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jabrch
10-01-2012, 02:56 PM
Despite rhetoric from both management and fans, what's the real truth?

DumpJerry
10-01-2012, 03:30 PM
I put in the Churros option that you forgot.

WhiteSox5187
10-01-2012, 04:42 PM
There is no other business in the world that operates under the model of "we will put out a good product once you start to support us." If that is still the White Sox operating principle they are screwed.

TheOldRoman
10-01-2012, 05:01 PM
I voted the third option, though I don't know if the large portion of the fanbase is unpredictable as they are fickle. Obviously fans will come out to see a team which just won a World Series, but that isn't the measure of a stable franchise. The Sox have largely failed on the field since 2005, but their attendance has dropped every season since 2006. They won the division in 2008 and drew over 2,000 less per game in 2009. They had a good team which competed in 2010, made a big splash in free agency and increased payroll by $25 million, and still drew 2,000 fewer per game in 2011. Sure, a large portion of that had to due with the team playing so poorly, but even with that, 1) season ticket sales didn't jump before the season, and 2) they weren't out of striking distance until early September. This year the team was in first place for most of the season, but to a large portion of the fanbase, winning baseball was not enough. They needed to be assured of a playoff spot before they bought in.

I think the 2010-11 offseason does a lot to disspell the "we won't spend until you come out" idea. The Sox spent that offseason because the team was good the year before, and they felt they were fixing the huge hole which almost singlehandedly kept them out of the playoffs the year before. There was no attendance bump before or after that, but they spent the money because they felt they had a chance to win a championship (and yes, make more money). People need to realize that ownership does not behave in the same way it did in 1999. They have spent lots of money over the past 8 years. It could be argued that they didn't spend it wisely, should have spent more in scouting, should have improved marketing, etc. but that is a different argument. They have spent money.

DSpivack
10-01-2012, 06:01 PM
I put in the Churros option that you forgot.

Churros are fried, not baked.

voodoochile
10-01-2012, 06:01 PM
The fans will support a winner, but if they don't build a team that looks like a potential pennant contender prior to the season, they won't sell enough season tickets to be able to afford more. You can't pay the rent based on walk-up sales or even on mid-summer advance sales.

October26
10-01-2012, 06:13 PM
Churros are fried, not baked.

Correct. And chocolate-filled churros are the best! :cool:

kobo
10-01-2012, 06:38 PM
There's no future with this organization. The other side of town made clear their plans, and while I would never spend a lot of money to go see a game if I was a fan, at least there's hope in the future for them. I can respect that and I would be willing to go see a couple games a year because they seem to be moving in the right direction. They appear to be making the right moves. But I'm not a Cubs fan. What are the Sox doing to instill any type of hope in this fanbase? What do we as fans have to look forward to next year and beyond? There's really nothing. The farm system is one of the worst in all of baseball. The current roster is full of veterans who are old and slow and a bunch won't be here next year. Management tells the fanbase through the press that they can't do things if fans don't come to the games, but charge the 4th highest avg ticket price to watch this team in person. The entire organization is a joke right now. There is no direction. There is no hope. IMO, those 2 factors are the main reasons fans are staying away.

voodoochile
10-01-2012, 06:51 PM
There's no future with this organization. The other side of town made clear their plans, and while I would never spend a lot of money to go see a game if I was a fan, at least there's hope in the future for them. I can respect that and I would be willing to go see a couple games a year because they seem to be moving in the right direction. They appear to be making the right moves. But I'm not a Cubs fan. What are the Sox doing to instill any type of hope in this fanbase? What do we as fans have to look forward to next year and beyond? There's really nothing. The farm system is one of the worst in all of baseball. The current roster is full of veterans who are old and slow and a bunch won't be here next year. Management tells the fanbase through the press that they can't do things if fans don't come to the games, but charge the 4th highest avg ticket price to watch this team in person. The entire organization is a joke right now. There is no direction. There is no hope. IMO, those 2 factors are the main reasons fans are staying away.

The reason this year's attendance never took off is because they didn't seell enough season tickets because no one expected this team to be as competitive as it was. By the time it was clear they were in the hunt school had started up again. Then the team hit the wall.

The Immigrant
10-01-2012, 08:35 PM
There's no future with this organization. The other side of town made clear their plans, and while I would never spend a lot of money to go see a game if I was a fan, at least there's hope in the future for them. I can respect that and I would be willing to go see a couple games a year because they seem to be moving in the right direction. They appear to be making the right moves. But I'm not a Cubs fan. What are the Sox doing to instill any type of hope in this fanbase? What do we as fans have to look forward to next year and beyond? There's really nothing. The farm system is one of the worst in all of baseball. The current roster is full of veterans who are old and slow and a bunch won't be here next year. Management tells the fanbase through the press that they can't do things if fans don't come to the games, but charge the 4th highest avg ticket price to watch this team in person. The entire organization is a joke right now. There is no direction. There is no hope. IMO, those 2 factors are the main reasons fans are staying away.

That was depressing to read but I don't really disagree with any of it.

SoxFanCPA
10-02-2012, 08:30 AM
The reason this year's attendance never took off is because they didn't seell enough season tickets because no one expected this team to be as competitive as it was. By the time it was clear they were in the hunt school had started up again. Then the team hit the wall.

The school argument is brutal. The real truth is that everyone realized this team wasn't very good. Yeah they were in 1st for a while but they didn't pass the eye test, so people didn't go.

DumpJerry
10-02-2012, 08:43 AM
There's no future with this organization. The other side of town made clear their plans, and while I would never spend a lot of money to go see a game if I was a fan, at least there's hope in the future for them. I can respect that and I would be willing to go see a couple games a year because they seem to be moving in the right direction. They appear to be making the right moves. But I'm not a Cubs fan. What are the Sox doing to instill any type of hope in this fanbase? What do we as fans have to look forward to next year and beyond? There's really nothing. The farm system is one of the worst in all of baseball. The current roster is full of veterans who are old and slow and a bunch won't be here next year. Management tells the fanbase through the press that they can't do things if fans don't come to the games, but charge the 4th highest avg ticket price to watch this team in person. The entire organization is a joke right now. There is no direction. There is no hope. IMO, those 2 factors are the main reasons fans are staying away.
How many teams won the World Series doing what they Cubs say they are doing? Keep in mind they keep moving the goalposts further and further back. First it was three years, then five. Now they are saying seven. The truth is, they are rolling the dice with this plan.

The Cubs' plan will work if the other 29 teams stop trying to improve themselves. Theo has been stocking up on position players with all his deals, without pitching, the Cubs will get nowhere.

Thome25
10-02-2012, 09:14 AM
I voted option #3: "We have a very small fanbase who will come, and a large bandwagon that is unpredictably inconsistent"

I'll be completely and totally honest. Let me state that what I'm about to type below is MY OPINION and may or may not necessarily be fact:

In a market as enormous as Chicago is, it gets EXTREMELY frustrating in my 20+ years as a Sox fan watching this team scrape the bottom of the barrel with it's lack of fan support.

We have a strong yet puny die-hard fanbase (most of which are members of this message board I would suspect) and a bunch of bandwagoners who only support the team when the weather is fair.

In a city and surrounding area the size of Chicago, there are no excuses for this team to be struggling for fans year in and year out.

You can go to the same old arguments all you want, the ownership regime sucks because they pulled the Sox off of free TV and they have the wrong economic philosophy as it pertains to attendance, ticket and parking prices are too high, the economy is bad etc. etc. etc. I say it's all bull****.

This team deserves better than what it gets from a fan perspective in the city of Chicago. Now, don't get me wrong I'm not saying the season ticket holders or fans on this message board are in the wrong because as I stated above, we are part of the die hard portion of the fanbase who bleeds white, black, and silver. But, alas we're in the minority...I've come to the reality that the White Sox fanbase is just too small.

It's extremely sad because there are more than enough current and potential sports fans in the White Sox market to spread the pie a little more evenly.

I've been a White Sox fan for as long as I can remember and I'd like to see what it's like just once....ONCE for MY team to operate like a true big market club and not like a middling or lower half team.

It's sad to me because I love the White Sox and I want so much better for them.

Golden Sox
10-02-2012, 09:26 AM
One of these posts said the Cubs at least have a plan and they're sticking to it. Bill Veeck once said "The future is now. Five year plans usually lead to new five year plans." I saw recently that the Cubs listed Brett Jackson as their 3rd best prospect. If he's there 3rd best prospect they have problems in their farm system. He can't hit left handed pitchers and he's basically a utility player. When the day comes Jackson is released by the Cubs he'll be out of baseball. The White Sox has produced more from their farm system recently and it sure is a better system than what the bad guys on the Northside have now. As far as our fanbase, it appears as if our attendance will be somewhere between 2-2.5 million with decent teams. Less than that with real bad teams. We'll draw alot more than 2.5 million after great years. (the attendance almost hit 3 million in 2006) I don't see how anybody can say that we have a small fanbase with these type of numbers. If we played our games in a better location and had lower ticket prices our attendance would increase also. I read sometime this year that Forbes magazine said the White Sox are the 10th in revenues in MLB. With their TV contracts and high ticket prices the White Sox are 10th in revenue. Some teams might outdaw the White Sox but the White Sox are making more money than they are. Believe me if some of those teams who outdraw us ever charged for tickets what the White Sox charge for theirs their attendance would not be as good as it is.

doublem23
10-02-2012, 09:59 AM
There's no future with this organization. The other side of town made clear their plans, and while I would never spend a lot of money to go see a game if I was a fan, at least there's hope in the future for them. I can respect that and I would be willing to go see a couple games a year because they seem to be moving in the right direction. They appear to be making the right moves. But I'm not a Cubs fan. What are the Sox doing to instill any type of hope in this fanbase? What do we as fans have to look forward to next year and beyond? There's really nothing. The farm system is one of the worst in all of baseball. The current roster is full of veterans who are old and slow and a bunch won't be here next year. Management tells the fanbase through the press that they can't do things if fans don't come to the games, but charge the 4th highest avg ticket price to watch this team in person. The entire organization is a joke right now. There is no direction. There is no hope. IMO, those 2 factors are the main reasons fans are staying away.

