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View Full Version : Will renovations really help attendance?


chisox06
10-29-2003, 07:53 PM
Maybe Im polling the wrong people here because I know the vast majority of people on this forum go to sox games to see the sox and the park itself probably doesn't have an effect on how many games you attend in a year. It just makes me wonder if the renovations will really help attendance all that much. I mean people complain about the UD but their is never enough tickets sold to get people up their anyways. I know especially for the sox, putting a competitive team on the field is the number one attendance booster, and for me its hard to imagine that the casual Chicago sports fan is going to attend a game or more games just based on the fact that the park has had some cosmetic changes. Just a thought wonder what you all think.

hose
10-29-2003, 08:18 PM
The upper deck has to be improved in order to get casual fans to come back.

To many "potential" repeat fans have been turned off by the steep climb up the stairs and the feeling of vertigo and have sworn off ever coming back.

My sister is an example. Not one year goes by when she doesn't bring up her ONE time experience at Comiskey's upper deck.

cornball
10-29-2003, 08:23 PM
Build a winner and they win come.

doublem23
10-29-2003, 08:42 PM
Originally posted by cornball
Build a winner and they win come.

I agree... The Sox could play in a dirt field, but if they consistently won, they'd be able to draw 30,000+ a night easily.

BeerHandle
10-29-2003, 10:32 PM
The renovations will continue to improve the park for the fans (those that go). The following are things that we will always hear:

1. Cubs don't win, but fill the park

2. Wrigleyville is more fun because of the bars and neighborhood.

3. The Cubs have a larger fan base because kids growing up would come home from school, turn on WGN in their market and watch the Cubs play. As long as young professionals (outside of and from Chicago) live in Wrigley the Field will always bring in a high attendance.

4. Sox can't consistently win in a weak division.

I will continue to be a season ticket holder, enjoy the renovations (it will one of the greatest parks), converse with fans that know the game of baseball and get a lot of beers from Bob the Beer-Man.

duke of dorwood
10-29-2003, 10:56 PM
The public has been brainwashed into thinking the park is bad. All the renovations keep proving that may be true. And it will never get its just due until the "shrine" implodes

Lip Man 1
10-29-2003, 11:06 PM
The only thing that will help attendence is a championship caliber club.

I don't know if Uncle Jerry will ever understand that.

Lip

TDog
10-29-2003, 11:17 PM
The Dan Ryan will be torn up next summer. The purging of offensive seats in the upper deck won't make much of a difference. Winning 110 games wouldn't bring latter-day Cubbie-type crowds to the Cell.

voodoochile
10-29-2003, 11:27 PM
Originally posted by TDog
The Dan Ryan will be torn up next summer. The purging of offensive seats in the upper deck won't make much of a difference. Winning 110 games wouldn't bring latter-day Cubbie-type crowds to the Cell.

What about the year after that?

I voted yes in the poll. I don't think it is something that will have a dramatic impact in one year, but it took the Sox longer than a year to get into this hole, it is going to take longer than that to get out of it.

They aren't suddenly going to change the public's negative perception of the UD. Mark Giangreco isn't suddenly going to start raving about the UD every night. Wrigley isn't going to suddenly dissappear either. However, if the job is done right, it might eventually have an impact on the public's perception. As more people tell their friends about the fun they had up there, business will build by word of mouth.

Next years gain might be minimal as might the year after that, but it isn't like the Sox are going anywhere, is it? Eventually, the impact will be noticeable, IMO.

And, yes, none of it will matter unless the Sox start consistently winning...

LuvSox
10-30-2003, 08:25 AM
Originally posted by BeerHandle
Wrigleyville is more fun because of the bars and neighborhood.

Fun for who?

steff
10-30-2003, 08:30 AM
I honestly think, and dread, that people will come to see the changes. Whether they come back or not is the real question...

dickallen15
10-30-2003, 08:40 AM
I think once the renovations are done, the majority of the people who complained about the upper deck will find something else to complain about

steff
10-30-2003, 08:45 AM
Originally posted by dickallen15
I think once the renovations are done, the majority of the people who complained about the upper deck will find something else to complain about


But of course.

