower prices for a few games doesn't hurt, but Sox ticket prices normally are still among the highest in baseball for a team that hasn't done that well on the field since 2006 overall.

The comments in the story were from three fans who attended the Thursday night game with Tampa...myself and Brooks.

I'll have a link to the story as soon as I can.

Lip

Lip Man 1
09-28-2012, 05:39 PM
I taped the story through Audacity and listened to it again and I realize I said something that was not what I meant to say. I didn't even realize that it came out that way.

I was talking about the dynamic pricing system and how it was confusing fans and some fans felt they were getting ripped off. I used as an example (and this was used in the story) that "a fan goes to a Monday game with the Royals gets a ticket in a particular location for a certain price... they go back on Friday for the Yankees and gets a ticket in another location and they pay a different price.

What I thought I said was "a fan goes to a Monday game with the Royals gets a ticket in a particular location for a certain price... they go back on Friday for the Yankees and gets a ticket in the same location and they have to pay a different price and it gets confusing."

Just cranial rectal inversion on my part and there's no excuse for it.

Lip

16th&State
09-28-2012, 05:49 PM
I was interviewed outside of Grandstand last night on my way to the game. I was mostly asked about attendance 'issues' for the Sox vs the Cubs. They aired a snippet (according to a friend) but it seems they really weren't interested in my 'complicated issue' answer. I'd love a link to your interview Lip and anything else they used in the broadcast!

Lip Man 1
09-28-2012, 05:56 PM
You must be the guy who said he could go on for hours giving his opinion on it. See my post a few above this one. I get what your saying and it's true, the story went almost five minutes but this is so complicated you could do an hour show.

By the way what was your explanation that they didn't use. Just summarize.

Lip

16th&State
09-28-2012, 05:57 PM
You must be the guy who said he could go on for hours giving his opinion on it. See my post a few above this one. I get what your saying and it's true, the story went almost five minutes but this is so complicated you could do an hour show.

By the way what was your explination that they didn't use. Just summerize.

Lip

That was me!!!:):gulp:

I basically said that Sox fans support a winner regardless, but we don't automatically show up in droves for bad baseball (IE the Cubs), especially with the economy, current pricing, and preseason expectations. We talked about the good year the Sox have had (despite the past few weeks) and a few other things. I think he was looking for simplified answers/soundbites, I'm really surprised they used me at all:)

Lip Man 1
09-28-2012, 06:41 PM
OK folks here is the link to the story, you can also click on and read the entire transcript (the one on the page that comes up is only a partial recap) and listen to the almost five minute story.

Thanks Michael for taking the time to get this to me!

http://www.wbez.org/news/economy/little-fan-support-darkens-sox-success-102759

I am sending the link to this thread to Michael and the station he works for so if you have comments on his story or on the Sox attendence situation please post them as I'm sure he and his people will be reading them!

Lip

DSpivack
09-28-2012, 07:05 PM
OK folks here is the link to the story, you can also click on and read the entire transcript (the one on the page that comes up is only a partial recap) and listen to the almost five minute story.

Thanks Michael for taking the time to get this to me!

http://www.wbez.org/news/economy/little-fan-support-darkens-sox-success-102759

I am sending the link to this thread to Michael and the station he works for so if you have comments on his story or on the Sox attendence situation please post them as I'm sure he and his people will be reading them!

Lip

I was interviewed outside of Grandstand last night on my way to the game. I was mostly asked about attendance 'issues' for the Sox vs the Cubs. They aired a snippet (according to a friend) but it seems they really weren't interested in my 'complicated issue' answer. I'd love a link to your interview Lip and anything else they used in the broadcast!

Thanks for your thoughts. As we WSIers know and has been discussed time and time again, this is a very complicated issue that can't really be fully covered in a 5-minute long news story (though as Lip said, I was surprised how long it was). It seemed fair enough and about as much as you can do in that period of time.

16th&State
09-28-2012, 07:57 PM
<Quote>Brooks Boyer, vice president and chief marketing officer for the White Sox, doesn’t see cost as an issue.

“It isn’t necessarily a pricing issue, it’s not a product issue,” Boyer said. “There are a lot of things that come into play. There is no silver bullet that answers our question.” </Quote>

http://www.wbez.org/news/economy/little-fan-support-darkens-sox-success-102759

While not exactly what Brooks said, I have a really hard time buying that Boyer and staff aren't aware or or don't think cost/pricing in this economy is a detractor to attendance...

WLL1855
09-28-2012, 08:27 PM
It's on now and I am listening to it, Michael Puente mentioned how on a "sun kissed Tuesday afternoon while fighting for first place the Sox barely drew 13,000 in a stadium that holds 40,000" was that the game was played on a Tuesday afternoon and originally scheduled for Tuesday night.

The part I bolded is either pure ignorance or a cub fan writer taking a cheap shot at the team, or both.

The Sox have played less than ten Tuesday matinee games at home in the history of the franchise. There's a good reason for that. People work and their kids are in school. Not to mention the game time was changed on short notice to accommodate Yom Kippur.

Someone should call the station and put this clown in his place. Yellow journalism.

DSpivack
09-28-2012, 08:41 PM
The part I bolded is either pure ignorance or a cub fan writer taking a cheap shot at the team, or both.

The Sox have played less than ten Tuesday matinee games at home in the history of the franchise. There's a good reason for that. People work and their kids are in school. Not to mention the game time was changed on short notice to accommodate Yom Kippur.

Someone should call the station and put this clown in his place. Yellow journalism.

That's a bit much. If you listened to the story he did mention that he was a Sox fan, I think he was trying to add a little bit of color to it.

As for Brooks, if he thinks that neither price nor product are the reason for poor attendance, what is left?

WhiteSox5187
09-28-2012, 08:51 PM
That's a bit much. If you listened to the story he did mention that he was a Sox fan, I think he was trying to add a little bit of color to it.

As for Brooks, if he thinks that neither price nor product are the reason for poor attendance, what is left?

He honestly must know that those are key factors but he is not going to come out and say so publicly. No one is going to say "Well our product isn't very good and it is also over priced."

DSpivack
09-28-2012, 09:03 PM
He honestly must know that those are key factors but he is not going to come out and say so publicly. No one is going to say "Well our product isn't very good and it is also over priced."

That's true, and reading it again I noticed that he said "It isn't necessarily..." price or product. That qualifier changes things, makes his statement more vague and meaningless; typical corporate-speak.

Nellie_Fox
09-29-2012, 12:04 AM
How about the fact that the Chicago media are heavily biased towards the Cubs? Don't you think that pretty much all the news people fawning over the Cubs and treating the Sox like an afterthought has some affect on the public believing that going to Cubs games is the "cool" and "in" thing to do?

