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nasox
11-16-2003, 09:47 PM
I agree wholeheartedly with the new article at WSI by Matt Michel.
Here is the link (http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/rwas/index.php?category=2&id=2380)

SO my question to you is would you take the crappier way New Comiskey was when it opened or a team like the Yankees-perennial WS contenders?
I expect...no wait...know, the answer to be a huge landslide in favor of the perennial contenders.

Thunderstruck30
11-16-2003, 10:19 PM
That may be the easiest question Ive ever been asked.

CubKilla
11-17-2003, 12:57 AM
I'd take the White Sox playing at the garbage dump near 130th St. and Interstate 94 as long as they were always contending for a WS.

chisox06
11-17-2003, 01:16 AM
Originally posted by CubKilla
I'd take the White Sox playing at the garbage dump near 130th St. and Interstate 94 as long as they were always contending for a WS.

Yup, exactly when theres a winning team on the field, it doesnt really matter where you play. Now in the sox case, they better make the cell real nice.

doublem23
11-17-2003, 01:49 AM
Thanks for the comments. :smile:

Anyways, yeah, I love the renovations, but I'd much rather have a solid team. That, and I even think I'd rather see the team funnel some of their money into helping the neighborhood rebuild. I think management would be surprised how much attendance would boost if they could shake that stigma of being in "the ghetto."

Chisoxfn
11-17-2003, 01:53 AM
If the renovations lead to better attendance and there for JR spends more money then fine by me...but its Sox fans were talking about and most aren't gonna give a damn about whether the park looks good or not, at least not the diehard ones like us that post on message boards and such.

The Sox are gonna try to get the casual fan involved, but I don't see them getting involved unless the Sox win for a long time and then maybe they can convert some casual fans into diehard fans, but as long as the Cubs are out-shadowing them and it looks like the could for a few years, especially since the Trib actually seems serious for once, then it could really be the end of JR's ownership.

doublem23
11-17-2003, 01:56 AM
Originally posted by Chisoxfn

The Sox are gonna try to get the casual fan involved, but I don't see them getting involved unless the Sox win for a long time and then maybe they can convert some casual fans into diehard fans, but as long as the Cubs are out-shadowing them and it looks like the could for a few years, especially since the Trib actually seems serious for once, then it could really be the end of JR's ownership.

I think that's the problem they either don't understand or don't want to admit that no matter how nice they make U.S. Cellular Field, it's never going to the the POS shrine 11 miles north. The park now is already nicer than Wrigley, but that's sacreligious to mention in the Chicagoland area because Wrigley is really ****ing old. If the Sox are going to start winning this town back over its going to be because of the product they put on the field, not the park they surround it with.

Frank the Tank
11-17-2003, 02:26 AM
The renovated cell will never be wrigley, but it could become very popular. If it can become a park that everybody likes, it will attract casual fans. How many out of town people want to go to a Sox game? If I'm a sox fan and don't like the park, what do non-sox fans feel about it? I never will agree with the "if the team wins the fans will fill the stadium" argument. The sox won the most games in the AL in 2000. I don't think they were even in the top 10 in attendance that year. Fact is, fans want a park with character. Back when new comiskey was popular (before the retro trend), the sox had great attendance figures. This is because the park was new and became a hot ticket in baseball. Then the park was compared to all the new retro stadiums and became very unpopular. When new comiskey became unpopular, attendance dropped to pathetic numbers. Although a winning team certainly helps attendance figures, I think a great ballpark is more important.

nasox
11-17-2003, 03:32 AM
Originally posted by Frank the Tank
Although a winning team certainly helps attendance figures, I think a great ballpark is more important.

This is when you take it in relation to money making and treating the sox as a business but when you look at it as a die hard who goes to this site all the time, goes to the park all the time and watches when he is not at the park, winning is going to be more important. It really just depends on the view you take on it the casual fan will react to winning and the rennovations in equal numbers but if the sox become like the yankees and partake in playoffs and the WS often, they will come to the park in droves-far larger numbers in this case than in response to the rennovations. And isnt the point to win it all, not just play and maybe lose all the time in a stellar, amazing ballpark?

ihatethecubs
11-17-2003, 03:47 AM
we need to look at the big picture here

better park = better attendance = more money = better team

Frank the Tank
11-17-2003, 04:01 AM
Originally posted by nasox
And isnt the point to win it all, not just play and maybe lose all the time is a stellar, amazing ballpark?

I really don't understand this thread. A negative coorelation is trying to be made between the ballpark renovations and sox winning. The sox payroll problem has nothing to do with the renovations of the ballpark. The renovations are being paid by the U.S. Cellular contract. I hope nobody thinks JR is taking money out of the payroll to pay for the renovations. Then the renovations would be hurting the team. Why not try to have the best of both worlds? A great ballpark and a winning team. Let's identify some facts. A renovated, better looking ballpark will increase attendance. Increased attendance will allow the sox to manage a larger payroll (assuming JR will increase payroll with increased attendance of course). It's simple: an "amazing ballpark" would increase attendance, allowing an increase in payroll, allowing GM to sign better players = WS championship. So doesn't an improved ballpark lead up to winning it all in the long-term?

hsnterprize
11-17-2003, 08:33 AM
Originally posted by ihatethecubs
we need to look at the big picture here

better park = better attendance = more money = better team ...don't forget what's happening in other cities like Cleveland, Denver, Arlington, Detroit, and other places where there are new ballparks. Either the teams who play in those and other new places either went through a winning time, only for the management to dump big salaries and "rebuild", or teams like Detroit have never had a winning season since moving to their new digs. As of now, the only team that has consistently been competitive since moving to a new stadium is the Seattle Mariners...and they've been competitive in the last few years they've played in the Kingdome.

Think about this...the Sox were a pretty competitive team in the last few years of Old Comiskey Park before they moved across the street. Anytime you win over 90 games like the Sox did during the 90 season, and finish in 2nd place in the division, that's competitive. The Sox played well in the new ballpark during the first few years...including the 93 division winning year and the 94 strike-shortened year. We all know why the Sox tanked soon after...Uncle Jerry...the strike...bad press against the Sox...et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. We probably wouldn't be having this conversation if it weren't for that strike season. However, we also wouldn't be talking like this if Reinsdorf showed more concern for having a more fan-friendly ballpark instead of a 2-suite-level joint like he decided upon.

Well all know ballparks don't make the team. Even as frustrating as it is that Cubs fans are constanlty harping about their place, we know better. Of course, we'd love it if more people went to the ballpark, but I'll give Sox fans credit for not taking the B.S. crap that comes out of management in putting up with a losing team. Hey...I'm for supporting the team win or lose, and we die-hard fans do that. But, most of us can't afford, either moneywise or timewise, to put up with an inferior product all the time. We're not the "lovable losers" like those up north. Of course we'll go out and support our team, but the commonly-known rule for us is very simple...if the Sox put up the effort to put a winning product on the field, we Sox fans will put up the effort to fill the ballpark. And when it comes to money spent, teams like the Cubs, the Yankees, and other "large market" teams know that all the money in the world doesn't guarantee a championship team. That shouldn't stop the Sox from putting out the effort to field a competitive ballclub, but you can spend millions and millions of dollars, and bring in every high-priced free-agent, and not win. Now, teams that spent tond of money to bring in the "let's win now" team are now having to cut salaries to bit shrinking payrolls.