GoSox2K3
10-30-2003, 09:28 AM
I voted "Yes". But, there are alot of variables that affect attendance. The most important factor is the Sox performance on the field. Also, weather and road construction have impacts. But, that being said, I think the renovations will have a positive effect on attendance.

Another factor that could really improve attendance in the future would be if the City and team were ever able to develop the area around the ballpark to include more bars, restaurants, residences, etc.

anewman35
10-30-2003, 09:42 AM
Originally posted by GoSox2K3
I voted "Yes". But, there are alot of variables that affect attendance. The most important factor is the Sox performance on the field. Also, weather and road construction have impacts. But, that being said, I think the renovations will have a positive effect on attendance.

I agree. The renovations certianly aren't going to hurt attendence, but I can't see a whole lot of people who aren't already Sox fans taking a trip to the park to check it out unless the tickets are really cheap or the team is playing very well.

Hangar18
10-30-2003, 10:14 AM
The people to ask shouldnt be us.......But average people downtown and on Michigan Ave. More Importantly, Will
A) we Get Positive Media Coverage from this?
B) Or will we get any Coverage at all regarding the changes?

If "A", then people will show up, the casual fans
If "B", we'll be in the same boat as weve always been, trying to combat the negative spin put on the park (rightfully so mostly)
from the Giancrecos and ESPN's of the world

Procol Harum
10-30-2003, 10:22 AM
I think it will have a small impact, so I voted "Yes." However, for any number of other factors (years of bad Reinsdorfian fan relations, location, lack of upscale neighborhoods nearby, etc.) the only thing that is ever going to make a big difference is fielding a team that has a legitimate shot at the World Series.

soxruleEP
10-30-2003, 11:31 AM
Let's face it, if most fans are like me, when the game is over, they are going home. I have to go to work in the morning and can't go to some bar for three more hours. This neighborhood around the ballpark stuff is a strawman.

It costs too much to go to a game. My daughter is grown and now I have season tickets but it still costs me $45 bucks for my wife and I before we enter the park--parking and tickets. If you think it doesn't cost too much, why does the attendance increase on half-price nights? But really only when the team is winning. My brother in law is a rabid fan, but he has five kids.

If the team is good, people will come.

Besides, if it weren't for Satan's Spawn at the Urinal, attendance wouldn't be a issue for discussion. Do you think it dwelled on constantly in one team cities?

soxnut
10-30-2003, 11:33 AM
I think the renovations will produce a modest increase. Hopefully, whether people like it or not, we need to get the casual fans and some of the tourists to come to the ballpark as well. If the ballpark is touted enough by the national media, those who come to Chicago for the summer, and want something to do, will think about coming to our ballpark when the "Tourist Attraction Team" is not in town. And then hopefully make a return visit. This whoel process though, unfortunately, will not happen overnight. :cool:

maurice
10-30-2003, 12:47 PM
I expect that the cosmetic changes to the park itself will help attendance marginally. The proposed changes shown on Hangar's pics will help even more. The commercial development of 35th St. between Wentworth and the tracks would help the most. Unfortunately, it appears that this best (and cheapest) improvement is on the backburner.

nut_stock
10-30-2003, 01:03 PM
Something that interests me is going to be the pricing of the upperdeck once the renovation is done. In the past the UD was divided in half. Rows 1-15 were UD box seats and rows 16-29 were UD reserved. If the new UD only has 21 rows, I hope that the new price split is at Row 11/12. I sit in the UD about half of the time I am in attendance. In the past I always avoided getting UD reserved seats if I knew a good crowd would be present. However, If I know that I won't be stuck in rows 22-29 and could land a seat in row 12 for $14 bucks, that sounds good to me!

nut_stock
10-30-2003, 01:06 PM
One more thing to consider, Mr Reifort said that they were also going to add additional amenites to the UD. This is also intriging.