BigKlu59
09-29-2012, 12:11 AM
How about the fact that the Chicago media are heavily biased towards the Cubs? Don't you think that pretty much all the news people fawning over the Cubs and treating the Sox like an afterthought has some affect on the public believing that going to Cubs games is the "cool" and "in" thing to do?

Agree..Been that way for years.. Hell, they dont have to pay for the "Cubbie Koolaide". Its force fed and handed out for free to anyone who will drink the swill..

BK59

DSpivack
09-29-2012, 12:32 AM
How about the fact that the Chicago media are heavily biased towards the Cubs? Don't you think that pretty much all the news people fawning over the Cubs and treating the Sox like an afterthought has some affect on the public believing that going to Cubs games is the "cool" and "in" thing to do?

That explains why Wrigley draws well, but not fully why the Sox don't. I also don't think that explains why attendance has fallen each year 2006; part of that is a World Series hangover, but I also don't see why the Sox couldn't have developed some form of sustained success at the gate because of that. Of course, having a consistent winning team would help there, too.

Nellie_Fox
09-29-2012, 12:53 AM
That explains why Wrigley draws well, but not fully why the Sox don't.Oh, I agree, it's only part of the picture. We all know about the Sox losing a generation of fans with the ill-considered Sportsvision pay-TV venture, etc. That generation now has children of their own that are being raised as Cubs fans as well.

However, it's part of the picture that needs to be pointed out to the media when they ask. Their role in it should be shown to them.

24thStFan
09-29-2012, 09:06 AM
IMHO, I believe the Sox organization missed a golden opportunity by NOT keeping the nucleus of the 2005 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP team together in 2006 and beyond. In addition, the Sox organization should have invested in bringing in more talent in the years immediately following the 2005 championship. We had momentum but squandered it away.

I truly believe that if the Sox would have gone to another world series in any year between 2006 - 2010, we would not be having this attendance conversation. Just my 2 cents.

GO SOX!

Frater Perdurabo
09-29-2012, 09:28 AM
Unless you are referring to Rowand and Everett as the "nucleus" of the 2005 team, the Sox went "all in" with the largely the same nucleus, plus Thome (MLB's premier LH slugger) and Vazquez (a largely reliable #3 starter). The only question mark was CF, where they had a top prospect they felt was ready for the show, who would bat ninth. KW upgraded the bench with two players who had started elsewhere: Cintron and Mackowiak. And KW's two bullpen acquisitions - Thornton and MacDougal - pitched better than most of the returning relievers. Those were all the right moves, and they were poised to repeat until the starters and relievers tanked in the second half (compounded by Ozzie often weakening the defense by putting Mackowiak in CF), and the hitters went cold in September.

Lip Man 1
09-29-2012, 10:18 AM
Frater:

"The hitters went cold in September..."

Where have we seen that before! LOL.

Seriously Michael the reporter in the story sent me this request last night which I post here:

Can you ask your contacts to leave comments on the WBEZ website on the story, positive or negative. The station likes to see comments.

Also, I would encourage visitors to the web site to listen to the story, not read it. It's meant to be heard.

Also, I am going to send you a link to an on-air conversation our station did on the subject of Sox attendance on Thursday afternoon, if you care to post it.

Thanks again.

Mike

Lip Man 1
09-29-2012, 10:22 AM
And here is the link to WBEZ's 'afternoon shift' and the discussion that had on Sox attendance issues Thursday.

The podcast runs about 18 minutes.

You'll have to scroll down about halfway to find the area on the topic. It's right below the section on the Ryder Cup. 4th topic overall on the page.

http://storify.com/WBEZ/afternoon-shift-155

Lip

Lip Man 1
09-29-2012, 10:24 AM
Dr. David Fletcher, the head of the Chicago Baseball Museum weighs in on this subject:

-------------------------------------------

There was a very good crowd last night at the Cell and also it featured the most diverse demographics I had seen at the Cell in a long time.


I like to leave the press box for a couple innings and just circle the 1st level and sit in different seats for a half inning or so and get a sense of the fan base and the mood of the crowd. I also like look at the demographics of the fans.


I counted more than 200 African-American fans (about 150 more than I usually see there at the Cell in the lower deck and about 190 more black fans that I usually see at Wrigley) which I found encouraging for the Sox who need to pull in the diverse fan base that exists in Chicago to build a new generation of fans.


It was a very joyous night at 35th and Shields—the most excitement and fun in a long time. Outfield seats were 90% full and fans were having fun.


The crowd brought a lot of energy to the players last night especially when the Twins took the lead 2-0 and later won 4-2. It was late September playoff drive baseball atmosphere at its best.


After the game which featured a great fireworks show (last of the season since today's game was moved up to 3PM) , the crowd stayed around the park and lots of people were tailgating still or at Barcardi's at the Park. The other local Bridgeport spots were also hopping.


Nancy Faust had a great idea about giving up one or two commercials a game and using that television time to show how much fun the fans are having at the ball park. Having a roving camera go out through the crowd and shoot shots of people being entertained and having fun. Have shots of fans enjoying the diverse food selections that US Cellular offers the fan base. I tried a stuffed burger last night that was outstanding and I felt was worth the $10 bucks.

Mark Liptak's comments and observations were right on.

Have several upper deck sections that are priced $10 and all year (even so called premium dates) and get a new generation of fans hooked on the Sox and the experience of coming to the Cell. Continue to develop around the park and offer reasons for people to come to the Cell even on non-game days even to mingle with fellow baseball fans when the Sox are on the road or it is the off season.


Chicago has the fan base to draw nearly 6 million. A winning product helps sell as the Cubs are now learning that lesson as I attended a couple afternoon weekday games there this month where there were less 15, 000 fans actually in the seats and they could have closed the upper deck like they used to.


Good job Lip!!


David Fletcher

Lip Man 1
09-29-2012, 10:25 AM
Nancy Faust with a comment:

YES, I DO BELIEVE THAT, LlVE SPONTANEOUS SHOTS OF FANS DURING THE STRETCH (ALA NORTH SIDE), COULD PROVE MORE VALUABLE THAN A PRE- MADE SOX COMMERCIAL.

THANKS, NANCY

Dan H
09-29-2012, 10:57 AM
I think that one reason the White Sox ownership struggle with answers to the attendance problem is that they don't understand the question.

Lip Man 1
09-29-2012, 12:14 PM
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

Golden Sox
09-29-2012, 12:25 PM
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.

JB98
09-29-2012, 01:25 PM
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.

TaylorStSox
09-29-2012, 01:40 PM
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.

Frater Perdurabo
09-29-2012, 01:50 PM
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?

Noneck
09-29-2012, 01:55 PM
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.

Lip Man 1
09-29-2012, 01:57 PM
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 Man 1
09-29-2012, 02:17 PM
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

Steelrod
09-29-2012, 05:58 PM
Since the current marketing staff came in, the've had 6 consecutive declines in attendance. Maybe the problem lies in the staff.