dickallen15
11-17-2003, 09:35 AM
The argument that White Sox fans will fill the ballpark if the team is competitive is bunk. They were in first place in September, playing Boston, upperdeck seats were $5 , and the attendance was 22,000. Fans will fill it for Elvis night, Cubs games, and certain fireworks shows. People on this site go to games to watch good baseball. The majority of the population does not. They go to games for entertainment. The game is a part of it, but a White Sox win is not. No matter what the attendance, it probably is less than10% die hard fan. Taking this into consideration, renovations are very necessary. How the White Sox have done this, without using any money that would be used to improve the team, is quite important.
Reinsdorf has tried to sign a big name. In 1997 he made Albert Belle the highest paid player in history. Season ticket orders didn't exactly spike up. The people you have to get to show up at games aren't the people who are on these boards. These people go to games, win or lose, in a baseball palace, or a dump. The people you have to attract are the people who we make fun of all the time. The idiots who go to Wrigley, who wouldn't know a baseball if it hit them in the face. They will show up if you fix up the park, and put a few places to hang out in in the neighborhood. This is starting to happen.

kempsted
11-17-2003, 10:19 AM
Originally posted by dickallen15
The argument that White Sox fans will fill the ballpark if the team is competitive is bunk. They were in first place in September, playing Boston, upperdeck seats were $5 , and the attendance was 22,000. Fans will fill it for Elvis night, Cubs games, and certain fireworks shows. People on this site go to games to watch good baseball. The majority of the population does not. They go to games for entertainment. The game is a part of it, but a White Sox win is not. No matter what the attendance, it probably is less than10% die hard fan. Taking this into consideration, renovations are very necessary. How the White Sox have done this, without using any money that would be used to improve the team, is quite important.
Reinsdorf has tried to sign a big name. In 1997 he made Albert Belle the highest paid player in history. Season ticket orders didn't exactly spike up. The people you have to get to show up at games aren't the people who are on these boards. These people go to games, win or lose, in a baseball palace, or a dump. The people you have to attract are the people who we make fun of all the time. The idiots who go to Wrigley, who wouldn't know a baseball if it hit them in the face. They will show up if you fix up the park, and put a few places to hang out in in the neighborhood. This is starting to happen.

Last year the Sox had their 6th largest attendance of all time - that even though they got off to a lousy start and the weather was bad.

The $5 tickets were only for upper deck and only if you bought them online with a $5 service charge. i.e. it was $4 off the regular price - hardly a give away. It was also the middle of the week in September. If you go and check we had the largest attendance of almost anyone in those weeks in September even thought it was under 30K. Other teams in pennant races - Minnesota, A's etc were not out drawing us.

The real problem in this town when it comes to attendance is we compare ourselves to the Cubs. But the Cubs are not normal. Normal teams don't draw 3 million no matter how the team does. It is still great attendance for almost all of MLB to have 2 million.
Even the Red Sox only did 2.7 million

We were almost dead in the middle in attendence in a virtual tie with Minnosota. There were 6 teams with more and 6 teams with less. We were also about dead center of league in wins.

Johnny Mostil
11-17-2003, 10:25 AM
DA15, I agree with much of what you say. The fact that a division winner in 2000 didn't result in 2 mil+ attendance that season or the following, in contrast to the attendance results of '83 or even '93, also may go a bit toward proving your point. But I still wonder if there's something more going on here.

I attended a lot of Sox games starting from the time I was old enough to drive myself to the park back in 19 . . . well, a while ago. I probably averaged 20+ games per year through the 1980s, and had season tickets in some of those years. In the 1990s, I got married and had kids, and cut back the baseball accordingly. Today, I go to about one Sox game per year, if that.

I did start to get interested again this season (joining WSI late in the year), and might have gone to a few more games, particularly during the last homestand, if it weren't for the fold against Minnesota. I didn't attend any of the Bosox games you mentioned, but with this team I'm really at the point that I need to be convinced that it is going to win consistently and stay committed to winning before I start attending regularly again. I didn't even attend a game in 2000 or 2001 because I honestly was convinced that team wasn't quite the real deal. (Well, OK, having two kids under 5 and a pregnant wife who gave birth to our third around that time had something to do with this as well, but that team still disappointed me--I thought it'd take Seattle four games to beat them in '00.)

Maybe I'm being unfair to current ownership, but my sense is it wants to turn a profit above all else, and have felt that way since the mid-1980s (the carping over the old park, the strike during the time the Sox may have put together their best team since 1919, the "white flag" trade in 1997, etc.). The current park seems to be designed to separate as many fans from as many dollars in as short as time as possible (starting with the elevation of the upper deck resulting from the placement of the skyboxes in the middle tier), which wouldn't bother me (nobody can expect a team to operate at a loss forever) if I ever thought there'd be corresponding improvement in the on-field product. While I like a lot of what KW does, I just don't get the sense that there ever will be.

Anyway, maybe I'm an erratic sample of 1 that really doesn't prove anything with this rant, and, with still young kids, no matter how the Sox did it'd be a while before I went to the park again as often as I did before marriage, but I'd concur with those saying both improvements in the park and the on-field product are needed. It might boost my attendance five-fold--granted, just from one game per year to about five, but I'd be bringing more folks with me than I once did.

daveeym
11-17-2003, 10:27 AM
The only reason Jerry is renovating the stadium is so he can FINALLY sell the team.

CLR01
11-17-2003, 10:45 AM
Originally posted by kempsted

Even the Red Sox only did 2.7 million



Yeah because their stadium only holds 34,000.

doublem23
11-17-2003, 10:48 AM
Perhaps I should qualify that the Sox need to consistently win. If you're looking for an instant attendance booster then it's not going to happen, no matter what park they play in or how good the team is. The argument isn't "bunk," because every time the Sox succeed, attendance on average rises; however they never, ever have sustained attendance averages because they never consistently win. So no, if you're looking to pack the place every night next year that's unrealistic. But give the fans of Chicago a team that will be in the hunt for the next 4-5 years and we'll look at the attendance figures then.

A winning team is far more important than a nice stadium, as was evidenced by two play-off sell-outs in 2000. FTT, you fail to mention in the years of new Comiskey pre-1994, the Sox were a hot ticket... but they were also damn good. PS... the 2000 team had a 45% attendance increase over the previous year's team. But Sox fans must not come out to see a winner, it just must have been they wanted to see the then new renovations.

KingXerxes
11-17-2003, 11:04 AM
"What is the purpose of a newspaper?"

It's a good question, and it's got a myriad of different answers, but only one true answer. The purpose of a newspaper is to sell newspapers....the end.

"What is the purpose of the Chicago White Sox?"

They exist for the purpose of separating White Sox fans from their money so as to generate a profit for the owners of the team.

Anything that can be done by ownership is going to be done by ownership for the purpose of maximizing their profits over the long haul. Certain years can be exceptions of a bigger business plan - the Trib may show that this year by spending more than they normally would to try and win and buy another 25 years of fan goodwill.

Anything that can be done to get more people through the turnstiles can only help the White Sox. They made a huge marketing error over the past few years by basically saying "Anything short of a World Series Championship is a failure." Waaaaaaaaaaaay too high of a benchmark, and unfortunately it's been picked up by the loyal fan base. If changing this stadium around helps them to change the aura of the franchise - so be it, it needs to be done to add some long-term stability to this organization.

MisterB
11-17-2003, 11:06 AM
Originally posted by kempsted
Last year the Sox had their 6th largest attendance of all time - that even though they got off to a lousy start and the weather was bad.

But that was only good enough for 21st in overall attendance in the majors.

But the Cubs are not normal.

That's an understatement. :D:

voodoochile
11-17-2003, 11:57 AM
Originally posted by Johnny Mostil
DA15, I agree with much of what you say. The fact that a division winner in 2000 didn't result in 2 mil+ attendance that season or the following, in contrast to the attendance results of '83 or even '93, also may go a bit toward proving your point. But I still wonder if there's something more going on here.