That's a bunch of crap. This idea that the Cubs are just guaranteed to be good in a few years because they're racking up the 100-loss seasons now is just absurdity.

What did the Sox do to instill hope in people? Uh, they spent the majority of the season in 1st place, and don't give me this "well, uh, everyone knew they weren't going to be very good," which is crap-o-la because the Sox were neck and neck with NY and Texas for most of the season, as well.

This is the same old tired whiny high school drama queen crap that was posted last year, the Sox need to burn the whole thing down and try to start over from scratch, we need to lose 100 games to get better, etc. It's all crap. The Sox need to make some moves to improve the club, but they don't need to make DRASTIC, SWEEPING changes.

TheOldRoman
10-02-2012, 10:07 AM
The school argument is brutal. The real truth is that everyone realized this team wasn't very good. Yeah they were in 1st for a while but they didn't pass the eye test, so people didn't go.1) Bull****. The team WAS good. They played winning baseball for most of the year and would have likely would have won the division if not for their total collapse. People who neither understand statistics nor baseball will argue that the last few weeks were regression to the mean, but that's not true at all. "Oh, they are only talented enough to be a few over .500, so that means they will go 11-17 in September and hit something like .100 with RISP over the entire month". It doesn't work out like that. Those people were also wrong about Detroit being so great and being able to turn it on at any minute.

2) The point of watching baseball is to enjoy the game and see winning. I suppose a few clowns were midly peeved that their gloom-and-doom predictions were wrong, so they stayed away from the park and said "daaaah, dese guys suck and dey won't win anyways." Well, even if the team secretly wasn't good and you just knew in your heart of hearts that they would go 11-17 in September, the point is that those fools still missed out on a summer of exciting, winning baseball. You can't count on a playoff team every single year, but any summer where the team plays well, wins, and competes deep into the season is a pretty good one. So some dumbasses said being in first place and winning wasn't enough for them to enjoy a single July game because they thought the team would collapse in September. Well, those people should stop watching baseball all together.

russ99
10-02-2012, 10:10 AM
I've always maintained that Jerry has it backwards. He uses past good attendance to "reward" the fans by higher payroll, more win-now moves and a better overall team; when IMO the investment in the team is what attracts the fans.

While I voted if you build it we will come, I think it's more along the lines of we'll fill most of the lower bowl and the good seats in the upper deck between the dugouts but the team has to be really good to sell the rest of the place.

Plus the overall high prices to go to a game and the funky ticket structures aren't helping things in this economy where income isn't so "disposable" anymore.

TheOldRoman
10-02-2012, 10:17 AM
I've always maintained that Jerry has it backwards. He uses past good attendance to "reward" the fans by higher payroll, more win-now moves and a better overall teamIf you think that is the Sox' business plan, how do you explain them increasing payroll $25 million in 2011, coming off a season in which the team competed the whole year and still drew 2,000 fewer per game than the previous year?

russ99
10-02-2012, 10:18 AM
1) Bull****. The team WAS good. They played winning baseball for most of the year and would have likely would have won the division if not for their total collapse. People who neither understand statistics nor baseball will argue that the last few weeks were regression to the mean, but that's not true at all. "Oh, they are only talented enough to be a few over .500, so that means they will go 11-17 in September and hit something like .100 with RISP over the entire month". It doesn't work out like that. Those people were also wrong about Detroit being so great and being able to turn it on at any minute.

2) The point of watching baseball is to enjoy the game and see winning. I suppose a few clowns were midly peeved that their gloom-and-doom predictions were wrong, so they stayed away from the park and said "daaaah, dese guys suck and dey won't win anyways." Well, even if the team secretly wasn't good and you just knew in your heart of hearts that they would go 11-17 in September, the point is that those fools still missed out on a summer of exciting, winning baseball. You can't count on a playoff team every single year, but any summer where the team plays well, wins, and competes deep into the season is a pretty good one. So some dumbasses said being in first place and winning wasn't enough for them to enjoy a single July game because they thought the team would collapse in September. Well, those people should stop watching baseball all together.

Winning baseball and good baseball aren't always the same thing.

Some of our players were good, others are wastes of an at-bat or a pitching appearance. And if you want to discount September, take a look at our season-long player stats. There's maybe 10 guys who stand out and the rest of the 15-20 guys are mediocre at best to borderline awful. I'm not expecting a perfect roster, but there are obvious and eventually fatal flaws.

So often this year we had to sit through bad baseball while we did enough to win at just over a .500 clip.

But I still had fun at the park this year, regardless.

TheOldRoman
10-02-2012, 10:22 AM
Winning baseball and good baseball aren't always the same thing.

Some of our players were good, others are wastes of an at-bat or a pitching appearance. And if you want to discount September, take a look at our season-long player stats. There's maybe 10 guys who stand out and the rest of the 15-20 guys are mediocre at best to borderline awful. I'm not expecting a perfect roster, but there are obvious and eventually fatal flaws.

So often this year we had to sit through bad baseball while we did enough to win at just over a .500 clip.

But I still had fun at the park this year, regardless.The team was 10-15 games over .500 for pretty much the entire summer. They weren't barely staying afloat. So the team won, but wasn't flashy or whatever, so that is why fans stayed away. I don't get it. If these people need to see 7-0 wins on a regular basis just to be able to enjoy themselves at the ballpark, I reiterate that they need to stop watching baseball and devote themselves to something else.

Jerko
10-02-2012, 10:27 AM
THIS year the attendance was doomed because last year's team sucked and they lost a fan favorite like Buehrle while keeping the hated (deservedly so, based on last season) Dunn and Rios, and basically admitted they were "all out" going into the season. They lost a lot of ST holders who could just buy seats for any game they wanted on stubhub for LESS than the plan would cost. The Sox have sold before, so it's NOT location or access to the park (which has actually improved since the last "good" attendance year), it's not school, its' not lack of bars (there's 2 bars built right into the park that people can just walk into, and 3 more if you're a member) for people that like that, etc. They didn't draw because they were, based on 2011, inherently unlikeable as a group. Robin's hiring was taken by some fans as a "we surrender" move, and even though the boys were in first for a long time, and anything can happen in the playoffs; this reminded me of 08. Glad to make it in, knew they'd get wiped out in the first round. I think if they would have at least made the playoffs this year, next years ST base would have grown. Now that they blew it, expect more of the same attendance wise. So, if the Sox build it, I think people will come.

kobo
10-02-2012, 11:46 AM
How many teams won the World Series doing what they Cubs say they are doing? Keep in mind they keep moving the goalposts further and further back. First it was three years, then five. Now they are saying seven. The truth is, they are rolling the dice with this plan.

The Cubs' plan will work if the other 29 teams stop trying to improve themselves. Theo has been stocking up on position players with all his deals, without pitching, the Cubs will get nowhere.
I have no idea if what the Cubs are doing is going to work. I don't think it will but it remains to be seen. But at least they have a plan. They have a direction. There is hope. Those are things that do not exist with the Sox organization at this time.

SOXSINCE'70
10-02-2012, 11:50 AM
If you serve Vienna Kosher Hot Dogs,I will come.:D:

voodoochile
10-02-2012, 12:21 PM
I have no idea if what the Cubs are doing is going to work. I don't think it will but it remains to be seen. But at least they have a plan. They have a direction. There is hope. Those are things that do not exist with the Sox organization at this time.

I think the Sox have a fine plan. Play to win every single year. If that means spending big money on major FA's or trading minor league pieces to grab a necessary piece mid-summer so be it.

No, those acquisitions don't always pay off in immediate dividends and some of them even fall flat on their face, but at least they try to fill needs and go out to grab players who have the potential to help the team succeed. I'll take that over a 5-year rebuild the minor leagues and hope for the best "plan" (read: let the owners pocket a bunch of cash while selling a ton of tickets to morons) crap any day of the week...

Irishsox1
10-02-2012, 12:23 PM
First, the cost of going to a game is a big issue, given the economy I know of a lot of families that took their kids to only 2 games and they said it was the cost for the cutbacks.

Second, this team was picked to be horrible. Sports Illustrated (which is a joke of a rag) picked the Sox to finish last with something like 65 wins. The team did make changes, Youk, Francisco, Wise and a boat load of pitchers from the minors but it always felt like no matter what, Detroit had the better team and would eventually get it together and grab it. Leyland was correct, the Sox were going to be in it all year.