FoulTerritory
09-29-2012, 06:11 PM
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.

Lip Man 1
09-29-2012, 06:48 PM
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

Golden Sox
09-29-2012, 06:48 PM
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.

Lip Man 1
09-29-2012, 08:21 PM
Golden:

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

Lip

Brian26
09-29-2012, 08:28 PM
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.

Lip Man 1
09-29-2012, 09:46 PM
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

RadioheadRocks
09-29-2012, 09:56 PM
JB:

...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

Let's also add the mindset of the 1997 "White Flag trade". The way things are turning out this year, can you even imagine the Detroit Tigers front office saying a few weeks ago: "Anyone who thinks we can catch the White Sox is crazy"???

Brian26
09-29-2012, 10:06 PM
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

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.

Wedema
09-29-2012, 10:55 PM
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.

I agree, anyone that does not go to games or hasn't been to games in years has no business commenting about the current state of the Sox attendance issues.

DSpivack
09-29-2012, 11:36 PM
I agree, anyone that does not go to games or hasn't been to games in years has no business commenting about the current state of the Sox attendance issues.

So if you don't live in the Chicago area and/or can't afford to go to many games you're not allowed to criticize the business plan of the White Sox?

StillMissOzzie
09-30-2012, 01:06 AM
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.

For my $0.02, I'd start but ****-canning Ed Farmer from the radio broadcast. What a big drop in quality from John Rooney...

SMO
:gulp:

DSpivack
09-30-2012, 01:20 AM
For my $0.02, I'd start but ****-canning Ed Farmer from the radio broadcast. What a big drop in quality from John Rooney...

SMO
:gulp:

Farmer was tolerable with Rooney, but whenever I turn in to a game on the radio I have to forget how bad that booth is now and just laugh whenever they get sidetracked and Farmer goes off on one tangent leading into another. As for the TV side, I understand why Hawk is both loved and hated by many; and I don't really fall down on either side of that argument. But Farmer & DJ stand out to me as so much worse than Hawk and Stoney. A casual fan would just have no idea what is going on during a game with Farmer/DJ; and, beyond the casual fan it often takes me awhile to get a score or a count or how many outs there are or anything like that.

mahagga73
09-30-2012, 08:58 AM
Im ny opinion the biggest problem for the Sox as far as attendance is their alarming tendency to choke away first place after the All-Star break. Since 2006, it seems like more years than not they are hovering in contention or in first late in the year and then ....epic fail. This year's was later than most because the Tigers were playing way below their talent level all year. It is now no longer just a thing, it is a trend that keeps happening. With the deplorable economy in most of Illinois , why would a blue collar guy that is on unemployment ,or working a job at lesser pay than he is qualified ,go to see a team in the cool weather that is playing out the string? Nobody believes in these guys because all they do is choke since the magical 2005 run. It has created a sense of fatalism that I believe keeps fans away. This is now 1 brief playoff appearance since 05. Not good enough by a long shot. After 05 now there is expectations, the WS win is over, and now fans are fed up with the gagging when it counts. If this team is making the playoffs somewhat regularly the fans will come no matter what tickets cost, it has been proven everywhere in sports.

mahagga73
09-30-2012, 09:11 AM
So if you don't live in the Chicago area and/or can't afford to go to many games you're not allowed to criticize the business plan of the White Sox?
Yep, that's exactly the nonsense he is saying. It's the old "we are better than you because we have season tix mentality".These people think when they sign up for season tix packages they instantly become more qualified to comment since they think they are part of the team now, lol. Seen this mentality a million times.

Wedema
09-30-2012, 10:07 AM
Yep, that's exactly the nonsense he is saying. It's the old "we are better than you because we have season tix mentality".These people think when they sign up for season tix packages they instantly become more qualified to comment since they think they are part of the team now, lol. Seen this mentality a million times.

"These people" are not more qualified because they are season ticket holders or because they think they are part of the team. What makes you more qualified is that you acutually GO TO THE GAMES whether you are a season ticket holder or not. There have been many discussions on how to go to games for cheap. Take a look at the blog where they guy is approaching 50 games for under $500.

Lip Man 1
09-30-2012, 11:23 AM
Wedema:

I'm sorry I can't agree with your comment. Fan loyalty isn't based on the number of times seeing a game in person. Else how do you explain Sox TV ratings up 10% this year over last season.

There is simply, in my opinion, a FUNDAMENTAL DISCONNECT between the Sox marketing / ticket plan(s) and the fan base.

Not saying the Sox method is wrong, they obviously think it's the right thing to do and it very well may be, but the fans don't and that crucial.

There's also no one reason why things are heading south...it's all connected...the team's second half fades since 2003, the economy, ticket prices overall, the dynamic pricing idea...it all plays a part.

Lip

Wedema
09-30-2012, 07:15 PM
Wedema:

I'm sorry I can't agree with your comment. Fan loyalty isn't based on the number of times seeing a game in person. Else how do you explain Sox TV ratings up 10% this year over last season.

There is simply, in my opinion, a FUNDAMENTAL DISCONNECT between the Sox marketing / ticket plan(s) and the fan base.

Not saying the Sox method is wrong, they obviously think it's the right thing to do and it very well may be, but the fans don't and that crucial.

There's also no one reason why things are heading south...it's all connected...the team's second half fades since 2003, the economy, ticket prices overall, the dynamic pricing idea...it all plays a part.

Lip

Being at the ballpark almost daily you see the disconnect even more. Today there were a lot of upset fans because there was no autograph signing before the game as there has been anually before the last game of the year. One girl told me that she bought her tickets on Thursday at the box office and asked the ticket rep if there would be a signing and he told her "Weather permitting".

KingXerxes
09-30-2012, 07:29 PM
Wedema:

I'm sorry I can't agree with your comment. Fan loyalty isn't based on the number of times seeing a game in person. Else how do you explain Sox TV ratings up 10% this year over last season.

There is simply, in my opinion, a FUNDAMENTAL DISCONNECT between the Sox marketing / ticket plan(s) and the fan base.

Not saying the Sox method is wrong, they obviously think it's the right thing to do and it very well may be, but the fans don't and that crucial.

There's also no one reason why things are heading south...it's all connected...the team's second half fades since 2003, the economy, ticket prices overall, the dynamic pricing idea...it all plays a part.

Lip

Lip - You've hit on the MAJOR dynamic regarding attendance, and that is the overall economy. Far too many people are out of work, and the one's working are insecure about their employment future. Going to a baseball game, for all but the most rabid, is nothing more than a luxury.

Baseball got themselves into this mess by running their costs up to a point where they now have to sell tickets at premium pricing in order to make their ends meet. Fifty years ago (or even during the Great Depression if you want to look at a comparable economic situation), the cost of going to a baseball game (ticket only) was comparable to going to a movie. Now it's not even close.