I attended a lot of Sox games starting from the time I was old enough to drive myself to the park back in 19 . . . well, a while ago. I probably averaged 20+ games per year through the 1980s, and had season tickets in some of those years. In the 1990s, I got married and had kids, and cut back the baseball accordingly. Today, I go to about one Sox game per year, if that.

I did start to get interested again this season (joining WSI late in the year), and might have gone to a few more games, particularly during the last homestand, if it weren't for the fold against Minnesota. I didn't attend any of the Bosox games you mentioned, but with this team I'm really at the point that I need to be convinced that it is going to win consistently and stay committed to winning before I start attending regularly again. I didn't even attend a game in 2000 or 2001 because I honestly was convinced that team wasn't quite the real deal. (Well, OK, having two kids under 5 and a pregnant wife who gave birth to our third around that time had something to do with this as well, but that team still disappointed me--I thought it'd take Seattle four games to beat them in '00.)

Maybe I'm being unfair to current ownership, but my sense is it wants to turn a profit above all else, and have felt that way since the mid-1980s (the carping over the old park, the strike during the time the Sox may have put together their best team since 1919, the "white flag" trade in 1997, etc.). The current park seems to be designed to separate as many fans from as many dollars in as short as time as possible (starting with the elevation of the upper deck resulting from the placement of the skyboxes in the middle tier), which wouldn't bother me (nobody can expect a team to operate at a loss forever) if I ever thought there'd be corresponding improvement in the on-field product. While I like a lot of what KW does, I just don't get the sense that there ever will be.

Anyway, maybe I'm an erratic sample of 1 that really doesn't prove anything with this rant, and, with still young kids, no matter how the Sox did it'd be a while before I went to the park again as often as I did before marriage, but I'd concur with those saying both improvements in the park and the on-field product are needed. It might boost my attendance five-fold--granted, just from one game per year to about five, but I'd be bringing more folks with me than I once did.

Hey, Welcome Aboard! :D:

Dadawg_77
11-17-2003, 12:11 PM
Season ticket base is what drives big attendance numbers. The Sox lost a tons of season ticket sales after mid and late 90s. 2000+ attendance is driven by walk crowds which are very fickle, a little bad weather puts a major damper on the crowds. Season ticket holders have already paid for the seat and are counted whether or not they show up.

The season ticket base in 2001 went up, but was probably retarded by skepticism that the Sox were a fluke in 2000. Plus the poor start didn't help ticket sales later on.

Johnny Mostil
11-17-2003, 01:24 PM
Originally posted by KingXerxes
"What is the purpose of a newspaper?"

It's a good question, and it's got a myriad of different answers, but only one true answer. The purpose of a newspaper is to sell newspapers....the end.

"What is the purpose of the Chicago White Sox?"

They exist for the purpose of separating White Sox fans from their money so as to generate a profit for the owners of the team.

Anything that can be done by ownership is going to be done by ownership for the purpose of maximizing their profits over the long haul. Certain years can be exceptions of a bigger business plan - the Trib may show that this year by spending more than they normally would to try and win and buy another 25 years of fan goodwill.

Anything that can be done to get more people through the turnstiles can only help the White Sox. They made a huge marketing error over the past few years by basically saying "Anything short of a World Series Championship is a failure." Waaaaaaaaaaaay too high of a benchmark, and unfortunately it's been picked up by the loyal fan base. If changing this stadium around helps them to change the aura of the franchise - so be it, it needs to be done to add some long-term stability to this organization.

King, I agree on the profit motive, and maybe even on setting the benchmark too high, but can we expect the job of rebuilding the 1917 World Champions to be completed some time soon?

Johnny Mostil
11-17-2003, 01:27 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
Hey, Welcome Aboard! :D:

Thank you kindly.

Hangar18
11-17-2003, 01:46 PM
What I want to know is, How can A Team SCREW-UP something, as Simple as Designing a Stadium? Every New Park thats gone up since then is Really Nice in Most Ways or Others. The only thing they did Right at New Comiskey is the Lower Level Sitelines.
Everything Else They Messed up, from tearing down infrastructure across the street, to the Absurd pitch of the UD, to the Installation of the "Moat" in the outfield, to the bland Concrete in the outfield, to the ........

CubKilla
11-17-2003, 01:55 PM
Originally posted by Hangar18
What I want to know is, How can A Team SCREW-UP something, as Simple as Designing a Stadium? Every New Park thats gone up since then is Really Nice in Most Ways or Others. The only thing they did Right at New Comiskey is the Lower Level Sitelines.
Everything Else They Messed up, from tearing down infrastructure across the street, to the Absurd pitch of the UD, to the Installation of the "Moat" in the outfield, to the bland Concrete in the outfield, to the ........

Very easily done when you let a team owner with no architectural background have veto power of what gets built or not..... all at Illinois taxpayer expense.

Frank the Tank
11-17-2003, 01:57 PM
Originally posted by kempsted
Last year the Sox had their 6th largest attendance of all time - that even though they got off to a lousy start and the weather was bad.


I don't mean to hurt your feelings, but 6th largest attendance of all time for CWS isn't really saying very much. Furthermore, what do you think attendance figures would be if it wasn't for half priced nights? Fans just don't want to come to this park as it is. I remember when Wendy's was giving away free tickets for buying a value meal. What a joke. I know attendance will increase if the ballpark comes out great. We need a park that the American population as a whole likes. For example a Jacobs field. If I ever went to Cleveland I would want to go to a game there. If the Cell can improve it's image, maybe "outsiders" would want to visit it.

dickallen15
11-17-2003, 02:00 PM
Originally posted by Hangar18
What I want to know is, How can A Team SCREW-UP something, as Simple as Designing a Stadium? Every New Park thats gone up since then is Really Nice in Most Ways or Others. The only thing they did Right at New Comiskey is the Lower Level Sitelines.
Everything Else They Messed up, from tearing down infrastructure across the street, to the Absurd pitch of the UD, to the Installation of the "Moat" in the outfield, to the bland Concrete in the outfield, to the ........

It was bland because the state only spent $135 million building it. All the other stadiums cost much more.

Frank the Tank
11-17-2003, 02:06 PM
Originally posted by Hangar18
What I want to know is, How can A Team SCREW-UP something, as Simple as Designing a Stadium? Every New Park thats gone up since then is Really Nice in Most Ways or Others. The only thing they did Right at New Comiskey is the Lower Level Sitelines.
Everything Else They Messed up, from tearing down infrastructure across the street, to the Absurd pitch of the UD, to the Installation of the "Moat" in the outfield, to the bland Concrete in the outfield, to the ........

I really don't think anyone is to blame for the New Comiskey failure. As White Sox management is quick to point out, modern ballparks were the trend. I don't know of a single person who complained about the ballpark when it first opened. I sure didn't. I would call the design "bad timing". Nobody started to complain about the new stadium until camden yards was built. People liked camden yards so much that all the new parks took a retro theme. I also love how everybody loves old comiskey now. I don't remember too many people crying about it's demolition back in '91. I miss the park, but we did need a new stadium.

Tekijawa
11-17-2003, 02:08 PM
Originally posted by Frank the Tank
I know attendance will increase if the ballpark comes out great. We need a park that the American population as a whole likes. For example a Jacobs field. If I ever went to Cleveland I would want to go to a game there. If the Cell can improve it's image, maybe "outsiders" would want to visit it.