Clarkdog
10-30-2003, 02:46 PM
I think it will have a small impact, there will be those that will see improvement in the the UD and likely will continue to buy tickets up there, but there are a great number of other factors that could do wonders toward contributing to repeat and increased attendance.

1. Quick completetion (an oxymoron) of the Dan Ryan construction
2. A Metra rail stop near the ball park
3. A winning (contending) ballclub

bc2k
10-30-2003, 03:21 PM
Originally posted by steff
I honestly think, and dread, that people will come to see the changes. Whether they come back or not is the real question...

I agree. I liken it to the crowd a new stadium draws in its inaugural season, but on a much smaller scale. Attendance dips in the second season because fans' curiosity has been quenched.

GoSox2K3
10-30-2003, 03:27 PM
Originally posted by Clarkdog
1. Quick completetion (an oxymoron) of the Dan Ryan construction :reinsy Beyond my control
2. A Metra rail stop near the ball park :reinsy That's Metra's responsibility.
3. A winning (contending) ballclub :reinsy Be patient, this is only year 22 of our rebuilding plan.

bestkosher
10-30-2003, 03:41 PM
What Reinsdorf should do is createa postcard or website with what the future home of the Sox will be and send it out to the media and stores. This way the idea creeps into peoples heads that it is improving and growing. If you ever look at any postcard stand in any store you will see 10x the Wrigley cards per one comiskey card. If you can find a comiskey card at all.

ewokpelts
10-30-2003, 04:09 PM
Originally posted by GoSox2K3
I voted "Yes". But, there are alot of variables that affect attendance. The most important factor is the Sox performance on the field. Also, weather and road construction have impacts. But, that being said, I think the renovations will have a positive effect on attendance.

Another factor that could really improve attendance in the future would be if the City and team were ever able to develop the area around the ballpark to include more bars, restaurants, residences, etc.

Unless you're considering parking garages by the cell, there's no room for any deveolpment, unless you want to build by the projects. And you know what people think about the projects.
Gene

voodoochile
10-30-2003, 04:12 PM
Originally posted by ewokpelts
Unless you're considering parking garages by the cell, there's no room for any deveolpment, unless you want to build by the projects. And you know what people think about the projects.
Gene

Okay, for the 10,000,000th time, the projects are being torn down and gentrification is moving south through Chinatown and into Bridgeport as fast as the city can encourage it...

ewokpelts
10-30-2003, 04:30 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
Okay, for the 10,000,000th time, the projects are being torn down and gentrification is moving south through Chinatown and into Bridgeport as fast as the city can encourage it...
Voodoo,

The land that's already been razed is NOT going to be used for a rail station, or new "yuppie" housing. CHA plans on rebuilding the projects as low rises, similar to the 39th and wentworth housing.
Gene

KingXerxes
10-30-2003, 04:38 PM
Maybe it's as simple as:

The White Sox have priced themselves beyond the reach of their fan base.

If the Cubs fan base is really single, college educated, Lincoln Park dwelling office workers - well then it would explain why Wrigely is always packed - because money is not an issue (no kids, no car payments etc.).

Maybe instead of removing seats, the White Sox should be adding them, and cutting the costs. It is obvious to me that the half-priced nights are a huge hit - it's got to be due to the cost. Reinsdorf - I think - gets somewhat unfairly blamed for the pricing escalation on the southside, but he is a victim of timing. Baseball as a game has totally repositioned itself in the past 25 years as a form of cheap entertainment into a very expensive form of entertainment. Going to a ballgame used to be cheaper than going to a movie - I laugh now thinking about that.

Maybe nothing short of addressing the pricing will help attendance.

Realist
10-30-2003, 05:17 PM
Originally posted by KingXerxes
Maybe it's as simple as:

The White Sox have priced themselves beyond the reach of their fan base.

If the Cubs fan base is really single, college educated, Lincoln Park dwelling office workers - well then it would explain why Wrigely is always packed - because money is not an issue (no kids, no car payments etc.).