That all being said, the single biggest marketing impact a team has is its broadcasts. For years the White Sox have lagged the Cubs in attendance - even with a World Series victory within recent memory. Forget the stupid commercials, a thirty second spot does not compare even remotely to a three hour broadcast. Stone is a pro, but doesn't inspire anybody. Harrelson is about as stale as a month old loaf of bread. I can't fathom how ownership doesn't see this - It's time for a new face and voice of the team. Stone's fine as a color guy, but Harrelson has absolutely got to be put out to pasture.

While the small crowds during the midst of a divisional run are due primarily to a rotten economy, this organization does not help itself by keeping Harrelson front and center.

:hawk

"Yessir - another hatchet job..............IT'S ALL GOOD"

Lip Man 1
09-30-2012, 07:31 PM
King!

Nice to have you back.

Lip

KingXerxes
09-30-2012, 07:31 PM
King!

Nice to have you back.

Lip

Thanks.

ChiSoxFann
09-30-2012, 07:39 PM
Since the current marketing staff came in, the've had 6 consecutive declines in attendance. Maybe the problem lies in the staff.


I agree that Brooks has been on cruise control since 2005 and has turned into another Rob Gallas. Maybe it's time to get some new blood into the marketing dept. to help the problem. Answering a few fan e-mails every now and then is not enough.

I can only hope with no playoffs this year and, most likely, a cut in payroll and lower expectations next season we can finally be done with dynamic pricing.

Hitmen77
10-01-2012, 03:11 PM
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

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

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."

Hitmen77
10-01-2012, 03:27 PM
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.

MushMouth
10-01-2012, 03:32 PM
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.

doublem23
10-01-2012, 03:34 PM
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.

amsteel
10-01-2012, 04:11 PM
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.

Chez
10-01-2012, 04:48 PM
[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?

DSpivack
10-01-2012, 04:50 PM
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.

Lip Man 1
10-01-2012, 04:57 PM
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

amsteel
10-01-2012, 05:25 PM
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?

Hitmen77
10-01-2012, 05:37 PM
[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?

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?

BigKlu59
10-02-2012, 07:25 PM
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

Hitmen77
10-03-2012, 11:31 AM
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!".

bunkaroo
10-03-2012, 12:36 PM
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!".

jdm2662
10-03-2012, 02:07 PM
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.

Noneck
10-03-2012, 02:55 PM
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.

Lip Man 1
10-03-2012, 03:44 PM
JDM:

Well thought out post. My only comment is that ownership has remained the same today as during those periods when decisions made crippled the franchise or their chances of winning. Until ownership changes I suspect there is going to be a portion of the fan base (how many I don't know) that will not 'forgive and forget...' and I'm certainly not going to tell them they are wrong for doing so.

Many Sox fans hold the team to be one of the most important and special parts of their lives, they personally felt betrayed over collusion, the threat to move to Florida, SportsVision, the 94 labor impasse and the White Flag Trade.

For better or worse Sox fans have long memories and of course the way to make them forget about those things is win...easier said than done though.

Lip

Nellie_Fox
10-03-2012, 03:49 PM
JDM:

Well thought out post. My only comment is that ownership has remained the same today as during those periods when decisions made crippled the franchise or their chances of winning. Until ownership changes I suspect there is going to be a portion of the fan base (how many I don't know) that will not 'forgive and forget...' and I'm certainly not going to tell them they are wrong for doing so.

Many Sox fans hold the team to be one of the most important and special parts of their lives, they personally felt betrayed over collusion, the threat to move to Florida, SportsVision, the 94 labor impasse and the White Flag Trade.

For better or worse Sox fans have long memories and of course the way to make them forget about those things is win...easier said than done though.

LipYou make it sound like the current ownership group has been the worst in Sox history, when in fact it's been the most successful in any of our lifetimes. It's certainly not the case that all problems started when they took over. There have been plenty of moves explored and bad trades made by other owners. Even the sainted Bill Veeck.

DSpivack
10-03-2012, 03:51 PM
JDM:

Well thought out post. My only comment is that ownership has remained the same today as during those periods when decisions made crippled the franchise or their chances of winning. Until ownership changes I suspect there is going to be a portion of the fan base (how many I don't know) that will not 'forgive and forget...' and I'm certainly not going to tell them they are wrong for doing so.

Many Sox fans hold the team to be one of the most important and special parts of their lives, they personally felt betrayed over collusion, the threat to move to Florida, SportsVision, the 94 labor impasse and the White Flag Trade.

For better or worse Sox fans have long memories and of course the way to make them forget about those things is win...easier said than done though.

Lip

The most recent thing you mentioned happened 15 years ago. I seriously doubt there any more than a handful of fans who care about or even remember any of the things you mentioned. They have little if any better on the franchise today.

LITTLE NELL
10-03-2012, 04:08 PM
You make it sound like the current ownership group has been the worst in Sox history, when in fact it's been the most successful in any of our lifetimes. It's certainly not the case that all problems started when they took over. There have been plenty of moves explored and bad trades made by other owners. Even the sainted Bill Veeck.

50-50 on current owners, we have a World Series Championship under them and some division titles but they alienated so many of us with so many bad decisions down through the years.
Bill Veeck was no saint in my book, he traded away a bunch of future all-stars after the 59 season, gave us the ugliest uniforms ever and Disco Demolition night. I will give him credit for saving the Sox from moving to Seattle

Nellie_Fox
10-03-2012, 04:13 PM
I will give him credit for saving the Sox from moving to SeattleAnd then wanted to move them to Denver, or at least sell them to a guy who would have moved them to Denver.

LITTLE NELL
10-03-2012, 04:14 PM
And then wanted to move them to Denver, or at least sell them to a guy who would have moved them to Denver.

Like I said, he was no saint.

jdm2662
10-03-2012, 04:14 PM
You make it sound like the current ownership group has been the worst in Sox history, when in fact it's been the most successful in any of our lifetimes. It's certainly not the case that all problems started when they took over. There have been plenty of moves explored and bad trades made by other owners. Even the sainted Bill Veeck.

The thing is, I wasn't really calling out Lip at all. He just points them out because, well, he knows the history of the White Sox better than anyone around these parts. There are plenty of other people on this board and everywhere else who I was referring to. The strike, which I was very upset about, happened 17 years ago. I don't even talk about it anymore. I was still in high school, and pretty much forgotten those days period.

In fact, when I first came here, Lip despised JR with a passion. I don't see quite the hatred anymore. I think he has acknowledged both the good and bad things during his tenure. Which, in a 30+ year tenure, there are going to be positives and negatives.