We already have one of those Parks in Chicago, it's called Wrigley, no ammounts of changes to Comiskey can EVER detract from what wrigley has... the only way to fill COMISKEY is to put a competitive team on the field. Unfortuanetly, right now, it appears that The Cubs will beat us in both cases. I know that teh US CELLULAR mone couldn't have been spent on players, but the players will be the "NATIONAL DRAW" on the south side, Wrigley will be the TOURIST ATTRACTION baseball wise until it Falls over... I've Never heard any one say, I'm going to New York and thinking about seeing a game... I wonder how the renovations are going at Shea? if they're nice maybe I'll stop by and catch a game... NO, every one always will go to Yankee Stadium no matter what Shea looks like!

doublem23
11-17-2003, 02:14 PM
Originally posted by Frank the Tank
I don't mean to hurt your feelings, but 6th largest attendance of all time for CWS isn't really saying very much. Furthermore, what do you think attendance figures would be if it wasn't for half priced nights? Fans just don't want to come to this park as it is. I remember when Wendy's was giving away free tickets for buying a value meal. What a joke. I know attendance will increase if the ballpark comes out great. We need a park that the American population as a whole likes. For example a Jacobs field. If I ever went to Cleveland I would want to go to a game there. If the Cell can improve it's image, maybe "outsiders" would want to visit it.

Well it's time your going to have to stop bitching about the park. A) because it's fine and B) because it's here for at least another 20-30 years.

So that leaves one option. I'd personally rather see tha $45 million or whatever this latest wave of work is costing invested in talent rather than frilly superficial crap. I'll sit in the last row of the upper deck to see a damn good ballclub.

joecrede
11-17-2003, 02:19 PM
Originally posted by Hangar18
What I want to know is, How can A Team SCREW-UP something, as Simple as Designing a Stadium? Every New Park thats gone up since then is Really Nice in Most Ways or Others. The only thing they did Right at New Comiskey is the Lower Level Sitelines.
Everything Else They Messed up, from tearing down infrastructure across the street, to the Absurd pitch of the UD, to the Installation of the "Moat" in the outfield, to the bland Concrete in the outfield, to the ........

New Comiskey was built for $40M less than the second cheapest new park. Also, construction costs are higher in Chicago than in other parts of the country that put up new parks.

Frank the Tank
11-17-2003, 02:23 PM
Originally posted by doublem23
Well it's time your going to have to stop bitching about the park. A) because it's fine and B) because it's here for at least another 20-30 years.


Calm down now. I am only complaining about the park as it is. Given the little information available regarding the renovations, I really think we are going to have something to be excited about. If the park comes out great, I wouldn't take the "we're stuck with it for 20-30 years attitude". It will never have the hoopla of Wrigley, but there is no reason why it couldn't become very popular.

joecrede
11-17-2003, 02:26 PM
Originally posted by doublem23
So that leaves one option. I'd personally rather see tha $45 million or whatever this latest wave of work is costing invested in talent rather than frilly superficial crap. I'll sit in the last row of the upper deck to see a damn good ballclub.

I'd rather use the money on the park. Going one step further, I'd rather have forest green seats for $8M than GiDPaul. :D:

anewman35
11-17-2003, 03:17 PM
Originally posted by doublem23
So that leaves one option. I'd personally rather see tha $45 million or whatever this latest wave of work is costing invested in talent rather than frilly superficial crap.

That's like saying "I'd like to see the United States government donate $500 million to the White Sox, only to be used on player salary." It would be a nice thing, but it's not something that even has a chance of happening. Spending renovation money on players is the same way: all the money they've gotten (from the state and from US Cellular) has been given only for renovation of the park. The Sox aren't allowed to use that money for players even if they wanted to.

MisterB
11-17-2003, 03:36 PM
Originally posted by doublem23
I'll sit in the last row of the upper deck to see a damn good ballclub.

You are apparently in a small minority on that. The whole problem is that the die-hards already show up to the games, but no team (not even the Yankees) can draw 3+ million on die-hards alone. You have to draw in casual fans and tourists to do that. The casual fans are heavily influenced by the team's W-L record and they and the tourists are drawn in by the atmosphere (which includes the ballpark aethstetics) and 'good-time' appeal (witness the outdoor beer garden on the north side). It's tough debating these issues here because few (if any) posters around here would qualify as casual fans. So whereas you (or I, for that matter) might not care where we sit at a Sox game, there seem to be loads of others who do.

Besides, the entire naming rights deal was predicated on the US Cellular money being used to repay the bonds issued for financing the renovations. I actually doubt USC would have agreed to the deal if there was the possiblity of Reinsdorf & Co. simply pocketing the $68 mil.

nasox
11-17-2003, 04:46 PM
Originally posted by Tekijawa
NO, every one always will go to Yankee Stadium no matter what Shea looks like!

Except for the fact that Shea is a piece of crap while USCF is not as bad as its rap suggests and is getting rennovations done. Basically, the Shea/yankee analogy doesnt apply here.

Tekijawa
11-17-2003, 05:44 PM
Originally posted by nasox
Basically, the Shea/yankee analogy doesnt apply here.

I disagree, I would imagine that no matter what the park looks like next year that 99 out of 100 people, from out of town, would say that they would much rather visit Wrigley than Comiskey.

Would they rather visit Comiskey than Shea, I would hope so, I also think that Shea is a Pile of ####, but I still think that our only way to entice those people visiting the city for a day or two to come to the south side instead of going north, is to put a better quality of baseball on the field.

hsnterprize
11-18-2003, 08:54 AM
Originally posted by dickallen15
It was bland because the state only spent $135 million building it. All the other stadiums cost much more. Nope. Oriole Park at Camden Yards cost less than the new Comiskey. OP@CY cost $110 million to build...that place was designed better than Comiskey II...that's why Comiskey II was so bland. The Sox could've had an OP@CY-style place of their own, but Jerry Reinsdorf rejected the plan in order to get the 2-leveled suites he eventually got.

Construction costs go up year after year. That's why a modern stadium costs between $100 to $500 million-plus to put up.

hsnterprize
11-18-2003, 09:06 AM
According to Ballparks.com (http://www.ballparks.com/baseball/index.htm) , U.S. Cellular Field cost $167 million to build. All of the funds came from a 2 percent Chicago hotel tax.

KingXerxes
11-18-2003, 10:07 AM
Originally posted by Johnny Mostil
King, I agree on the profit motive, and maybe even on setting the benchmark too high, but can we expect the job of rebuilding the 1917 World Champions to be completed some time soon?

LOL.

I never said they were competent, I simply said I understood their motivations.

Try to think of baseball as simply a form of entertainment and I think it becomes clear why it's necessary to get the park renovated. If you take a three day trip to Las Vegas - and you tell everybody that unless you win enough at the tables to take the next year off of work you will consider your trip a disaster - most people are going to look at you as if you're crazy and setting yourself up for a massive letdown. That is effectively how the White Sox have marketed themselves over the past ten years or so. White Sox fans have become a petrie dish of aggravation because they are not accomplishing what only one team gets to do every year. They have got to try and appeal to casual fans and give the entire organization a different atmosphere.

I have long stated that while renovating the stadium they should also overhaul their media representation starting with..........oh I don't know.............maybe this guy :


:hawk

"Mercy."

Iwritecode
11-18-2003, 10:32 AM
Originally posted by KingXerxes
If you take a three day trip to Las Vegas - and you tell everybody that unless you win enough at the tables to take the next year off of work you will consider your trip a disaster - most people are going to look at you as if you're crazy and setting yourself up for a massive letdown. That is effectively how the White Sox have marketed themselves over the past ten years or so. White Sox fans have become a petrie dish of aggravation because they are not accomplishing what only one team gets to do every year.

Don't you mean what every other team in baseball (besides the Cubs) has done since the last time the Sox did it? When a team has the second-longest streak of not winning a WS, it's kinda hard to not make that your goal every year. Besides, what should they lower their yearly goal to?

Making the post-season?
They've managed that twice in the past 10 years.

Finishing the season over .500?
Somehow I doubt that will draw a lot of people no matter how they market it...

KingXerxes
11-18-2003, 11:03 AM
A lot of teams have had long dry spells over their histories.