Maybe instead of removing seats, the White Sox should be adding them, and cutting the costs. It is obvious to me that the half-priced nights are a huge hit - it's got to be due to the cost. Reinsdorf - I think - gets somewhat unfairly blamed for the pricing escalation on the southside, but he is a victim of timing. Baseball as a game has totally repositioned itself in the past 25 years as a form of cheap entertainment into a very expensive form of entertainment. Going to a ballgame used to be cheaper than going to a movie - I laugh now thinking about that.

Maybe nothing short of addressing the pricing will help attendance.


I've seen the upper deck twice in my life - once in the first season of New Comiskey and the clincher in 93. I didn't mind the clincher cause it was packed with people and I wasn't that high up.

I always thought that Jerry should just sell the upper deck seats for $10 every game and $5 for kids under 16. My brother came up with the idea of putting leveled concourses in the left and right field corners of the upper deck where there could be picnic tables or fan decks or batting cages or something that resembles the roof tops across from the Urinal. That area must have a better view of the field than those on the roof tops across from the Urinal.

Make it family friendly and really advertise it as such. Charge $1 for hot dogs every home game in the upper deck. Make it a party up there every nite and it'll be full. Row after row after row of nothing but blue seats is depressing. That upper deck needs a lil' Bill Veeckian carnival atmosphere and it'll be fun city up there.

hsnterprize
10-31-2003, 08:52 AM
Originally posted by steff
I honestly think, and dread, that people will come to see the changes. Whether they come back or not is the real question... I second that. Personally, I don't mind if the people come. It's whether or not they stay...that's the question. Casual fans come and go...die hards are a dime-a-dozen.

maurice
10-31-2003, 02:30 PM
Originally posted by ewokpelts
there's no room for any deveolpment

:?:

The park literally is surrounded by publicly owned empty lots. It's about the most development-friendly location imaginable.

IMHO, converting even a fraction of the parking lots into commercial or mixed-use developments would draw additional fans. If they're overly concerned about losing some of the parking spaces, they could replace them with a parking garage, as you noted.

As far as "yuppie housing" goes, Bridgeport may have more current, recent, or planned single-family-home developments than any other Chicago neighborhood. One major development is less than two blocks from the park, on 37th St, 37th Pl., and 38th St., immediately West of the tracks.

TDog
10-31-2003, 11:10 PM
I would love for the Sox to have an outstanding attendance year. For that to happen, it will require some magic to the season and some outside factors that smile on the beloved. This post will be long enough without me dwelling on them. If more people from northern Illinois/Indiana and southern Wisconsin (where I lived the first half of this year) had my sensibilities, attendance would exceed 2 million even in bad years. Unlike a lot of people here, I would go to a lot of Sox games if I lived in the area, win or lose. I would complain about ugliness when necessary, but I wouldn't make excuses for not going to the park. I went to more than a dozen games last season, and I was living three time zones away by the All-Star break.

Without the magic (that I hope for every season), Sox attendance will be down next year. If the Sox reduce capacity, the will reduce the size of crowds for opening day and the three Cubs games, so they will have to improve attendance to stay even. They will have to do that despite work planned for the Dan Ryan.

The upper deck isn't the reason people don't go to the games. Changing the upper deck won't make going to Sox games fashionable. Winning alone won't make going to Sox games fashionable.

If I were a cartoonist, I would illustrate my point with two kids, who look to be about 12, walking home with baseball gear. One gets an affirmative "yeah" from the other by saying, "I don't like going to Sox games because there aren't any bars in the neighborhood."

joecrede
10-31-2003, 11:26 PM
Originally posted by maurice
I expect that the cosmetic changes to the park itself will help attendance marginally. The proposed changes shown on Hangar's pics will help even more. The commercial development of 35th St. between Wentworth and the tracks would help the most. Unfortunately, it appears that this best (and cheapest) improvement is on the backburner.

I read in the article about the renovation on the Sox website that the demolition phase of the UD will cost $1.8M. That leaves what $38M(?) to construct the roof, double deck RF and whatever else they plan. They might be able to build that grand entrance as pictured in Hangar's 'renderings' posting.