I don't even think the team is ran the same way as it was when the regime took over. I don't see JR on TV anymore except for the occasional interview. I've seen Einhorn on TV twice since the strike. Once was during the World Series parade. The other was an interview he did with NFL Films that had nothing to do with the White Sox.

To me, the Sox have using a similar model in the past ten or so years. This is what needs to be focused on. We have seen the model they current have can give you some success, but not long term success. How to fix it? Well, luckily, it's not my job to do so.

Lip Man 1
10-03-2012, 05:26 PM
Nellie... wasn't calling them out or JDM, I thought he had a good post... simply saying that I think there is a portion of the fan base that will not forget nor forgive the events that happened as long as they are alive.

I think to act like that doesn't exist is being unrealistic.

In fact... JR has done a lot of good things for this franchise, it's also a fact that regardless of when it happened, be it ten days, 10 years or 30 years ago, he's also done some things that have caused irreparable harm to the franchise. That's a matter of the historical record not one man's opinion.

When the time comes it will be interesting to see how he is portrayed in the media and what happens to the franchise moving forward.

JDM is also correct in that my personal feelings towards JR have changed. Winning a World Series does that, finally spending money to try to bring a winner does that.

One other historical point, the Veeck - Marvin Davis (Denver) connection never really got off the ground. I think that was Bill just putting that out to see what might happen.

It was basically Seattle period (in 75) or selling to DeBartolo (80) who was going to keep the franchise in Chicago. New Orleans was never really an option due to facilities. I stood on the floor of the uncompleted Superdome in 74 and was told about the possibility for baseball but if you thought the Kingdome was a dreary place to play, you never saw the Superdome in a baseball configuration.

In my opinion some of the Sox moving talk in the 70's was overblown.

And the record also shows that Allan "Bud" Selig was the owner most trying to screw over the Sox and their fans in that time period...not Veeck, Davis, DeBartolo or anybody else.

Lip

Golden Sox
10-03-2012, 05:38 PM
Nell. You're right Bill Veeck was no saint but there was one quality he did have, he got along with most people, especially the news media. I was at the press conference in the Bards Room at the Old Comiskey Park when Veeck announced that Don Kessinger was going to be the new manager of the White Sox. You could see how much the newspaper writers were in awe of Veeck. Frankly it mystefied me as to what they saw in him. I thought his second ownership of the White Sox was a flop. I couldn't believe it when he was voted into the BB HOF.

palehosepub
10-03-2012, 05:44 PM
Nell. You're right Bill Veeck was no saint but there was one quality he did have, he got along with most people, especially the news media. I was at the press conference in the Bards Room at the Old Comiskey Park when Veeck announced that Don Kessinger was going to be the new manager of the White Sox. You could see how much the newspaper writers were in awe of Veeck. Frankly it mystefied me as to what they saw in him. I thought his second ownership of the White Sox was a flop. I couldn't believe it when he was voted into the BB HOF.

If you want to read a good baseball book read "Baseball's Greatest Maverick" by Paul Dickson, it is a well balanced & researched book about Veeck and I think it would give you a better idea why he is in the HOF. The man was a pioneer in race relations, marketing, financing, customer relations, etc.

LITTLE NELL
10-03-2012, 05:44 PM
Nell. You're right Bill Veeck was no saint but there was one quality he did have, he got along with most people, especially the news media. I was at the press conference in the Bards Room at the Old Comiskey Park when Veeck announced that Don Kessinger was going to be the new manager of the White Sox. You could see how much the newspaper writers were in awe of Veeck. Frankly it mystefied me as to what they saw in him. I thought his second ownership of the White Sox was a flop. I couldn't believe it when he was voted into the BB HOF.

I remember him moaning back in the 70s when neither team was the city's darlings about the Cubs getting more press coverage.

Lip Man 1
10-03-2012, 05:52 PM
Bill would take a ruler to the newspaper and if he felt the Sox weren't getting fair coverage, he'd call the publisher that is a fact according to Roland.

Veeck also tried to warn baseball years before the Messersmith decision that what they were doing was unconstitutional and eventually would not stand up in court and that they needed to modify some things while they still had the "whip hand"...he (like in many cases Charley Finley) was ignored.

Time showed Bill was absolutely correct.

My thoughts on Bill agree with Rich Lindberg. He was a fraud. But he was "our" fraud and the only person who stepped up when this team had bags packed for Seattle. That excuses a multitude of his sins in my book.

Lip

Lip Man 1
10-04-2012, 12:13 PM
Heard from Ed Sherman today. He also has thoughts on the Sox attendance issues and has allowed me to re-post his comments. He said he'd get them to me later in the day.

He also said that he's told Brooks about some of them already.

Lip

tony1972
10-04-2012, 09:19 PM
I like the current ownership. At least they listen to the fans and make changes.

(1) Renovating the Upper Deck
(2) Always trying for players to help in a pennant push
(3) Building Bacardi at the Park

A few things the Sox could change...

(1) Limiting Upper Deck ticket holders to the Upper Deck. I've been to many ballparks and the Sox are the only team I know that does this. Of course..if you buy a ticket for the Upper Deck..you should not be able to sit in the lower deck. However..there is no reason you should not be able to access the concourse of the Lower Deck. To me..this would be like shutting off the streets of the Gold Coast to anyone who does not live there. If you don't live in the Gold Coast..you have no right to enter one of the homes there..but you certainly have the right to see the neighborhood. That is how a lot of fans feel about the Upper Deck policy. The haves and have nots. Same thing goes for the private parties on the fan deck. I bought a friend to his first Sox game..we were not allowed to enter Fundamentals or the Fan Deck (private party). He asks me "maybe they should put signs for areas we can go to?". It left a potential newcomer to Sox future Sox games with a bad taste in his mouth. How much money did the Sox make with closing off the fan deck for a private party..but how many fans may not go back because they were restricted to yet another area of the ballpark?

One of the nice advantages the Cell always had over Wrigley was the spaciousness and the fact you could wander around the park and see different areas. That's what I always loved most about going to Sox games. Even Cubs fans used to tell me this. However..each year..it seems another area that was open to all fans has now been closed off for a small group. I can say it has decreased the amount of games I attend each year. Why are the Sox removing an advantage they once had over Wrigley?

Lip Man 1
10-05-2012, 11:18 AM
Ed Sherman weighs in on the Sox attendance issues:

"Regarding attendance. The Sox simply have not been an exciting team to watch. They hit a solo homer every now and then, but it is a momentary blip. Again, that stat: 67 games where they score three runs or less. That's not exciting baseball.

Who was their last high-average hitter at the top of the order? Who was their last guy to contend for the batting crown?

And who was their last true superstar player?

With the exception of Konerko in 2010, who still flew way under the radar, the Sox haven't had a superstar since Frank Thomas and even that lasted only a few years before he turned off the fans. It would be nice to get a Mike Trout in here one of these days.