I don't mean that sarcastically, but seriously there are teams out there that still have never won a pennant.

Do fans want their team to win? Absolutely. But that can't be the sole motivating force related to their attendance at games. Fans have to go to games because they think it's the best entertainment option that they have going for them at the time. The Cubs (and maybe Red Sox) have been masters at getting this across. Winning is an ingredient in enhancing the perception of a White Sox game as an entertaining option - but it can't be such a major ingredient that it shadows all of the others.

That is the glamour - in my mind - of Wrigley Field, Fenway Park and to a lesser extent Yankee Stadium. These are old stadiums which do not offer the amenities of new parks - yet they are universally beloved even by casual fans, because they are marketed as living museums. People plunk down $25, walk into the park, and already feel that they've made a wise purchase - because in the back of their minds just seeing the inside of one of these parks, and walking around it and such, is good enough. Even the retro-style parks have seemingly faded off in popularity because the general public is not stupid - they can tell the difference between the real deals and wannabies.

This is the corner baseball painted itself into when it became an expensive form of entertainment. People will always demand their money's worth - if you can't give it to them with World Series victories, you had better find another way to do it. Unfortunately - for purists - the only real methods involve things that are not related to the game that is actually taking place on the field (Dot Races, Pizza Races, Batting Cages, Food, Outdoor Bars, Indoor Bars, Sleep Overs, Bring Your Dog Day etc) ad naseum .

anewman35
11-18-2003, 11:08 AM
Originally posted by KingXerxes
A lot of teams have had long dry spells over their histories.

I don't mean that sarcastically, but seriously there are teams out there that still have never won a pennant. [/I] .

Well, yes, but those teams have been around far less than 80 years, so it's not quite the same thing.

KingXerxes
11-18-2003, 11:33 AM
Originally posted by anewman35
Well, yes, but those teams have been around far less than 80 years, so it's not quite the same thing.

The White Sox haven't won a pennant since 1959.

The Astros have never won a pennant (since 1960)

The Rangers/Senators II have never won a pennant (since 1960)

The Cubs haven't won a pennant since 1945.

Up until last year, the Los Angeles/California/Anaheim Angels had never won anything.

I'm not saying we should all be proud of the lack of a pennant since 1959, but it's not totally unheard of.

Iwritecode
11-18-2003, 11:42 AM
Originally posted by KingXerxes
A lot of teams have had long dry spells over their histories.

I don't mean that sarcastically, but seriously there are teams out there that still have never won a pennant.

Do fans want their team to win? Absolutely. But that can't be the sole motivating force related to their attendance at games. Fans have to go to games because they think it's the best entertainment option that they have going for them at the time. The Cubs (and maybe Red Sox) have been masters at getting this across. Winning is an ingredient in enhancing the perception of a White Sox game as an entertaining option - but it can't be such a major ingredient that it shadows all of the others.

That is the glamour - in my mind - of Wrigley Field, Fenway Park and to a lesser extent Yankee Stadium. These are old stadiums which do not offer the amenities of new parks - yet they are universally beloved even by casual fans, because they are marketed as living museums. People plunk down $25, walk into the park, and already feel that they've made a wise purchase - because in the back of their minds just seeing the inside of one of these parks, and walking around it and such, is good enough. Even the retro-style parks have seemingly faded off in popularity because the general public is not stupid - they can tell the difference between the real deals and wannabies.

This is the corner baseball painted itself into when it became an expensive form of entertainment. People will always demand their money's worth - if you can't give it to them with World Series victories, you had better find another way to do it. Unfortunately - for purists - the only real methods involve things that are not related to the game that is actually taking place on the field (Dot Races, Pizza Races, Batting Cages, Food, Outdoor Bars, Indoor Bars, Sleep Overs, Bring Your Dog Day etc) ad naseum .

I think that over the years, history has proven that attendance will rise with either one of two things: a consistently winning team or a new ballpark. The Cubs have been the ONE exception over the years since they usually have neither. The Sox have a double whammy since they don't have either and have the Cubs as direct competition. No other team in baseball (except maybe the Mets) has this problem. The Indians for a long time had both things. Look what that led to. Now they have a pretty nice stadium, but the team sucks. Once the team starts winning again, I'm sure they'll have no problems filling up the stadium. IMO, having a consistently good team has a lot more to do with attendance that you think. No amount of "entertainment" is going to fill up the park as much as a winning team....

anewman35
11-18-2003, 11:50 AM
Originally posted by KingXerxes
The White Sox haven't won a pennant since 1959.

The Astros have never won a pennant (since 1960)

The Rangers/Senators II have never won a pennant (since 1960)

The Cubs haven't won a pennant since 1945.

Up until last year, the Los Angeles/California/Anaheim Angels had never won anything.

I'm not saying we should all be proud of the lack of a pennant since 1959, but it's not totally unheard of.

Not that it really matters, but the Astros (Colt .45s, actually) came about in 1962, and the Rangers/Senators II in 1961. Also, the Cubs don't really count, because, come on, they're the Cubs.

My point is, though, that you're not going back far enough. Yes, I guess you technically said "winning a pennant", but I was thinking of a series victory. To me, it's much more pathetic to have not had a series win in 86 years and not have been there in 44 years than just to have been around for 40 years or so and never been there. Maybe it's just me, though.

KingXerxes
11-18-2003, 11:59 AM
Originally posted by Iwritecode
I think that over the years, history has proven that attendance will rise with either one of two things: a consistently winning team or a new ballpark. The Cubs have been the ONE exception over the years since they usually have neither. The Sox have a double whammy since they don't have either and have the Cubs as direct competition. No other team in baseball (except maybe the Mets) has this problem. The Indians for a long time had both things. Look what that led to. Now they have a pretty nice stadium, but the team sucks. Once the team starts winning again, I'm sure they'll have no problems filling up the stadium. IMO, having a consistently good team has a lot more to do with attendance that you think. No amount of "entertainment" is going to fill up the park as much as a winning team....

I have already said that a winning team is the single most important ingredient in folks willingly giving up their money to go to a game - there is no doubt about that, but it is not and cannot be, the only ingredient. Look at Atlanta - they win and don't draw.

The Cubs, Red Sox and Yankees have a built-in advantage versus all the other teams in major league baseball in that I truly feel they can draw huge crowds mutually exclusive from the team's performance.

The trick in successful baseball ownership is not drawing 3 million fans when you're on your way to a pennant, it's in drawing 2.5 million when you're 20 games below .500. I don't think baseball owners - collectively - have figured out how to make that happen. They have allowed their pricing structure to get to the point where they now have to make that happen, and they are groping at ways to do it. Ironically, new stadiums - while helpful in the short run - may prove to be detrimental in the intermediate 25 years or so. What did Baltimore draw this year? Every time I turned on a game it looked fairly empty. Toronto? Milwaukee?

KingXerxes
11-18-2003, 12:15 PM
Originally posted by anewman35
Not that it really matters, but the Astros (Colt .45s, actually) came about in 1962, and the Rangers/Senators II in 1961. Also, the Cubs don't really count, because, come on, they're the Cubs.

My point is, though, that you're not going back far enough. Yes, I guess you technically said "winning a pennant", but I was thinking of a series victory. To me, it's much more pathetic to have not had a series win in 86 years and not have been there in 44 years than just to have been around for 40 years or so and never been there. Maybe it's just me, though.

I was guilty of "rounding" in that post.