Third, the team never pulled away. The 2000 team got super hot and built a large lead, the 2005 team was awesome all year. Those looked like playoff teams. I never felt this team was a playoff team, just didn't look or feel like one. I really hoped I was going to be proven wrong and they almost pulled it off by not getting eliminated till Oct. 1st, but the fans never bought into this team and neither did I.

Fourth, the Royals. We went 6-12 against them and Detroit has gone 12-4 against KC. If we go 10-8 against them we're 1 game up with 2 to play.

voodoochile
10-02-2012, 12:28 PM
First, the cost of going to a game is a big issue, given the economy I know of a lot of families that took their kids to only 2 games and they said it was the cost for the cutbacks.

Second, this team was picked to be horrible. Sports Illustrated (which is a joke of a rag) picked the Sox to finish last with something like 65 wins. The team did make changes, Youk, Francisco, Wise and a boat load of pitchers from the minors but it always felt like no matter what, Detroit had the better team and would eventually get it together and grab it. Leyland was correct, the Sox were going to be in it all year.

Third, the team never pulled away. The 2000 team got super hot and built a large lead, the 2005 team was awesome all year. Those looked like playoff teams. I never felt this team was a playoff team, just didn't look or feel like one. I really hoped I was going to be proven wrong and they almost pulled it off by not getting eliminated till Oct. 1st, but the fans never bought into this team and neither did I.

Fourth, the Royals. We went 6-12 against them and Detroit has gone 12-4 against KC. If we go 10-8 against them we're 1 game up with 2 to play.

This is exactly how I feel. Well said. I will add in that I think the schedule at the end of the year did the Sox no favors at all. The rainout and rescheduled game on their only remaining day off combined with the odd travel schedule KC to LA really sucked a lot of life out of this team. I realize the Kittens dealt with similar issues, but they are healthier and younger at key positions as well as more experienced with less key positions filled by rookies or second year players. The Sox simply ran out of gas.

asindc
10-02-2012, 12:36 PM
Winning baseball and good baseball aren't always the same thing.

Some of our players were good, others are wastes of an at-bat or a pitching appearance. And if you want to discount September, take a look at our season-long player stats. There's maybe 10 guys who stand out and the rest of the 15-20 guys are mediocre at best to borderline awful. I'm not expecting a perfect roster, but there are obvious and eventually fatal flaws.

So often this year we had to sit through bad baseball while we did enough to win at just over a .500 clip.

But I still had fun at the park this year, regardless.

That describes probably 25-27 teams, at least. The difference between most teams is usually how well your best players play relative to everyone else's best players. Trade Pauly for Cabrera or Sale for Verlander and "hello division title." On rare occasions, the 11-25 on the roster will give you a lot more than expected (see Detroit Tigers, 2011 edition, or Oakland A's, 2012 edition). [Obvious-speak on]Usually though, the best players make the most difference.[Obvious-speak off]

doogiec
10-02-2012, 01:05 PM
I often hear that White Sox fans will support a winner, that they just wonít support losing baseball. And often that is said as a criticism of Cubs fans.
I think the facts show that this, unfortunately, is complete BS.

In 2005, the White Sox had the ultimate season. First place every day. Best record in the AL, again every day. Only one win short of best record in MLB. An exciting team that got off to a red hot start. The White Sox will never have a better season than 2005.

And they finished 17th in attendance. In September, they averaged around 27,000 per game.

Now you may make the argument that the Sox just donít have a large fan base. But in 2006, they finished a very respectable 9th in attendance. Those fans came from somewhere.

Fast forward to 2012. They were clearly not the best team in baseball, but rolled into September in first place. And for the final homestand, games that meant as much as playoff games were sparsely attended. They were giving away lower deck tickets to people who merely filled out a survey to avoid embarrassment. And lots of tickets were priced as low as $12.

Many have made the argument that high ticket prices during a bad economy were the cause. Yet, when playoff tickets were put on sale, games 1 and 2 sold out within a day. Those tickets werenít cheap .
The White Sox, for reasons unknown to me, have a huge portion of their fanbase that will only come out AFTER a championship of some sort has been won. That is very different than saying Sox fans will only support a winner. That is the definition of bandwagon fans.

The Sox need to attract more casual fans that just want to enjoy a day at the ballpark. They can start by getting a TV PBP man that doesnít sound like the angry bitter drunk you move away from at a bar. They can try to improve stadium operations: Get the concession lines moving quickly or use technology to make it easier to order food, hire and train ushers who act like they give a crap, use the scoreboards to give baseball information other than meaningless trivia. They can make the price of parking reasonable so you donít feel ripped off before you even enter the building.

A day at the ball game can be fun even if they arenít raising a flag that day. And if a large portion of the Sox fan base canít deal with that, the Sox need to do a better job of attracting new fans.

DumpJerry
10-02-2012, 01:08 PM
That's a bunch of crap. This idea that the Cubs are just guaranteed to be good in a few years because they're racking up the 100-loss seasons now is just absurdity.

What did the Sox do to instill hope in people? Uh, they spent the majority of the season in 1st place, and don't give me this "well, uh, everyone knew they weren't going to be very good," which is crap-o-la because the Sox were neck and neck with NY and Texas for most of the season, as well.

This is the same old tired whiny high school drama queen crap that was posted last year, the Sox need to burn the whole thing down and try to start over from scratch, we need to lose 100 games to get better, etc. It's all crap. The Sox need to make some moves to improve the club, but they don't need to make DRASTIC, SWEEPING changes.
People look at Tampa as a team that took advantage of being pure crap for many years to load up on great draft picks to get to the World Series and contend for the post season each year since.

People also look at Mega Millions Lottery winners as proof that you, too, can strike it rich.

If taking a dive to get great draft picks (and, given how MLB structures the draft, do you really have an advantage after the first round? After the second round, the playing field is pretty much leveled) works into making a team a World Series contender, I have three words: Kansas City Royals. The Royals have their moments, but they will never be a pick to click in March.

WhiffleBall
10-02-2012, 01:58 PM
The Sox need to attract more casual fans that just want to enjoy a day at the ballpark. They can start by getting a TV PBP man that doesnít sound like the angry bitter drunk you move away from at a bar. They can try to improve stadium operations: Get the concession lines moving quickly or use technology to make it easier to order food, hire and train ushers who act like they give a crap, use the scoreboards to give baseball information other than meaningless trivia. They can make the price of parking reasonable so you donít feel ripped off before you even enter the building.

A day at the ball game can be fun even if they arenít raising a flag that day. And if a large portion of the Sox fan base canít deal with that, the Sox need to do a better job of attracting new fans.

I don't think the contents of the scoreboard, and/or the time it takes to get something from the concession stand, or even Hawk are keeping anyone from the ballpark.

The September turnout was disappointing. I think a lot of fans did not believe this team was that good and needed them to make the ALDS to prove it. Unfortunetly those fans were right, we weren't that good. :angry:

The reality of the matter is that we live in two baseball team town with only enough fans to give one of those teams the type of game after game turnout you see in a one team town like Boston. That said the Cubs attendance would be similiar to the Sox if you took away the out of town visitors and Northside twenty/thirty somethings with lots of disposable income.

russ99
10-02-2012, 02:16 PM
I often hear that White Sox fans will support a winner, that they just won’t support losing baseball. And often that is said as a criticism of Cubs fans.
I think the facts show that this, unfortunately, is complete BS.

In 2005, the White Sox had the ultimate season. First place every day. Best record in the AL, again every day. Only one win short of best record in MLB. An exciting team that got off to a red hot start. The White Sox will never have a better season than 2005.

And they finished 17th in attendance. In September, they averaged around 27,000 per game.

Now you may make the argument that the Sox just don’t have a large fan base. But in 2006, they finished a very respectable 9th in attendance. Those fans came from somewhere.

Fast forward to 2012. They were clearly not the best team in baseball, but rolled into September in first place. And for the final homestand, games that meant as much as playoff games were sparsely attended. They were giving away lower deck tickets to people who merely filled out a survey to avoid embarrassment. And lots of tickets were priced as low as $12.

Many have made the argument that high ticket prices during a bad economy were the cause. Yet, when playoff tickets were put on sale, games 1 and 2 sold out within a day. Those tickets weren’t cheap .
The White Sox, for reasons unknown to me, have a huge portion of their fanbase that will only come out AFTER a championship of some sort has been won. That is very different than saying Sox fans will only support a winner. That is the definition of bandwagon fans.

The Sox need to attract more casual fans that just want to enjoy a day at the ballpark. They can start by getting a TV PBP man that doesn’t sound like the angry bitter drunk you move away from at a bar. They can try to improve stadium operations: Get the concession lines moving quickly or use technology to make it easier to order food, hire and train ushers who act like they give a crap, use the scoreboards to give baseball information other than meaningless trivia. They can make the price of parking reasonable so you don’t feel ripped off before you even enter the building.

A day at the ball game can be fun even if they aren’t raising a flag that day. And if a large portion of the Sox fan base can’t deal with that, the Sox need to do a better job of attracting new fans.

Attendance numbers should really be more in percentage of capacity than number of people. We'll never beat the bigger teams and/or the bigger ballparks using that method.

Attracting fans is a big deal, and the best way to do so is have a personable star. Look at Chicago's other franchises for an example, like the Bears with Urlacher and the Hawks with Kane & Toews. As an extreme case, without Rose would the Bulls have so much pull?