Only one playoff appearance since 2005. Only 1 playoff victory. That says it all. Forget about the Cubs. It's all about that ballpark. You need to win consistently to attract fans. The Sox haven't done that. Even when they contended this year, I don't think fans felt they could pull it off.

And one more thing regarding attendance, the traffic, especially during the week, is killing them. I live in the Northern burbs, and it could take 90 minutes-2 hours to get to the Cell. The traffic is too much. As a result, I mainly go to the games on the weekends. Other North Side Sox fans (yes, we exist) have the same lament. I've told Brooks Boyer that is a major problem. Not sure the Sox can do anything about that."

Lip

AZChiSoxFan
10-05-2012, 11:24 AM
I like the current ownership. At least they listen to the fans and make changes.

(1) Renovating the Upper Deck
(2) Always trying for players to help in a pennant push
(3) Building Bacardi at the Park

A few things the Sox could change...

(1) Limiting Upper Deck ticket holders to the Upper Deck. I've been to many ballparks and the Sox are the only team I know that does this. Of course..if you buy a ticket for the Upper Deck..you should not be able to sit in the lower deck. However..there is no reason you should not be able to access the concourse of the Lower Deck. To me..this would be like shutting off the streets of the Gold Coast to anyone who does not live there. If you don't live in the Gold Coast..you have no right to enter one of the homes there..but you certainly have the right to see the neighborhood. That is how a lot of fans feel about the Upper Deck policy. The haves and have nots. Same thing goes for the private parties on the fan deck. I bought a friend to his first Sox game..we were not allowed to enter Fundamentals or the Fan Deck (private party). He asks me "maybe they should put signs for areas we can go to?". It left a potential newcomer to Sox future Sox games with a bad taste in his mouth. How much money did the Sox make with closing off the fan deck for a private party..but how many fans may not go back because they were restricted to yet another area of the ballpark?

One of the nice advantages the Cell always had over Wrigley was the spaciousness and the fact you could wander around the park and see different areas. That's what I always loved most about going to Sox games. Even Cubs fans used to tell me this. However..each year..it seems another area that was open to all fans has now been closed off for a small group. I can say it has decreased the amount of games I attend each year. Why are the Sox removing an advantage they once had over Wrigley?

I totally agree with your last point. You can still have ushers at the top of walkways for the lower level seats, that check for ticket stubs religiously, to make sure that only people with LL seats are sitting there. But to not even allow people to walk around on the LL is just over the top.

For me, the bottom line is this. Certain owners are known as people who actually like their fans and want to get more of them to come and buy their product. I don't view JR as one of those guys.

Lip Man 1
10-05-2012, 11:45 AM
AZ:

That's an interesting viewpoint. Do you think than that JR is satisfied with drawing what he does? If so, than they must not be losing money.

Lip

Noneck
10-05-2012, 12:29 PM
AZ:

That's an interesting viewpoint. Do you think than that JR is satisfied with drawing what he does? If so, than they must not be losing money.

Lip


Lip,

Teams value dont increase in value if they are bleeding red.

Nellie_Fox
10-05-2012, 02:17 PM
And one more thing regarding attendance, the traffic, especially during the week, is killing them. I live in the Northern burbs, and it could take 90 minutes-2 hours to get to the Cell. The traffic is too much. As a result, I mainly go to the games on the weekends. Other North Side Sox fans (yes, we exist) have the same lament. I've told Brooks Boyer that is a major problem. Not sure the Sox can do anything about that."

LipI personally agree on this one. Before I moved, the time involved in a trip to 35th and Shields was a major consideration for me in attending a game versus watching it on TV. There was no good way to get there from Wheaton; it was a long, miserable, stop and go, frustrating trip every time.

DumpJerry
10-05-2012, 02:32 PM
And one more thing regarding attendance, the traffic, especially during the week, is killing them. I live in the Northern burbs, and it could take 90 minutes-2 hours to get to the Cell. The traffic is too much. As a result, I mainly go to the games on the weekends. Other North Side Sox fans (yes, we exist) have the same lament. I've told Brooks Boyer that is a major problem. Not sure the Sox can do anything about that."

Lip

I personally agree on this one. Before I moved, the time involved in a trip to 35th and Shields was a major consideration for me in attending a game versus watching it on TV. There was no good way to get there from Wheaton; it was a long, miserable, stop and go, frustrating trip every time.
This is true for the Sox as well as the other teams in Chicago. The traffic during the PM Rush Hour is a major pain if you're trying to get to the ballpark by 7:00 if you're coming in from the suburbs. I suppose the Bears get a break because there usually isn't much traffic on Sunday mornings, but getting to a Monday night game by car is a major test of your inner peace. I work downtown, so getting to a Sox game or a game at the UC during the week isn't difficult, but if I worked in the suburbs, I would be at a lot less games.

doublem23
10-05-2012, 02:35 PM
This is true for the Sox as well as the other teams in Chicago. The traffic during the PM Rush Hour is a major pain if you're trying to get to the ballpark by 7:00 if you're coming in from the suburbs. I suppose the Bears get a break because there usually isn't much traffic on Sunday mornings, but getting to a Monday night game by car is a major test of your inner peace. I work downtown, so getting to a Sox game or a game at the UC during the week isn't difficult, but if I worked in the suburbs, I would be at a lot less games.

The traffic is a nightmare, I'll admit that, but somehow the other team is able to overcome it despite being nowhere near an expressway and without any convenient parking so... I don't buy it completely.

Nellie_Fox
10-05-2012, 02:41 PM
The traffic is a nightmare, I'll admit that, but somehow the other team is able to overcome it despite being nowhere near an expressway and without any convenient parking so... I don't buy it completely.
Yeah, I can't explain that. I never went to Wrigley as an adult, and when I was a kid it was on a school bus as my reward for being a patrol boy. A free day out of school was worth spending it at Wrigley. So, I can only imagine how much of a hassle it must have been, although I always got off the Stevenson at Ashland at took surface streets to 35th and Shields, but that's probably not as bad as taking surface streets to Wrigley from the Eisenhower.

LITTLE NELL
10-05-2012, 02:47 PM
I personally agree on this one. Before I moved, the time involved in a trip to 35th and Shields was a major consideration for me in attending a game versus watching it on TV. There was no good way to get there from Wheaton; it was a long, miserable, stop and go, frustrating trip every time.

We lived in Wheaton also and the trek down Roosevelt Rd to get to the Ike was a pain, the alternative was to go out of the way down to I-88 and I never liked going out of the way.

SephClone89
10-05-2012, 02:59 PM
I live in the Northern burbs, and it could take 90 minutes-2 hours to get to the Cell. The traffic is too much. As a result, I mainly go to the games on the weekends. Other North Side Sox fans (yes, we exist) have the same lament. I've told Brooks Boyer that is a major problem. Not sure the Sox can do anything about that."