You kind of make my point about the White Sox marketing - don't you? I've been saying that his team has to change it's aura, and quit having the overwhelming majority of its loyal fan base look at every year not winning a World Series as a disaster. If the White Sox go 110 - 52 in the regular season, sweep Boston in round one, and then lose an unbelievable seven game series to the Yankees - would you call that a wasted year? I would hope not. Did it totally fulfill your wishes for a World's Championship - no, but are there not degrees of fulfuillment? White Sox fans seems to uniquely possess some sort of "all or nothing" attititude toward the White Sox, and I frankly don't see that as very realistic. Again, there are degrees to this attitude. I myself get PO'ed when I see a directionless move toward trying to win (Valentin's option pick-up most recently, and before that Manuel's employment) and as a fan I should - but in no way does that lessen my desire to want to go and see them play. I love baseball, I want it to be winning baseball - but it doesn't have to be for me to show up.

The White Sox (and baseball in general) should not market toward fans like me because it's a waste of money - I'm going anyway. But they cannot afford to market to fans who have to win, it's a recipe for disaster (if you lose you're dead, and if you win you needn't spend a marketing dime). They need to re-market baseball as a far more general entertainment package to try and capture that huge market in the middle. I personally think it totally detracts from the game itself, but am resigned to the fact that this is the way it's going to be.

Iwritecode
11-18-2003, 12:48 PM
Originally posted by KingXerxes
I have already said that a winning team is the single most important ingredient in folks willingly giving up their money to go to a game - there is no doubt about that, but it is not and cannot be, the only ingredient. Look at Atlanta - they win and don't draw.

The Cubs, Red Sox and Yankees have a built-in advantage versus all the other teams in major league baseball in that I truly feel they can draw huge crowds mutually exclusive from the team's performance.

The trick in successful baseball ownership is not drawing 3 million fans when you're on your way to a pennant, it's in drawing 2.5 million when you're 20 games below .500. I don't think baseball owners - collectively - have figured out how to make that happen. They have allowed their pricing structure to get to the point where they now have to make that happen, and they are groping at ways to do it. Ironically, new stadiums - while helpful in the short run - may prove to be detrimental in the intermediate 25 years or so. What did Baltimore draw this year? Every time I turned on a game it looked fairly empty. Toronto? Milwaukee?

OK, I understand your point a little bit better now. I only have one question though. What could the owners possibly do to attract 2 million+ with a team that 10-20 games under .500? The Cubs so far are the only team I've ever seen do this. I still don't understand how or why though. I guess being owned by large newspaper and being shown on national TV for half the season has something to do with it...

Most other teams don't have those luxuries though. Aside from adding a three-ring-circus in the parking lot, I don't think that any kind of extra entertainment is going to draw enough casual fans to raise the attendance significantly if the team isn't playing well.

Baseball has enough things for people to complain about (the games are too slow, there are too many of them, etc...) so it's already difficult to get the casual fans to show up. Besides winning and hoping the casual fans follow the crowd, I'm not sure what else they can do...

KingXerxes
11-18-2003, 01:05 PM
Originally posted by Iwritecode
Baseball has enough things for people to complain about (the games are too slow, there are too many of them, etc...) so it's already difficult to get the casual fans to show up. Besides winning and hoping the casual fans follow the crowd, I'm not sure what else they can do...

I totally agree - but they've got to do something, and that's what they're all groping at.

My point about the Cubs/Red Sox/Yankees was not to point out what they're doing right, it was solely to point out that they have a HUGE advantage due to the fact that the general public has attached themselves to these ballparks like Catholics do to the Cathedral at Notre Dame (it doesn't matter if Mass was going on when you were there, or if you didn't like the priest's homily - it's just that you were there which is enough).

This is not solely a White Sox issue - it's a major league baseball issue. The game has got to either figure out how to consistently draw (taking into acccount that not all teams can having winning records in a given year), or it has to reduce it's price point so that people will go to a game because it's the economically attractive option.

When I was a kid, sitting in the general admission grandstands at Comiskey for every home game would cost me around $40. Back then a trip to Florida on a plane would have cost about ten to fifteen times that much. Well over the years, airlines have deregulated, and baseball allowed it's pricing to go through the roof. The game is now bumping up against forms of entertainment that it was never meant to be bumping up against - and it is losing. It was always wildly popular because it was so affordable.

nasox
11-18-2003, 02:50 PM
Originally posted by KingXerxes
My point about the Cubs/Red Sox/Yankees was not to point out what they're doing right, it was solely to point out that they have a HUGE advantage due to the fact that the general public has attached themselves to these ballparks like Catholics do to the Cathedral at Notre Dame (it doesn't matter if Mass was going on when you were there, or if you didn't like the priest's homily - it's just that you were there which is enough).

This is not solely a White Sox issue - it's a major league baseball issue. The game has got to either figure out how to consistently draw (taking into acccount that not all teams can having winning records in a given year), or it has to reduce it's price point so that people will go to a game because it's the economically attractive option.

When I was a kid, sitting in the general admission grandstands at Comiskey for every home game would cost me around $40. Back then a trip to Florida on a plane would have cost about ten to fifteen times that much. Well over the years, airlines have deregulated, and baseball allowed it's pricing to go through the roof. The game is now bumping up against forms of entertainment that it was never meant to be bumping up against - and it is losing. It was always wildly popular because it was so affordable.

The owners and Selig and everyone else can make baseball affordable again taking some steps: The players salaries must go down drastically. I know aguy who didn't play pro ball because he couldnt make enough money back in the 70s. That decision wouldn't happen today. Ballparks are so expensive, but when the taxpayers pay for it, that cost does not need to be passed down to the ticket buyers. With these steps complete, baseball will be more affordable but here is the predicament (a different problem than the fact that the MLBPA wont allow salaries to come down even a little bit).
Take the current revenue (just from ticket sales from a team at a average payroll, average priced park, and average ticket expense in the MLB). A more expensive ticket will bring in fewer people but that expensive ticket will get more profit with fewer sold tickets. But, cheaper tickets (and food and everything else (including parking JR)) will garner more attendance so the profit from ticket sales will stay the same. One part of the equation rises while the other fallls and it all evens out. Look:

Tickets Sold * price of tickets = revenue (from tickets)
Decrease the price and then thenumber of tickets sold increase accordingly, thus evening out.
So, why would a owner change ticket prices if it really won't get him much more revenue? It is just a waste of time.

BUT, lower ticket prices means more attendance which means more people follow team more which means that more are likely to watch the games or come back thus increasing the TV revenue. So it is tricky to predict the economic outcome of such a move.
Thus, my conclusion is that only a winning team will help in the long run.

KingXerxes
11-18-2003, 03:20 PM
I totally agree that if baseball could re-position its economic structure and thus reduce ticket prices it would only help to draw more fans through the turnstiles - You may even be starting to see that with the rather uninspired positioning going around with this year's free agents. But it's going to be one hell of a tough row to hoe to get this all straightened out.

I still think this game is in dire financial straits. I just heard on the radio that Arizona has deferred contrat payments through 2005 of something like $55 million. This is nuts.

Johnny Mostil
11-18-2003, 03:49 PM
Originally posted by KingXerxes
Look at Atlanta - they win and don't draw.



I agree with some of the implications here, but the specifics should be noted. From '88 to '90, the Braves, then perrennial cellar-dwellers, were, as I recall, the only MLB team not to draw one million fans for a season. Since then, they've drawn at least 2.4 million each season, their lowest total being this year. One might attribute the recent decrease to the fact that they've been perrennial contenders but little else for some time now.

I think a perrennially contending White Sox team could match Braves attendance numbers, but, as jaded as I am, I'd still have to agree that is probably too much to fairly expect. I'd also have to admit any team is going to have an up-and-down cycle. So I guess I'd also have to agree with you, King, that winning would be the best solution, but teams better have something else to fall back on. If Atlanta trims payroll as threatened, we'll see if that's the case for them (probably not).