A big issue with the current roster is that the better players are not personable, which would be fine if their play made up for it. Guys like Dunn and Rios (who's play has made up for it this year) have been downright surly due to previous seasons, and Paul and A.J. are more quiet leaders than outgoing stars. Makes marketing's job much harder.

Maybe some of the younger guys like Sale will fit the bill in the future.

voodoochile
10-02-2012, 03:18 PM
I often hear that White Sox fans will support a winner, that they just won’t support losing baseball. And often that is said as a criticism of Cubs fans.
I think the facts show that this, unfortunately, is complete BS.

In 2005, the White Sox had the ultimate season. First place every day. Best record in the AL, again every day. Only one win short of best record in MLB. An exciting team that got off to a red hot start. The White Sox will never have a better season than 2005.

And they finished 17th in attendance. In September, they averaged around 27,000 per game.

Now you may make the argument that the Sox just don’t have a large fan base. But in 2006, they finished a very respectable 9th in attendance. Those fans came from somewhere.

Fast forward to 2012. They were clearly not the best team in baseball, but rolled into September in first place. And for the final homestand, games that meant as much as playoff games were sparsely attended. They were giving away lower deck tickets to people who merely filled out a survey to avoid embarrassment. And lots of tickets were priced as low as $12.

Many have made the argument that high ticket prices during a bad economy were the cause. Yet, when playoff tickets were put on sale, games 1 and 2 sold out within a day. Those tickets weren’t cheap .
The White Sox, for reasons unknown to me, have a huge portion of their fanbase that will only come out AFTER a championship of some sort has been won. That is very different than saying Sox fans will only support a winner. That is the definition of bandwagon fans.

The Sox need to attract more casual fans that just want to enjoy a day at the ballpark. They can start by getting a TV PBP man that doesn’t sound like the angry bitter drunk you move away from at a bar. They can try to improve stadium operations: Get the concession lines moving quickly or use technology to make it easier to order food, hire and train ushers who act like they give a crap, use the scoreboards to give baseball information other than meaningless trivia. They can make the price of parking reasonable so you don’t feel ripped off before you even enter the building.

A day at the ball game can be fun even if they aren’t raising a flag that day. And if a large portion of the Sox fan base can’t deal with that, the Sox need to do a better job of attracting new fans.

Your analysis completely ignores the issue that good attendance for the year and high averages require a large season ticket holder base. That's why 2006 had a much higher attendance than 2005. In 2005 the attendance average was hurt by a small base and as a result low attendance before summer kicked in and kids got out of school. The Sox drew well all summer and through September but couldn't overcome the low attendance in April and May which can ONLY be increased by high season ticket sales (as has repeatedly been demonstrated and discussed). In 2006 with the higher base they "drew" well those first few months and it pushed the average up for the whole year, even though attendance dropped off later in the season when the Sox fell off the pace.

Edit: If you are counting on mid-season sales or even walkup sales to boost your average you won't hit a high percentage for seats sold for the year unless you absolutely get red hot (see 2005).

doogiec
10-02-2012, 03:37 PM
Attendance numbers should really be more in percentage of capacity than number of people. We'll never beat the bigger teams and/or the bigger ballparks using that method.
.

In the case of a team that normally draws at or near capacity, I'd agree. To use Fenway as an example, the Red Sox would probably sell lots more tickets if they had more seats. Since they sell near 100% of tickets, it is probably safe to say that some people don't buy tickets simply because none are available.

But in the case of the 2005 White Sox, they weren't selling out many games. They would have drawn the same number of fans to a 50,000 seat stadium as they did at USCF.

mrfourni
10-02-2012, 03:49 PM
Your analysis completely ignores the issue that good attendance for the year and high averages require a large season ticket holder base. That's why 2006 had a much higher attendance than 2005. In 2005 the attendance average was hurt by a small base and as a result low attendance before summer kicked in and kids got out of school. The Sox drew well all summer and through September but couldn't overcome the low attendance in April and May which can ONLY be increased by high season ticket sales (as has repeatedly been demonstrated and discussed). In 2006 with the higher base they "drew" well those first few months and it pushed the average up for the whole year, even though attendance dropped off later in the season when the Sox fell off the pace.

Edit: If you are counting on mid-season sales or even walkup sales to boost your average you won't hit a high percentage for seats sold for the year unless you absolutely get red hot (see 2005).

I agree with this and think that, unless something changes, this problem is only going to increase. The incentive to buy season tickets at this point is not there when you factor in all of the April/Early May games you get "stuck" with. Add on the fact that most potential season ticket holders are smart enough to realize that the Sox have 1/2 price ticket codes for just about every game, and you can find tickets on stubhub for most games at or near face value for premium seats.

doogiec
10-02-2012, 03:52 PM
Your analysis completely ignores the issue that good attendance for the year and high averages require a large season ticket holder base. That's why 2006 had a much higher attendance than 2005. In 2005 the attendance average was hurt by a small base and as a result low attendance before summer kicked in and kids got out of school. The Sox drew well all summer and through September but couldn't overcome the low attendance in April and May which can ONLY be increased by high season ticket sales (as has repeatedly been demonstrated and discussed). In 2006 with the higher base they "drew" well those first few months and it pushed the average up for the whole year, even though attendance dropped off later in the season when the Sox fell off the pace.

Edit: If you are counting on mid-season sales or even walkup sales to boost your average you won't hit a high percentage for seats sold for the year unless you absolutely get red hot (see 2005).

I actually agree with you 100% on the first part, and that was the point of my post. I think season ticket sales went up around 9,000 per game in 2006. Were these really new Sox fans? No, they simply bought season tickets because the Sox were defending World Champs and most were probably gone the next season. They waited until after the championship to commit. If they could afford season seats in 2006, why not in 2005? They were hopping the bandwagon. And they hopped right off. I'm sure the same thing applies to single game and walk up sales. They need to find a way to sell season tickets to people who simply enjoy going to the games, and won't bail everytime they don't win a title.

I would disagree that the Sox drew well in September 2005. 27k average for a team leading the the AL, in a tight race and playing three games against a hot second place team is not drawing well (at least not by current baseball standards).

bunkaroo
10-02-2012, 04:00 PM
OK SoxMan24 explain your vote!

Lip Man 1
10-02-2012, 04:18 PM
Doogie:

Again it's CONSISTENT winning to excite the fan base, sell off season tickets etc.

The 2005 Sox AGAIN came out of nowhere right? They were expected to be a middle of the road team.

What happened in 2003? Blew a two game lead with 18 games left...what happened in 2004? faded in the second half because of season ending injuries to Thomas and Ordonez. Why should fans have thought even with the brilliant start that things were going to be any different in the first half of the year? They'd seen that before many times right?
,
Fans aren't going to "suddenly" start coming out in droves in the middle of the season because the Sox "happen" to be in first place. It just doesn't work that way.

They will come out if the previous seasons have been good, generated interest and excitement. It all builds on the previous few years which is why to me the Sox have consistently had attendence issues.

They can never sustain anything, teams come out of nowhere and do well then in many cases regress the next few years putting the entire process back to square one.

Lip

voodoochile
10-02-2012, 04:44 PM
I actually agree with you 100% on the first part, and that was the point of my post. I think season ticket sales went up around 9,000 per game in 2006. Were these really new Sox fans? No, they simply bought season tickets because the Sox were defending World Champs and most were probably gone the next season. They waited until after the championship to commit. If they could afford season seats in 2006, why not in 2005? They were hopping the bandwagon. And they hopped right off. I'm sure the same thing applies to single game and walk up sales. They need to find a way to sell season tickets to people who simply enjoy going to the games, and won't bail everytime they don't win a title.

I would disagree that the Sox drew well in September 2005. 27k average for a team leading the the AL, in a tight race and playing three games against a hot second place team is not drawing well (at least not by current baseball standards).

Actually it took several years for them to fully "hop off" as can be seen by the extended run of good attendance they had until 2009, when the economy was deep into the recession.

Is 27K the average for September or for the whole season?

doogiec
10-02-2012, 05:38 PM
Actually it took several years for them to fully "hop off" as can be seen by the extended run of good attendance they had until 2009, when the economy was deep into the recession.

Is 27K the average for September or for the whole season?

27k was the average in September. On 9/7/2005, when they extended their winning streak to 8 games and their division lead to 9.5 games, they played before less than 19,000 fans, for example.

In 2007, they fell back to slightly below MLB average attendance, shedding over 300,000 off the bandwagon. But you are correct, it took a few years for the complete collapse.

doogiec
10-02-2012, 05:48 PM
Again it's CONSISTENT winning to excite the fan base, sell off season tickets etc.
The 2005 Sox AGAIN came out of nowhere right? They were expected to be a middle of the road team.
What happened in 2003? Blew a two game lead with 18 games left...what happened in 2004? faded in the second half because of season ending injuries to Thomas and Ordonez. Why should fans have thought even with the brilliant start that things were going to be any different in the first half of the year? They'd seen that before many times right?
,
Fans aren't going to "suddenly" start coming out in droves in the middle of the season because the Sox "happen" to be in first place. It just doesn't work that way.
They will come out if the previous seasons have been good, generated interest and excitement. It all builds on the previous few years which is why to me the Sox have consistently had attendence issues.
They can never sustain anything, teams come out of nowhere and do well then in many cases regress the next few years putting the entire process back to square one.
Lip

23 teams outdrew the White Sox this year. Are all of those teams consistent winners? Not even close. One of those teams hasnít had a winning season in 20 years. There are 30 teams in this league, and the majority of them didnít spend a minute in first place. Many of those teams havenít won anything in years.