Lip

This may be a stupid question, but don't you live in Idaho?

WhiteSox5187
10-05-2012, 03:00 PM
This may be a stupid question, but don't you live in Idaho?

He was quoting Ed Sherman.

Nellie_Fox
10-05-2012, 03:03 PM
We lived in Wheaton also and the trek down Roosevelt Rd to get to the Ike was a pain, the alternative was to go out of the way down to I-88 and I never liked going out of the way.I stopped going that way. I'd go south and east, usually through Darien, and take the Stevenson in to Ashland. Not much better, heck maybe worse, I don't know, but I avoided the Ryan and was better able to get in to the back parking lots on 37th that way.

KenBerryGrab
10-05-2012, 03:22 PM
tony1972,

You talked about not being able to get into Fundamentals. That probably was because you did not have a kid with you, and that restriction makes perfect sense.

Hitmen77
10-05-2012, 04:13 PM
Ed Sherman weighs in on the Sox attendance issues:

"Regarding attendance. The Sox simply have not been an exciting team to watch. They hit a solo homer every now and then, but it is a momentary blip. Again, that stat: 67 games where they score three runs or less. That's not exciting baseball.

Who was their last high-average hitter at the top of the order? Who was their last guy to contend for the batting crown?

And who was their last true superstar player?

With the exception of Konerko in 2010, who still flew way under the radar, the Sox haven't had a superstar since Frank Thomas and even that lasted only a few years before he turned off the fans. It would be nice to get a Mike Trout in here one of these days.

Only one playoff appearance since 2005. Only 1 playoff victory. That says it all. Forget about the Cubs. It's all about that ballpark. You need to win consistently to attract fans. The Sox haven't done that. Even when they contended this year, I don't think fans felt they could pull it off.

And one more thing regarding attendance, the traffic, especially during the week, is killing them. I live in the Northern burbs, and it could take 90 minutes-2 hours to get to the Cell. The traffic is too much. As a result, I mainly go to the games on the weekends. Other North Side Sox fans (yes, we exist) have the same lament. I've told Brooks Boyer that is a major problem. Not sure the Sox can do anything about that."

Lip

Excellent points. I hadn't thought about the excitement/superstar theory. I can see it being a factor. Not the sole factor, but one of many.

Last playoff appearance was in 4 years ago and attendance has plummeted since then with season after season of disappointments plus a 2011-12 offseason where Sox management didn't exactly stoke promises of fielding a contender. The simple reality is that the Sox weren't going to suddenly reverse that over the course of a few months this season. This is as plain as day to me, but many people seem to want to ignore the fact that things work this way (maybe because it goes against their "Sox fans won't support their team" narrative).

Another problem is that there's apparently not much to look forward to for Sox fans right now. No promising prospects to entice fans (even if falsely) that more excitement is on the way. NO, no one is saying "hey, lets go to more Sox games because there's a ton of talent in Birmingham!" but I think it is a factor in that fans know that there's no one ready to step in next year and that it'll probably be more of the same band-aid fixes. The problem is that KW's way of running the team is to throw things together on the fly for attempted success and not have much organizational depth to either fill roster holes or trade for top-notch veterans or to have a team that makes the playoffs in successive seasons. This is good enough for a team that wins about 78-84 games year after year with a "surprise" playoff team every 5 years or so. But, those successful seasons are always fleeting and this is simply not enough to build up a bigger fan base for this team.

As Lip likes to point out, the Sox are the only of the original 16 teams to not make the playoffs in successive seasons. The Tigers just did it for the first time in decades. We'll have to wait until 2014...and probably longer for that to happen here.

The traffic issue is an interesting point. I'm sure it doesn't help for weeknight games.

The traffic is a nightmare, I'll admit that, but somehow the other team is able to overcome it despite being nowhere near an expressway and without any convenient parking so... I don't buy it completely.

Good question, but the Cubs have completely different factors going in their favor:
- much larger overall fan base
- huge concentration of affluent young people living by their park
- people who will go there more as Wrigley Field fans
- tourist crowd

I'm sure there are many Cubs fans who go to less games because traffic sucks for them too, but for every one of those fans, there are others from that list above to go to those games.

Someone might ask why traffic isn't a factor for other teams...maybe the Angels are a good example. I dunno. Each team has it's own unique circumstances. Maybe they can absorb the traffic problem because of other things going in their favor.

tony1972
10-08-2012, 07:05 PM
I totally agree with your last point. You can still have ushers at the top of walkways for the lower level seats, that check for ticket stubs religiously, to make sure that only people with LL seats are sitting there. But to not even allow people to walk around on the LL is just over the top.

For me, the bottom line is this. Certain owners are known as people who actually like their fans and want to get more of them to come and buy their product. I don't view JR as one of those guys.

This is the point I'm trying to make.. You make a little bit of extra dollars by shutting an area off for a small group. However..you may lose future business by those who were rubbed the wrong way by this practice. The same with the 500 level policy. Maybe someone who would have paid $20 for an Upper Deck ticket is forced to spend an extra $10 now because they really prefer the lower bowl. However..for every person that does that..there are probably 2 or 3 that would have bought an UD ticket in the past and went to the lower bowl concourse..that just no longer bothers buying that ticket in the 1st place. Pre UD policy I went to about 15 Upper Deck games a year and about 3 Lower Bowl games a year. Now I go to about 2 Upper Deck games a year and 4 Lower Bowl games a year. The policy has not made me buy more lower bowl tickets..but has actually made me buy less UD tickets and go to less games overall.

The Sox can be very fan friendly...but then they will put very foolish rules in place that cancels out all goodwill such as the Upper Deck policy and shutting off areas to the park for private parties. Unfortunately..fans don't necessarily remember the good things the Sox do..but will remember the time they went to a game..or bought a friend to a game for the first time, spent a small fortune and then ran into a restricted area and felt shut out. I think the Sox should review the UD policy they have. I'm not the only fan who goes to less UD games and less games overall since this policy took effect.

doogiec
10-08-2012, 07:23 PM
FWIW on the upper deck issue, I had several conversations with my season ticket rep around the time the policy was changed to limit access to the lower deck. In general, I was complaining that during crowded games bathroom lines downstairs could be a couple of innings long, and the same with concession lines. There had been cases where I went to the upper deck to use the bathroom and buy food, which seemed ridiculous to me.

It had become a common practice to buy an upper deck ticket and watch the game from the concourse. The concourse facilities in the lower deck were not designed to handle that many people.

My season ticket rep told me that this was the number one season ticket holder complaint for the last couple of years, and they were going to address it. The policy was changed shortly after.