Johnny Mostil
11-18-2003, 03:55 PM
Originally posted by KingXerxes
If the White Sox go 110 - 52 in the regular season, sweep Boston in round one, and then lose an unbelievable seven game series to the Yankees - would you call that a wasted year?

Probably not--as long as I think the season wasn't a one-year fluke, and that there is some long-term progress being made. But following up a 110-win season with, say, a 75-win season wouldn't impress me (picky, picky, picky).

KingXerxes
11-18-2003, 04:06 PM
If the White Sox went 110 - 52 but lost in a 7 game thriller to the Yankees next year.

And then went 75 - 87 in 2005.

And 60 - 102 in 2006.

And 40 - 122 in 2007.

I still wouldn't call 2004 a wasted year.

Johnny Mostil
11-18-2003, 04:07 PM
Originally posted by KingXerxes

When I was a kid, sitting in the general admission grandstands at Comiskey for every home game would cost me around $40. Back then a trip to Florida on a plane would have cost about ten to fifteen times that much. Well over the years, airlines have deregulated, and baseball allowed it's pricing to go through the roof. The game is now bumping up against forms of entertainment that it was never meant to be bumping up against - and it is losing. It was always wildly popular because it was so affordable.

Well, I ain't quite that old--I think it would have cost me about $60--but I agree exactly with this. While baseball is cheaper than most pro sports (more games to spread the costs across, I guess), I sometimes feel like for the cost of a pro sports event I could take the family to see the Lyric Opera (not that I'd expect them to behave if I did so . . . )

Once when visiting LA I took the kids to see a Dodgers game on a family pack offering four tix, four hotdogs, four sodas, parking, and a chintzy souvenir for $39. Yeah, the seats were terrible, but the kids didn't care, and I was thrilled to get everybody past the gate for less than 40 bucks. I know the Sox do a better job on discount offers than many other teams, but I thought the Dodgers gimmick here was something other teams might want to try.

Regarding the point of nasox on player salaries, I had once, in the past, sort of sided with players on this, figuring I'd rather see Frank Thomas than Jerry Reinsdorf get my money. Anymore, however, I don't know if I even want Frank to get it--I'm guessing I need it more than he does. I really do love baseball, but maybe I'm too casual a fan.

I knew an avid baseball fan who got turned off by the high prices of baseball, but later became an avid fan of the '95-'96 Bulls. His reasoning was that for the amount tickets cost, he had a right to expect perfection, and that team just about delivered it . . .

Johnny Mostil
11-18-2003, 04:08 PM
Originally posted by KingXerxes
If the White Sox went 110 - 52 but lost in a 7 game thriller to the Yankees next year.

And then went 75 - 87 in 2005.

And 60 - 102 in 2006.

And 40 - 122 in 2007.

I still wouldn't call 2004 a wasted year.

You're a better fan than I am, King.

"Wasted" might be too strong a word, but, as noted, I'm not sure I'd be all that impressed.

Greg1983
11-19-2003, 03:07 PM
Hi there.

I think some excellent points have been raised in this thread, and in addition to being a lifelong Sox fan, I'm also an economics student with a real interest in the business side of sports, and stadiums are a big part of that.

Forgive me for losing track of the names, but I think whoever raised the point about the Cubs and Red Sox getting great attendance numbers regardless of performance is very important. Those teams, especially the Cubs, play in "neighborhood ballparks." As much as I detest the Cubs and most Cub fans, I have to admit that for neutral observers, a trip to Wrigley is probably a great experience regardless of whether the Cubs win. The neighborhood is visually pleasing, and full of trendy bars and so on. And even though I think Wrigley is uncomfortable and smelly, it definitely has visual appeal and historical significance.

There was some talk of building a neighborhood ballpark for the Sox in the late 80's...have a look at the piece on Phillip Bess and Armour Field here at WSI. But that opportunity was squandered by Mr. Reinsdorf. It was horrendously short-sighted on his part, but given the design of the Cell and the demographics of Bridgeport, I think that train has left the station. The Cell will never be more than a functional, utilitarian stadium, even with the renovations underway now. JR might have had a chance to build an intimate ballpark with great aesthetics that would have been so appealing that it would have drawn 2 million+ when the team was bad, like Wrigley or Fenway. But he blew it.

So, I do think the Sox would be better off concentrating on putting a winner on the field. It's kind of a non-issue, since the money for the renovations is coming from US Cellular and not from the team's payroll. But let's say this: the renovations may be interesting, but they're much ado about nothing. We will end up with a slightly more attractive stadium, still in a lousy neighborhood. No one will ever likely want to go to the Cell for anything other than seeing the Sox win. If people want to see a landmark, they'll be heading to the north side.

One interesting point: if you take new Comiskey as it looked in 1991, you'll notice that it looks a lot like Yankee Stadium. A nicer, cleaner, more attractive version of Yankee Stadium. And while the Bridgeport area isn't great, it's not that bad, and the Bronx sure as hell ain't Mayberry. And yet, Yankee Stadium routinely makes the Top 10, and usually the Top 3, in "Best Ballpark" lists. Why? Because it's a cathedral to baseball excellence, home to so many great players and championships. If the Sox had 1/10 the winning tradition of the Yankees, they would have little difficulty getting people to come to the Cell.

Bottom line: just win, baby. That's the only way you're going to get people to come see the Sox. A new roof, green seats, a home-run porch, and all the rest of it won't matter.

And this is what the Sox cannot or will not do. Never in my life have I seen the Sox put together a consistent string of winning teams. The only possible exception would be the "Good Guys Wear Black" teams of the early 90's, and even those guys managed only one measley division title. Again, Reinsdorf blew it, instigating a strike in 1994 and hijacking what could have been a historic year for a great team. We Sox fans have been burned repeatedly, and it's going to take more than one decent season or an isolated division title followed by a postseason swoon to bring us back. We've been burned in 1983, 1993, and 2000. JR needs to quit bitching about us not coming to the park, invest for the long haul (spend money to make money), and give us a franchise we can really buy into.

This, I think, explains the Braves' waning attendance. They've won a lot of division titles, but relatively little else. I suspect the folks in Atlanta feel burned, like we do, and won't come back until the Braves can really put it together for a while, getting to and winning the Series. Some fans a re smarter than others. Sox fans, and perhaps Braves fans, are just more intelligent baseball people than Cub fans. You have to know the expectations of your customer base if you're ever going to sell them your product.

Long story short, as though that were possible now, the Sox need to win. Not for a month or two, and not a division. We need consistent excellence over a couple of years, going deep into the playoffs. Then we'll come back. Cosmetic improvements to the ballpark aren't going to fool us any more. Just win, baby.

Greg1983

anewman35
11-19-2003, 03:18 PM
Originally posted by Greg1983
JR might have had a chance to build an intimate ballpark with great aesthetics that would have been so appealing that it would have drawn 2 million+ when the team was bad, like Wrigley or Fenway. But he blew it.

I'm not sure that would have been possible, even if he built the best ballpark ever. You're forgetting that a large part of the charm of Wrigley and Fenway is that they are very old. Other cities have recently built very nice ballparks that sit mostly empty because of bad teams. I don't see why we'd be any different, especially because we're in direct competition with another team.

maurice
11-19-2003, 03:48 PM
Originally posted by Greg1983
lousy neighborhood.

:whoflungpoo

Go peddle this crap to somebody who doesn't know better. Nobody bought this argument in a 66-post thread from September (http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=24064), and they won't buy it now. To quote a great American who posted in the previous thread:

[T]his topic has been beaten to death and back alive again here and people are sick of it.

nasox
11-19-2003, 04:51 PM
Originally posted by maurice
:whoflungpoo

Go peddle this crap to somebody who doesn't know better. Nobody bought this argument in a 66-post thread from September (http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=24064), and they won't buy it now. To quote a great American who posted in the previous thread:

Go and read page 1 of this thread and page 1 of the 66 post one in september. And then you tell me the difference because I think there is a pretty big one.