In 2005, 16 teams outdrew the Sox. Were all of those teams consistent winners? Nope.

The Sox donít exist in a vacuum. When other teams are in first place, and their fans do come out in droves to support them, as usually happens to teams not playing in Florida, it gives those teams a financial advantage over the Sox. Baseball is and always has been a business, and like it or not, with any business, planned payroll expense is going to be somewhat related to revenue. And no one can say for a fact that the fans will support a consistently winning team, since the Sox havenít had one, by your standards quoted above, worthy of support in their entire 112 year history.

My point is simple- most fan bases have a sizable portion of fans that purchase tickets because they like going to baseball games. The Sox, on the other hand, seem to have a sizable portion of fans who will show up only after a championship has been won. Changing that dynamic, not making excuses for it, is what Sox marketing needs to do if they are to provide a revenue stream that supports a large market payroll. And for the record, I blame this COMPLETELY on Sox marketing. Like you, I've been a Sox fan long enough to know what happens when a team is near the bottom of the league in attendance for an extended period of time. It gets ugly.

Looking at the standings the last few years, itís hard to find a team not named the Yankees or Rangers who has maintained the level of excellence year in and year out that you seem to require for the Sox to at least justify mediocre attendance. Out of the six LAST place teams this year, four outdrew the Sox.

It seems like most other teams have a decent size portion of their fan base that enjoys going to games regardless. The Sox don't appear to have that.

JasonFrasor54
10-02-2012, 07:00 PM
Its puzzling to me. This is Chicago. Attendance should be better.

One of my thoughts has always been that the location is a poor place. I know this cannot be fixed but if the Sox had a downtown stadium I feel this would help a lot. I firmly believe Wrigley's location helps them a great deal.

Perhaps a change in marketing strategy. A lot of people on and off this site have been saying this begins with the broadcast booth.

A lot of people need to realize U.S. Cellular is a great place to watch a game. It is not the same building that was created in 1991. They have done a great job in expanding the park and making it more fun for the fans. I hope more is still to come.

One more thing, I am okay paying the prices for upper deck tickets, if i were allowed to visit the rest of the park! I love catching batting practice. I go a good amount but I'd for sure go a few times more. (this is the only stadium I've been to where if you had an upper deck seat it restricted you from some of the popular sites in the park.)

Lip Man 1
10-02-2012, 07:01 PM
Doogie:

Try adding the Red Sox, Angels, Braves, Phillies, Cardinals and Giants to your "small" list. What do they have in common with the Yankees and Texas? Hmmmmmmmm................

And the team that outdrew the Sox after 20 years straight of losing. Well DUH...I'd sure as hell hope they would after that putrid run. I'd imagine those fans were shocked and thrilled to see anything resembling good baseball.

Sorry you and I are going to have to disagree. The Sox don't appear to have a sizable portion of the fan base who simply "enjoys" going to games for a reason. As Pale Hose George often put it, "because there's nothing cute and cuddly about losing..."

I 'enjoy' watching little league and high school baseball for example, when it comes to the Sox it's about winning and I suspect a large percentage of the fan base is the same way

Lip

doogiec
10-02-2012, 08:17 PM
Doogie:

Try adding the Red Sox, Angels, Braves, Phillies, Cardinals and Giants to your "small" list. What do they have in common with the Yankees and Texas? Hmmmmmmmm................

And the team that outdrew the Sox after 20 years straight of losing. Well DUH...I'd sure as hell hope they would after that putrid run. I'd imagine those fans were shocked and thrilled to see anything resembling good baseball.

Sorry you and I are going to have to disagree. The Sox don't appear to have a sizable portion of the fan base who simply "enjoys" going to games for a reason. As Pale Hose George often put it, "because there's nothing cute and cuddly about losing..."

I 'enjoy' watching little league and high school baseball for example, when it comes to the Sox it's about winning and I suspect a large percentage of the fan base is the same way

Lip

I was using the same standard for success that you used for the White Sox, referencing 2003 and 2004 as examples- if the team fails to win the division, there is no reason for anyone to buy tickets the following year, even if, overall the team had an above average season. See that same logic applied to the teams in your list:

Boston- dead last place with 91 losses at the moment. One division title in last 15 years.

Angels- haven't won the division since 2009

Atlanta-haven't won the division since 2005

Philadelphia-currently in third place, sold 1.6 million more tickets than Sox this year. But could make good argument for your point.

Cardinals- one division title in last six years

Giants- two division titles in last nine years.

By the way, I agree all of these teams have been very good the last decade, and deserve the support they receive. But see how easy it is to twist that success into failure? There are 30 teams, and in the end, 29 fail each year.

The only thing I see that these teams all have in common is that they have outdrawn the Sox year after year.

And Pittsburgh outdrawing the Sox this year is an absolute disgrace. If any fan base in baseball has reason to be skeptical, its that one.

And I agree, there is nothing "cute and cuddly about losing". But you are dead wrong, the 2012 White Sox were anything but "losers", and deserved far better fan support than they received.

They've had three losing seasons this century. Far better performance on the field than the fan support they have received would suggest.

Hitmen77
10-02-2012, 09:54 PM
There is no other business in the world that operates under the model of "we will put out a good product once you start to support us." If that is still the White Sox operating principle they are screwed.

Also, no other business model blames the customers for not buying/supporting their products.

It's not poor price structures or several years of lousy, disappointing product or a previous offseason of lowering expectations. No, no, no.....it's because the lifelong customer sucks, is not loyal enough and is just looking for an excuse to not make a purchase!!!

Any questions Sox ownership/management have as to why they're not drawing enough fans should start and stop at the mirror.

Lip Man 1
10-02-2012, 11:01 PM
Doogie:

We're obviously talking past each other. HOW MANY TIMES HAVE THOSE TEAMS THAT I MENTIONED MADE THE PLAYOFFS IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME?

Thank you.

Doesn't matter if you win the division or get in as a wild card THEY ARE STILL CONSISTENTLY GETTING IN. Years at a time in some cases.
MORE TIMES IN A ROW THAN SOX FANS CAN ONLY DREAM OF.
AND SOME OF THESE WILD CARD TEAMS ARE ACTUALLY GOING ON TO WIN THE WORLD SERIES!

I trust I made myself clear?

:?:

THAT's how you build fan interest, that's how you sell a ton of season tickets and single game tickets in the off season.

But feel free to keep finding ways to "blame" the fan base.

Again sorry you and I simply do not agree on this issue, not even close.

Oh and Doogie, you fail to understand those three losing seasons this century...HAVE ALL COME IN THE LAST SIX YEARS. This organization can't even put back to back winning seasons together anymore. And mentioning teams like Toronto, San Diego, Colorado, Pittsburgh et al, last I looked those clubs aren't in a market with two teams. You want to see baseball that badly? No matter how crappy the Jays are or the Pirates or the Royals, you see them or do without. Not exactly the same situation in Chicago is it, especially for the casual fan.

Not trying to come down harshly on you, your rational is very frustrating to me right now.

Lip

Jollyroger2
10-03-2012, 08:58 AM
There's no future with this organization. The other side of town made clear their plans, and while I would never spend a lot of money to go see a game if I was a fan, at least there's hope in the future for them. I can respect that and I would be willing to go see a couple games a year because they seem to be moving in the right direction. They appear to be making the right moves. But I'm not a Cubs fan. What are the Sox doing to instill any type of hope in this fanbase? What do we as fans have to look forward to next year and beyond? There's really nothing. The farm system is one of the worst in all of baseball. The current roster is full of veterans who are old and slow and a bunch won't be here next year. Management tells the fanbase through the press that they can't do things if fans don't come to the games, but charge the 4th highest avg ticket price to watch this team in person. The entire organization is a joke right now. There is no direction. There is no hope. IMO, those 2 factors are the main reasons fans are staying away.

I'm more in line with this post I think, most of it anyway. The lack of direction (or desire, etc) was very evident this season. The team would look great at times and other times look horrible. That's not just a talent issue, it's a lack of desire, leadership, etc. There is no reason why this team should exel against the likes of the Yankees and Rangers but then often fail miserably against the Royals, etc.

The head to head games vs. the Tigers were also a huge disappointment. Two sweeps in their park? Now I don't think the Tigers are anything special...so why get whipped like that? Plus when you factor in, in those sweeps the Sox got outscored 33-14, it shows most of the time they weren't even competitive. Clearly the team was either intimidated or just not up for the games.

I don't know if I'd agree on the Cubs though...they are still a mess and years away from contending. Here in the DC area I've seen the Nationals go from a real train wreck in what they were in Montreal, with no farm system, etc, to a very good young franchise with a deep farm system and lots of good players already at the MLB level. But they had to endure some painful seasons including back to back 100-loss seasons. Would the Sox blow up the ship and clean house and start over like that? Probably not because the fans wouldn't have the patience. In DC the fan base was happy just to have a team. The Sox don't have that luxury. They are a franchise that has semi-recently won a title and is expected to compete every season.

But you're right, there really is no direction right now.