I have no problem with everyone having access to the lower deck. But the open design of the concourse encourages people to hang out and watch the game, which is somewhat unique to USCF. If they leave it open to everyone, they need to increase the facilities downstairs, or figure out a way to encourage people not to hang out and watch the entire game down there. People sneaking into the seats isn't the real problem. People paying more money to sit downstairs and not having access to what they paid for is.

tony1972
10-08-2012, 07:40 PM
I love Bacardi at the park and spend a lot of time at the games in the bar as much as in my seat. However..I'm trying not to get to used to the new bar as I'm waiting for the day when entering Bacardi at the Park is only for "private parties only" and not just general fans at the game. To me..it's not a question of if..but when that day comes.

Noneck
10-08-2012, 07:50 PM
FWIW on the upper deck issue, I had several conversations with my season ticket rep around the time the policy was changed to limit access to the lower deck. In general, I was complaining that during crowded games bathroom lines downstairs could be a couple of innings long, and the same with concession lines. There had been cases where I went to the upper deck to use the bathroom and buy food, which seemed ridiculous to me.

It had become a common practice to buy an upper deck ticket and watch the game from the concourse. The concourse facilities in the lower deck were not designed to handle that many people.

My season ticket rep told me that this was the number one season ticket holder complaint for the last couple of years, and they were going to address it. The policy was changed shortly after.

I have no problem with everyone having access to the lower deck. But the open design of the concourse encourages people to hang out and watch the game, which is somewhat unique to USCF. If they leave it open to everyone, they need to increase the facilities downstairs, or figure out a way to encourage people not to hang out and watch the entire game down there. People sneaking into the seats isn't the real problem. People paying more money to sit downstairs and not having access to what they paid for is.


Maybe that says something about that upper deck, if people are willing to stand in crowded concourse, rather than sitting in a seat to watch a game.

doogiec
10-08-2012, 08:20 PM
Maybe that says something about that upper deck, if people are willing to stand in crowded concourse, rather than sitting in a seat to watch a game.

It sure does. But is should be pointed out that this occurred before the upper deck was remodeled. While I suspect the same problem would occur nowadays, it may not be as bad.

Noneck
10-08-2012, 08:22 PM
While I suspect the same problem would occur nowadays, it may not be as bad.

There is only one way to find out.

doogiec
10-08-2012, 08:25 PM
This is one of the BIGGEST advantages the Sox have had over other teams and ballparks in the past that has now been eliminated for 60% of the fans during an average game. The Sox took away a big time advantage they had over Wrigley when they enacted the policy.

A comparison would be if the Cubs suddenly enacted a policy stating.."only those who purchase box seat tickets can go to the bars in Wrigleville". (1) Would more Cubs fans start buying more box seat tickets? or (2) would Cubs fans say..'screw it..I'm just not going to go to the game at all". The answer for most would be the latter and it is the same for many Sox fans with this policy.

FWIW, Wrigley blocks more of its ballpark than the Sox do. You can't go into the bleachers with a grandstand ticket. And you can't go into the upper deck without an upper deck ticket. Why? Because the bathrooms and concessions in the upper deck there can't handle standing room fans.

Never heard a Cubs fan complain about this.

DSpivack
10-08-2012, 08:34 PM
I love Bacardi at the park and spend a lot of time at the games in the bar as much as in my seat. However..I'm trying not to get to used to the new bar as I'm waiting for the day when entering Bacardi at the Park is only for "private parties only" and not just general fans at the game. To me..it's not a question of if..but when that day comes.
I don't know what kind of business plan they would have to have for this to make sense. I don't think it's something to worry about.

RadioheadRocks
10-09-2012, 11:34 PM
FWIW on the upper deck issue, I had several conversations with my season ticket rep around the time the policy was changed to limit access to the lower deck. In general, I was complaining that during crowded games bathroom lines downstairs could be a couple of innings long, and the same with concession lines. There had been cases where I went to the upper deck to use the bathroom and buy food, which seemed ridiculous to me.

It had become a common practice to buy an upper deck ticket and watch the game from the concourse. The concourse facilities in the lower deck were not designed to handle that many people.

My season ticket rep told me that this was the number one season ticket holder complaint for the last couple of years, and they were going to address it. The policy was changed shortly after.

I have no problem with everyone having access to the lower deck. But the open design of the concourse encourages people to hang out and watch the game, which is somewhat unique to USCF. If they leave it open to everyone, they need to increase the facilities downstairs, or figure out a way to encourage people not to hang out and watch the entire game down there. People sneaking into the seats isn't the real problem. People paying more money to sit downstairs and not having access to what they paid for is.

I also remember when the park first opened in 1991 they had large metal gates separating the outfield concourse (bleacher area) from the rest of the park, and you couldn't pass if you didn't have a ticket to that area.

WhiteSox5187
10-16-2012, 03:09 PM
Sorry to bump a somewhat old thread, but the Cubs have announced they will cut the prices for tickets in 2013. It would probably behoove the White Sox to do the same but what is really fascinating is a stat given in this story that says the White Sox trail only the Yankees for "most expensive cheapest ticket." That is worded poorly by me because I can't think of a better way to word it but if you scroll down in the article you will see what I mean.

http://www.southsidesox.com/2012/10/16/3512968/will-white-sox-follow-cubs-lead-on-ticket-prices

Lip Man 1
10-16-2012, 05:21 PM
There does seem to be some discrepancies among the various places that compile ticket prices regarding the Sox place in the standings. Guess it depends of how you factor things but I've seen more put the Sox in the high end than on the lower one.

And the overall public for right or wrong thinks the Sox are towards the high end.

Lip

Noneck
10-16-2012, 05:26 PM
My thinking is, if it was on the low end the Sox would let the public and media know that, if on the high end , say nothing.

Lip Man 1
10-21-2012, 11:15 AM
http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/south-side-seat-syndrome/

Lip

WhiteSox5187
10-21-2012, 06:09 PM
http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/south-side-seat-syndrome/

Lip

That's a good article, it seems that as always Sox ownership is being penny wise and pound foolish. That seems to be a trend amongst Sox ownership that harkens back to the days of the original owner.

tony1972
10-23-2012, 08:57 PM
That's a good article, it seems that as always Sox ownership is being penny wise and pound foolish. That seems to be a trend amongst Sox ownership that harkens back to the days of the original owner.

Add to that the Sox lock you into the section where the cheap seats are (restrictions to the Upper Deck)** while other teams don't and allow you access to the rest of their ballparks.

** Also known as the "no peasants policy" of the lower deck...

DSpivack
10-23-2012, 09:41 PM
Add to that the Sox lock you into the section where the cheap seats are (restrictions to the Upper Deck)** while other teams don't and allow you access to the rest of their ballparks.

** Also known as the "no peasants policy" of the lower deck...

For the Sox, that's upper deck vs. lower deck. For the Yankees, that's by level and by section.