Lip Man 1
10-03-2012, 12:14 PM
Just a few thoughts:

For every team that basically starts from scratch like Atlanta did in 89 and has a brilliant run of success, there are five or more like the Royals who have been "rebuilding" for 20 years.

With the Sox it's not as simple as a pure baseball decision. In a two team market with a fan base that will not tolerate losing it gets a lot more complicated.

That said, I don't think you can burn the candle at both ends and succeed. Either the Sox have to go back to "going for it," or "start a logical rebuilding process." Rebuilding while contending hasn't worked out very well. The total number of wins under JR is right up there among the best of the AL in 32 years but the number of playoff spots in that time ranks below teams like Minnesota, Cleveland and Oakland.

Something is amiss.

Lip

Mohoney
10-03-2012, 12:53 PM
People look at Tampa as a team that took advantage of being pure crap for many years to load up on great draft picks to get to the World Series and contend for the post season each year since.

People also look at Mega Millions Lottery winners as proof that you, too, can strike it rich.

If taking a dive to get great draft picks (and, given how MLB structures the draft, do you really have an advantage after the first round? After the second round, the playing field is pretty much leveled) works into making a team a World Series contender, I have three words: Kansas City Royals. The Royals have their moments, but they will never be a pick to click in March.

The Royals have the exact same problem that the Cubs have; they have no idea where they are going to get the two or three reliable starting pitchers that they so desperately need. At least the Cubs have the benefit of available cash if the young position players ever develop into a team that can contend. The Royals have to get almost everything either from the draft or from savvy trades, and by the time they can develop some pitching, some of these decent young players that they have will play themselves out of the Royals' price range.

Jerko
10-03-2012, 01:07 PM
2006 FULL season ticket numbers went up a tad because partial ST holders in 05 were offered tickets for ALL playoff games that year IF they upgraded to a full season ticket plan in 06. I know a bunch of people who took that upgrade.

jabrch
10-03-2012, 01:14 PM
The fans will support a winner, but if they don't build a team that looks like a potential pennant contender prior to the season, they won't sell enough season tickets to be able to afford more. You can't pay the rent based on walk-up sales or even on mid-summer advance sales.


Jim - I like you - you know that... But I'm calling bull****. They didn't support this winner.

If the answer is, "they will come only if the pre-commit before the season starts and won't buy into anything else" then so be it...but this team was a contender all season. It had the components needed to win in the post season. Fans still didn't come. Had they come when this team was in first most of the summer, maybe management would have had money to make a bigger move at the deadline...or banked it to make a bigger move next year. As it is, the overwhelming majority of our fans showed that they are going to come if they want to...and that building a winning team won't impact that significantly.

We have a very small, very rabid fanbase who will come no matter what. The rest, as someone else said, is fickle, unpredictable, and inconsistent. They want to have a payroll like the Yankees, but they won't pay the ticket prices for it. They want to have a farm system like the Rays, but won't put up with the crappy seasons it takes to build it. They won't come to attend baseball games for the pure joy of attending games....and that's fine...that's their perrogative. Yes, it is expensive. Yes, it takes time to get there from the N or W. Yes, it is a committment... But it is a committment that great teams' fans make. Ownership spent the money. Ownership put a good team on the field. (it happened to suck last year, but they made good aggressive moves that didn't pan out until a year later than plan) And the majority of the fans stayed away... I'm not talking about the rabid few....mostly the types we have here...I'm talking about the difference between 1.5mm and 3mm....that extra 1.5mm...what would enable this franchise to be able to spend 130MM+ consistently...those customers have spoken this season.

They have said, we will come if we want to. And we won't commit to coming even if you build a winner....even if you make the ballpark a family friendly place to come....even if you make affordable ticket options....even if you have decent public transportion, good parking options and even neighborhood activities...we, the 1.5mm variable customers, may come...or we may not... So, if I am running a business, and I have variable benefits and variable costs assoicated with them, I'm VERY careful to avoid fixing those costs at a level that can't be sustained given the fickle nature of those variable customers. Maybe I am willing to be a contender every now and then...because it seems like I can count on a set group of customers if I offer that value proposition. Offering a bigger spend did not get me any more revenues....and there is no way I can guarantee them a winner every year that it would take to convert some of these "customers" into "rabid fans".

SCCWS
10-03-2012, 01:25 PM
Living in the greater Boston area, I see a completely different picture on fan attendance. I posted this several years ago on WSI as well. Obviously Boston draws well. But I think if you were able to get a listing of Red Sox Season Ticket Holders, more than 60% would be corporate. As Boston's success and prices rose, the average fan got pushed into cheaper seats or gave up. When I say Corporate seats, I am not referring to boxes. In addition to the Corporate boxes, many companies have 6-8-10 grandstand seats. A typical company may have 10 seats. 5 in the Home plate area and 5 more cheaper grandstand seats down the lines. The good seats are used for customers and the lesser seats often given to their employees. I have a Purchasing background so I was constantly getting Red Sox tickets before I retired. My kids live in Boston and also go to 10+ games a year w corporate tics. In fact, I know La Salle Bank had Corporate Tickets when I visited them about 10 years ago. Not sure whose but they all seemed like Cub fans.

If the White Sox do not have an active Corporate Sales Department, that may be a major problem. It might also explain a comment I saw on here that the Cubs get a lot of tourists. That seemed odd to me. Maybe they get are a lot of visiting business people.

doogiec
10-03-2012, 01:37 PM
Doogie:

We're obviously talking past each other. HOW MANY TIMES HAVE THOSE TEAMS THAT I MENTIONED MADE THE PLAYOFFS IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME?

Thank you.

Doesn't matter if you win the division or get in as a wild card THEY ARE STILL CONSISTENTLY GETTING IN. Years at a time in some cases.
MORE TIMES IN A ROW THAN SOX FANS CAN ONLY DREAM OF.
AND SOME OF THESE WILD CARD TEAMS ARE ACTUALLY GOING ON TO WIN THE WORLD SERIES!

I trust I made myself clear?

:?:
Lip



My exact statement was "Looking at the standings the last few years, itís hard to find a team not named the Yankees or Rangers who has maintained the level of excellence year in and year out that you seem to require for the Sox to at least justify mediocre attendance." Note the "last few years" part. Its an important part of my sentence. I included it for a reason.

You replied by talking about teams that made multiple playoff appearances as some point in time in history. Some of those teams have made a single appearance in the "last few years". None of those teams (except PHI, which I previously admitted I should have classified with NYY and TEX) have been on a run of back to back playoff appearances (WC or DIV) in the last few years. That's why I didn't include them in my "short list". They didn't qualify.

Teams rarely go to the playoffs three, four or five years in a row. There's too much parity, player movement, and all around money being thrown around to make that a reality. Would I like that to happen? Hell yes. Do I believe the Sox deserve to flounder in the bottom third of attendance if they don't. Of course not. A marketing plan that requires three or four consecutive playoff seasons to see an increase in ticket sales is insanity.


But feel free to keep finding ways to "blame" the fan base.



And for the record, I blame this COMPLETELY on Sox marketing.


I don't know how I could have stated this any clearer as to who I blame for this issue. But if you prefer to just put words in my mouth....


So I am going to state my beliefs in a few short paragraphs, and then go away for many months as is my habit:

Sox attendance should somewhat correlate with performance on the field. It historically has not. I'm not talking about the stupidity that exists on the north side. I'm talking about a middle of the pack team drawing middle of the pack numbers. I'm talking about a World Series team drawing in the top five of the league. And I'm OK with a 95-100 game loser finishing at or near the bottom. That shouldn't be hard in a huge market such as Chicago, even if it is essentially cut in half.

The failure to do this is a failure of Sox marketing. When you look at attendance numbers around the league, it is clear that just about every other team can figure out a way to sell tickets even if they aren't going to the playoffs. The Sox can't, and even struggle to do so at a normal level when they are going to the playoffs

DSpivack
10-03-2012, 01:58 PM
Living in the greater Boston area, I see a completely different picture on fan attendance. I posted this several years ago on WSI as well. Obviously Boston draws well. But I think if you were able to get a listing of Red Sox Season Ticket Holders, more than 60% would be corporate. As Boston's success and prices rose, the average fan got pushed into cheaper seats or gave up. When I say Corporate seats, I am not referring to boxes. In addition to the Corporate boxes, many companies have 6-8-10 grandstand seats. A typical company may have 10 seats. 5 in the Home plate area and 5 more cheaper grandstand seats down the lines. The good seats are used for customers and the lesser seats often given to their employees. I have a Purchasing background so I was constantly getting Red Sox tickets before I retired. My kids live in Boston and also go to 10+ games a year w corporate tics. In fact, I know La Salle Bank had Corporate Tickets when I visited them about 10 years ago. Not sure whose but they all seemed like Cub fans.

If the White Sox do not have an active Corporate Sales Department, that may be a major problem. It might also explain a comment I saw on here that the Cubs get a lot of tourists. That seemed odd to me. Maybe they get are a lot of visiting business people.

This is a good point, and one in which I wonder is not being discussed enough. Before the financial crisis, I wonder if each team had quite a few corporate clients; and trying to cut down on that, if many companies didn't choose Cubs over Sox in that regard.

Lip Man 1
10-03-2012, 02:20 PM
This and that:

Spivak: I do know that the Sox lost some sponsors over the time period you were talking about due to the economy. If I remember the specifics were discussed on it here at WSI. In the story I summerized from the Tribune dated September 1st, it quoted a Cub front office person as saying 40% of Cub attendance comes from tourists. I suspect that means more people from Iowa, downstate Illinois, Indiana etc than corporations but there could be some.

Jab: Sox ticket prices are comparable to the Yankees and Red Sox. They are the 4th highest on average in the game. I suspect many Sox fans ARE willing to pay that type of price but if you want to charge like the Yankees or Red Sox, you damn well better win like them no?

Even in this economy I think enough fans would find a way to take in maybe one more game (and those add up) if they seriously thought a club could do something. Since 2006 I suspect very few fans honestly thought the franchise was a real serious contender, not for what is usually the worst division in baseball, but as Kittle often points out, a contender for the pennant / World Series.

Yes they were in first place for 117 days this year but they never really seemed in control, never seemed to be able to put the thing away (and they had a boatload of chances) and again I suspect that come September fans lost faith because of it.

There's no right answer or wrong answer...I agree with much of what you say. The answer is to grow the fan base and the Sox for the past 32 years under current ownership haven't done that very well except for a few brief periods. They've had their chances, sometimes things happen that were totally outside of their control...sometimes the organization was its own worst enemy.

Lip

doublem23
10-03-2012, 02:27 PM
Jab: Sox ticket prices are comparable to the Yankees and Red Sox. They are the 4th highest on average in the game. I suspect many Sox fans ARE willing to pay that type of price but if you want to charge like the Yankees or Red Sox, you damn well better win like them no?


This myth needs to die now.

The Sox ticket prices are not comparable to the Red Sox or Yankees. The Sox, on average, charge 46% less than the Red Sox, 43% less than the Yankees, and 38% less than the Cubs.

The Sox are also not the 4th highest average ticket in the Majors. They're not even Top 10.

1. Boston - $53.38
2. Yankees - $51.55
3. Cubs - $46.30
4. Phillies - $37.42
5. Twins - $33.04
6. Cardinals - $31.57
7. Tigers - $31.00
8. Nationals - $30.54
9. Astros - $30.09
10. Marlins - $29.62
11. White Sox - $29.00

http://fancostexperience.com/pages/fcx/fci_pdfs/8.pdf

Lip Man 1
10-03-2012, 02:35 PM
Double:

I have no idea where you got your info. I only know the last time I saw the figuures in the paper they had the 4th highest price on average.

If this is in fact wrong, than the Sox obviously aren't letting the fan base know about it enough to explode the 'myth' because even in the NPR piece that ran Friday, a fan was quoted as talking about the high ticket prices. That's all I can tell you. I've been told from people they are extremely high, along with what I read in the paper.

Maybe the Sox need to send out a release or call a press conference exploding this "myth" if that's the case.

I do know the NPR story (and you can listen to it) had the reporter quoting the latest figures as saying that for a family of four to go to a Sox game it costs "over 200 dollars" (direct quote) I also know the Sox were charging 48 dollars a ticket for bleacher seats for the Yankee series in late August.

Lip

FielderJones
10-03-2012, 03:09 PM
I have no idea where you got your info. I only know the last time I saw the figures in the paper they had the 4th highest price on average.


From a web site called fancostexperience.com (http://fancostexperience.com/). The penultimate column on the right is entitled FCI, the Fan Cost Index (http://fancostexperience.com/pages/fcx/fci.php). Besides the four tickets, it includes the cost of 4 soft drinks, 2 beers, 4 hot dogs, two programs, parking, and two adult caps.


I do know the NPR story (and you can listen to it) had the reporter quoting the latest figures as saying that for a family of four to go to a Sox game it costs "over 200 dollars" (direct quote) I also know the Sox were charging 48 dollars a ticket for bleacher seats for the Yankee series in late August.

The $200+ cost is correct for the FCI listed above. The Sox are above the MLB average but not #4.

Unfortunately, the methodology for determining the average cost per ticket is not listed. I would think with dynamic pricing, and the way the Sox used to do it with ticket prices going up rather than down, an accurate number might be a bit more difficult than one might think at first glance.

hawkjt
10-03-2012, 03:16 PM
Saying that this team was not really that good is just wrong.
Based on the pythagorean formula as of today the Sox should be 87-74,while the Tigers are at 86-75. So,statistically, the Sox were as good or better than the Tigers and should have won this division.


I think the Sox must retain AJ,Youk, and add another starter,and if the economy picks up a bit, fans will buy more season tickets next year.

This was a likeable team...no jerks. Lower ticket prices a bit and cut parking fees,and this can be turned around.

Lip Man 1
10-03-2012, 04:33 PM
One other point about the apparent disagreement over average ticket prices.

I'm not saying this is an absolute because it's possible it simply fell through the cracks, I want to be very clear on this. I'm simply passing this along.

Since I was invited to participate in the NPR station story, Brooks and I have exchanged a number of e-mails, some very involved.

I'm always blown away by the professionalism Brooks shows to me and by proxy, White Sox Interactive. He doesn't have to do any of this, he can just say, "what do they know?" but he doesn't. The e-mails contained generally an overview of things, how the problem is looked at, what the possible causes are.

I mentioned to him specifically the dynamic pricing concept and that the Sox tickets are the 4th highest on average in baseball are part of the issue.

Brooks never told me after this that those figures were wrong. I'd think that given it appears to be a major reason why Sox fans are staying away that Brooks would have at least mentioned, 'by the way, those numbers are wrong...' something like that.

Again I'm not saying because he didn't, those figures are correct, it simply might have been missed but I think it was worth putting this out there for discussion.

Lip

Nellie_Fox
10-03-2012, 04:43 PM
Most of the parking cost is a Chicago city tax.

doublem23
10-03-2012, 04:55 PM
Most of the parking cost is a Chicago city tax.

The increase in parking fees for this year was due to an increased city tax, but the city only collects $3-$5 in taxes on cars parked at Sox Park, depending on if it's a weekday or weekend.

http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/fin/supp_info/revenue/tax_list/parking_tax.html

Nellie_Fox
10-03-2012, 05:07 PM
The increase in parking fees for this year was due to an increased city tax, but the city only collects $3-$5 in taxes on cars parked at Sox Park, depending on if it's a weekday or weekend.

http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/fin/supp_info/revenue/tax_list/parking_tax.htmlYeah, I just wrote about that in another thread. Rongey had told a caller that the tax was $20; turns out he's wrong. I didn't research it until after I wrote that.

DumpJerry
10-03-2012, 05:44 PM
The Royals have the exact same problem that the Cubs have; they have no idea where they are going to get the two or three reliable starting pitchers that they so desperately need. At least the Cubs have the benefit of available cash if the young position players ever develop into a team that can contend. The Royals have to get almost everything either from the draft or from savvy trades, and by the time they can develop some pitching, some of these decent young players that they have will play themselves out of the Royals' price range.
The Royals, because of their low payroll and luxury tax receipts, are considered one of the best investments in MLB. It is rumored (since the books are not public) that the Royals are the most profitable franchise in baseball. Because of the low attendance, their overhead is low because they don't have to pay for a ton of game-day employees to handle 40,000 people.

socko82
10-03-2012, 06:38 PM
Just curious...how big of an effect do you think Stubhub has had on attendance? I went to 8 games this year and bought tickets from the team once on a half price Monday. The rest I bought off stubhub for below face value. I always checked the Sox site first but Stubhub always had better prices/seat locations. I would have gone to those games anyway but instead of my money going to the team it went to a third party. The Sox got an extra but in the seat but lost an additional paid admission. When so much of your overall attendance is dependent on walk ups, it kills them to have websites undercutting their prices.

DSpivack
10-03-2012, 06:39 PM
Just curious...how big of an effect do you think Stubhub has had on attendance? I went to 8 games this year and bought tickets from the team once on a half price Monday. The rest I bought off stubhub for below face value. I always checked the Sox site first but Stubhub always had better prices/seat locations. I would have gone to those games anyway but instead of my money going to the team it went to a third party. The Sox got an extra but in the seat but lost an additional paid admission. When so much of your overall attendance is dependent on walk ups, it kills them to have websites undercutting their prices.

That's also because their prices are too high.

LITTLE NELL
10-03-2012, 06:57 PM
The reason this year's attendance never took off is because they didn't seell enough season tickets because no one expected this team to be as competitive as it was. By the time it was clear they were in the hunt school had started up again. Then the team hit the wall.

But where was the walk-up crowd? The team looked like it might be contenders in late May, in other years if the Sox had a good spring, June, July and August were good months for the walk-ups. Not this year.

kobo
10-03-2012, 07:14 PM
Just curious...how big of an effect do you think Stubhub has had on attendance? I went to 8 games this year and bought tickets from the team once on a half price Monday. The rest I bought off stubhub for below face value. I always checked the Sox site first but Stubhub always had better prices/seat locations. I would have gone to those games anyway but instead of my money going to the team it went to a third party. The Sox got an extra but in the seat but lost an additional paid admission. When so much of your overall attendance is dependent on walk ups, it kills them to have websites undercutting their prices.
The tickets on stubhub though were already bought by someone, so the team received the revenue from the original sale of that ticket. So while you may not have paid the team directly, the original purchaser of that ticket did.

kevingrt
10-03-2012, 07:20 PM
The tickets on stubhub though were already bought by someone, so the team received the revenue from the original sale of that ticket. So while you may not have paid the team directly, the original purchaser of that ticket did.

True but now if you buy tickets to a game and don't want to go instead of eating the ticket it is so easy to resell it. All you do is punch in the bar code to StubHub set a price and poof tickets online. Soon after tickets sold. This all takes about five minutes. 5-10 years ago you'd have to find a friend or sell the around the ballpark. It wasn't easy. Now it is.

Nellie_Fox
10-04-2012, 01:03 AM
True but now if you buy tickets to a game and don't want to go instead of eating the ticket it is so easy to resell it. All you do is punch in the bar code to StubHub set a price and poof tickets online. Soon after tickets sold. This all takes about five minutes. 5-10 years ago you'd have to find a friend or sell the around the ballpark. It wasn't easy. Now it is.Oh, I think I see what you're saying. In the pre-StubHub days, the original purchaser would have most likely just sat on the unused ticket, and you'd have bought one from the Sox, so they'd have two sales, where now they only have one. That makes sense.

jabrch
10-04-2012, 02:29 PM
This and that:


Jab: Sox ticket prices are comparable to the Yankees and Red Sox. They are the 4th highest on average in the game. I suspect many Sox fans ARE willing to pay that type of price but if you want to charge like the Yankees or Red Sox, you damn well better win like them no?



Lip - that's untrue. And it's bull that you have to pay 200 for a family of four to go to a game. We've all seen the discussions here - there are loads of ways to go to a game for far less than that.

jabrch
10-04-2012, 02:32 PM
I don't have season ticks anymore because I don't live in the city like I did for many years - and I have 5 year old twins. Back in the day, I could go to 60+ games a year and it was worth it. Not anymore...

But I managed to buy tickets on stub hub or from friends, for much less than retail. I either take public transportion or drive and park by my favorite local watering hole (and get a parking pass from them for free). I don't buy food at the park often - maybe a dog with if I need it...and I don't drink much anymore. I don't buy my kid a foam hand every time and I don't buy tshirts or jerseys there either.

The Sox experience can be very expensive if you want it to be. It can also be quite reasonable.

Lip Man 1
10-04-2012, 05:51 PM
Jab:

And has been pointed out in numerous threads if that's the case the Sox are apparently doing a poor job of letting the public know because fans continue to mention high ticket prices including fans in the NPR piece that ran last Friday.

Lip

kobo
10-04-2012, 06:05 PM
Jab:

And has been pointed out in numerous threads if that's the case the Sox are apparently doing a poor job of letting the public know because fans continue to mention high ticket prices including fans in the NPR piece that ran last Friday.

Lip
Why would the Sox let the public know they can search online for codes to make the cost of tickets cheaper?

WhiteSox5187
10-04-2012, 06:11 PM
Why would the Sox let the public know they can search online for codes to make the cost of tickets cheaper?

Because they want more people to come to the park?

jabrch
10-05-2012, 12:28 PM
Jab:

And has been pointed out in numerous threads if that's the case the Sox are apparently doing a poor job of letting the public know because fans continue to mention high ticket prices including fans in the NPR piece that ran last Friday.

Lip

Or....the "bandwaggoners" just continue to make excuses for why they aren't coming to the park.

Our tickets, even at face value, provide opportunities to come to the park at a reasonable price. If the "bandwaggoners" continue to want to deny it's existence, that's fine. I don't give a ****.

Lip - you are a smart guy. Manipulating real facts with the selective use of statistics makes for cute stories in the media, but it is not representative of the TRUTH. The truth is that White Sox fans do not come to the park the same way that fans of other teams do. We can come up with a million and one excuses...but we don't. It's the weather...it's the school year...it's the neighborhood....parking...seats too high...seats too blue... it's all bull**** and we the "real fans" should quit continuing the propogation of this horsepoopy.

Red Barchetta
10-05-2012, 12:48 PM
There's no future with this organization. The other side of town made clear their plans, and while I would never spend a lot of money to go see a game if I was a fan, at least there's hope in the future for them. I can respect that and I would be willing to go see a couple games a year because they seem to be moving in the right direction. They appear to be making the right moves. But I'm not a Cubs fan. What are the Sox doing to instill any type of hope in this fanbase? What do we as fans have to look forward to next year and beyond? There's really nothing. The farm system is one of the worst in all of baseball. The current roster is full of veterans who are old and slow and a bunch won't be here next year. Management tells the fanbase through the press that they can't do things if fans don't come to the games, but charge the 4th highest avg ticket price to watch this team in person. The entire organization is a joke right now. There is no direction. There is no hope. IMO, those 2 factors are the main reasons fans are staying away.

From the moment JR and team took over in the early 80s, the White Sox have been crawling out of a PR hole. Sportsvision, Harry Carey, "Chicago's American League Team", threatening to move to Florida, etc.

Add the fact that the majority of the SOX fan base has moved out of the south side of Chicago and into the suburbs, the ownership had a publically paid for and immediately outdated ballpark built across the street. Attendance spiked out of curiousity for a few years but after Camden Yards and the other retro/attractive ballparks were built, Comiskey II was already considered outdated and sterile. The US Celluar naming rights/funding has improved the ballpark, however it has not improved the location. I did not support the idea of the SOX moving to Addison, however I do wish in hindsight, they would have moved into downtown Chicago either on the south or west side of the loop. Chicago has a beautiful skyline that is on display at every Bears game and it's a shame the SOX could not take advantage of that marketing tool. Heck, they didn't even point the new ballpark in the right direction and are stuck in no man's land in between downtown Chicago and the near suburbs.

The NBA marketing atmosphere that Brooks Broyer brought to the team has grown old and the SOX are in desperate need of a some new ideas and blood. Although Ventura is a company man, I'm hoping with the changes in the front office taking effect this off-season, we can expect some more positive changes mad up and down, throughout the organization.

The Cubs will always have Wrigley Field, no matter how old or smelly it is, as their marketing ticket. As long as the neighborhood stays trendy and attracts affluent tourists and fans, it doesn't matter if the Cubs win as demonstrated again in 2012 when 3 million plus "fans" watched the second worst team in MLB and the 3rd worst Cubs team in the history of their franchise. The SOX need more than a winning record to attract more fans. The core fan base is always there, however the casual SOX fan is fickle and will not spend $$$ on a team that continues to disappoint and the casual tourist fan is basically non-existent on the south side.

doogiec
10-05-2012, 01:11 PM
Sox marketing should be looking north for ideas, and maybe some employees to steal. I'm not talking about the Cubs, I'm talking about the Brewers.

The similarities between the teams are strong. From 2005-2012, both teams have been to the postseason twice (obviously once with more success by the Sox). They've had roughly the same number of winning seasons (one more for Sox). They've averaged a similar number of wins through those seasons (two more for Sox/year). While Milwaukee's market is small compared to Chicago, the economies have been similar recently. Both teams play in suburban style ballparks in the midst of lots of parking lots without a "Wrigleyville" type of environment. The Brewers have an advantage in that they play indoors in April and May if necessary, but have an offsetting disadvantage in that Milwaukee doesn't have nearly the corporate presence that Chicago does and their fans are probably traveling farther to the games.

Despite all the similarities in performance, the Brewers have averaged over 400,000 more fans per season than the Sox. That includes the World Series and following season for the Sox.

They're doing something right up there.

Noneck
10-05-2012, 01:22 PM
Sox marketing should be looking north for ideas, and maybe some employees to steal. I'm not talking about the Cubs, I'm talking about the Brewers.

The similarities between the teams are strong. From 2005-2012, both teams have been to the postseason twice (obviously once with more success by the Sox). They've had roughly the same number of winning seasons (one more for Sox). They've averaged a similar number of wins through those seasons (two more for Sox/year). While Milwaukee's market is small compared to Chicago, the economies have been similar recently. Both teams play in suburban style ballparks in the midst of lots of parking lots without a "Wrigleyville" type of environment. The Brewers have an advantage in that they play indoors in April and May if necessary, but have an offsetting disadvantage in that Milwaukee doesn't have nearly the corporate presence that Chicago does and their fans are probably traveling farther to the games.

Despite all the similarities in performance, the Brewers have averaged over 400,000 more fans per season than the Sox. That includes the World Series and following season for the Sox.

They're doing something right up there.


Ive alluded to this in another thread. I dont think a team needs a wrigleyville setting to draw in the city. Not all fans are the type that like that type of setting. One advantage that Sox park has that miller doesnt is good public transportation but the disadvantage is the expensive parking. A retractable domed park would have helped the Sox also but that probably would have entailed ownership to dig deep into their pockets at that time, not on the public's dime.

doogiec
10-05-2012, 01:33 PM
Ive alluded to this in another thread. I dont think a team needs a wrigleyville setting to draw in the city. Not all fans are the type that like that type of setting. One advantage that Sox park has that miller doesnt is good public transportation but the disadvantage is the expensive parking. A retractable domed park would have helped the Sox also but that probably would have entailed ownership to dig deep into their pockets at that time, not on the public's dime.

Speaking of White Sox expensive parking- the Brewers charge $9 for general parking if you purchase a week or more in advance, or either $10 or $15 cash at the lot, depending on opponent (dynamic parking pricing?).

Big difference there. Helps offset the increased cost of gas to drive the game, doesn't it?