And I think what Greg was saying that the neighborhood is not as "great" as far as bars, restaurants, things to do, etc. when compared with Wrigleyville. This has been regurgitated on these boards and it comes down to this: the lots. Greg was the same guy who started that thread in September and got a lot of crap and criticism for it. Lay off him, his points are all very valid and good.

maurice
11-19-2003, 05:25 PM
Originally posted by nasox
Lay off him

No. If you re-read my post, you'll see that I responded to one specific point that is very clearly untrue and typical of a cubbie troll.

The neighborhood objectively is not "lousy." If you disagree, you can tell it to the fellow who lives three blocks from the Cell in a brand new mansion with an indoor swimming pool. Notions that the neighborhood requires additional gentrification are moot, since every person who knows anything about the Chicago real estate market knows that the gentrification of Bridgeport and Bronzeville is well under way and inevitable at this point. The "bars / restaurants" angle also was beaten to death in the previous thread, if you read past the very first post.

The only way to combat the misperception that the neighborhood is "lousy" is to call the liars on their lies quickly and sternly. If they can't take the heat brought on by their BS, they should get out of the kitchen.

washington
11-19-2003, 06:02 PM
[i]And I think what Greg was saying that the neighborhood is not as "great" as far as bars, restaurants, things to do, etc. when compared with Wrigleyville. This has been regurgitated on these boards and it comes down to this: the lots. Greg was the same guy who started that thread in September and got a lot of crap and criticism for it. Lay off him, his points are all very valid and good. [/B]

The complaint that the neighborhood that The Cell is in is "lousy" is complete and utter BS. So it doesn't have the loathsome frat bars and stir-fry restaurants that pockmarks every corner of Wrigleyville. So what; Wrigleyville's had more than its share of establishments closed down temporarily due to vermin and other unsanitary conditions.

The Cell's neighborhood has a bad rap has acquired a life of its own, has needlessly hurt attendance in the past and just isn't accurate. I park my car on the street and walk several blocks for every Sox game I go to (50 to 60 per year), it's a nice clean residential neighborhood and I have never been hassled by anyone there.

nasox
11-19-2003, 11:28 PM
Originally posted by maurice
No. If you re-read my post, you'll see that I responded to one specific point that is very clearly untrue and typical of a cubbie troll.

The neighborhood objectively is not "lousy." If you disagree, you can tell it to the fellow who lives three blocks from the Cell in a brand new mansion with an indoor swimming pool. Notions that the neighborhood requires additional gentrification are moot, since every person who knows anything about the Chicago real estate market knows that the gentrification of Bridgeport and Bronzeville is well under way and inevitable at this point. The "bars / restaurants" angle also was beaten to death in the previous thread, if you read past the very first post.

The only way to combat the misperception that the neighborhood is "lousy" is to call the liars on their lies quickly and sternly. If they can't take the heat brought on by their BS, they should get out of the kitchen.

I think you misunderstood me. Compared to Wrigley, Bridgeport FOR THE CASUAL BASEBALL FAN is not as great. But, I totally agree with you on the gentrification of Bridgeport. The area is great I would not mind living there at all. New Mansion huh? NICE
Lay off greg or don't...I don't really care.

Greg1983
11-22-2003, 05:49 PM
nasox,

Ignore maurice. He's an idiot and a bully, and he has the maturity of a 3rd grader with undiagnosed ADHD. He likes to throw fits a lot.

You do raise a good point about the difficulties of hatching something brand new, as opposed to a Fenway or a Wrigley scenario where the ballpark and surrounding neighborhood are all decades old. It would have been very difficult to replicate that, but I think with planning and investment, it could have worked.

The South Side saw significant residential development during the 90's boom. With an appropriate ballpark anchor, such as the Bess design (although even that design had its drawbacks), I think there's a chance the Sox could have pulled it off. At the very least, I'm mad at JR for having so little foresight that he wouldn't even try it.

Oh well. The renovations will be cool nonetheless. I just wish some of that US Cellular money could have been used to sign Maggs and Colon. Wishful thinking, I guess.

Greg1983

ExSoxFan
11-22-2003, 07:50 PM
Originally posted by Greg1983
The Cell will never be more than a functional, utilitarian stadium, even with the renovations underway now.

I disagree. USCF is a very nice ballpark now, and is only getting better with these renovations. There are changes being planned to the neighborhood to make it more "visually pleasing" and entertainment-based as well, but there is still ( and may always be ) a perception problem.

Like it or not, this city can be very "bush league" in its attitudes towards the two baseball teams. There are very definite stereotypes about each team and their fanbase. With the Sox, that stereotype extends to the neighborhood. Even when the neighborhood changes ( and it isn't as bad even now as the stereotype would have you believe ), it will still take a long time for the perception to change.

I've said it to my friends, and I'll say it again here: USCF is already a better place to SEE a ballgame than Wrigley, and it will only get better after the renovations are done. Will it make a difference to the "average Chicago sports fan"? Probably not, but it still holds true.

PaulDrake
11-22-2003, 10:26 PM
Originally posted by doublem23
Well it's time your going to have to stop bitching about the park. A) because it's fine and B) because it's here for at least another 20-30 years.

So that leaves one option. I'd personally rather see tha $45 million or whatever this latest wave of work is costing invested in talent rather than frilly superficial crap. I'll sit in the last row of the upper deck to see a damn good ballclub. I read your article which you greatly condense in this short post and I heartily concur.

Realist
11-23-2003, 03:50 AM
Originally posted by KingXerxes
A lot of teams have had long dry spells over their histories.

I don't mean that sarcastically, but seriously there are teams out there that still have never won a pennant.

Do fans want their team to win? Absolutely. But that can't be the sole motivating force related to their attendance at games. Fans have to go to games because they think it's the best entertainment option that they have going for them at the time. The Cubs (and maybe Red Sox) have been masters at getting this across. Winning is an ingredient in enhancing the perception of a White Sox game as an entertaining option - but it can't be such a major ingredient that it shadows all of the others.

That is the glamour - in my mind - of Wrigley Field, Fenway Park and to a lesser extent Yankee Stadium. These are old stadiums which do not offer the amenities of new parks - yet they are universally beloved even by casual fans, because they are marketed as living museums. People plunk down $25, walk into the park, and already feel that they've made a wise purchase - because in the back of their minds just seeing the inside of one of these parks, and walking around it and such, is good enough. Even the retro-style parks have seemingly faded off in popularity because the general public is not stupid - they can tell the difference between the real deals and wannabies.

This is the corner baseball painted itself into when it became an expensive form of entertainment. People will always demand their money's worth - if you can't give it to them with World Series victories, you had better find another way to do it. Unfortunately - for purists - the only real methods involve things that are not related to the game that is actually taking place on the field (Dot Races, Pizza Races, Batting Cages, Food, Outdoor Bars, Indoor Bars, Sleep Overs, Bring Your Dog Day etc) ad naseum .

You had me until you left out the frog races. Let's go to the hop. Red frog for a buck... I call!!

doublem23
11-23-2003, 10:28 AM
Originally posted by PaulDrake
I read your article which you greatly condense in this short post and I heartily concur.

LOL... I'll put the post on the jacket cover when I publish. :D:

maurice
11-24-2003, 01:43 PM
Originally posted by Greg1983
idiot . . . bully . . . maturity of a 3rd grader

You obviously know a lot about idiots and third graders, as reflected in the intelligence level of your posts and your penchant for name calling. Then again, you hardly can expect more intelligence from a person who thinks that Indianapolis is a good place to live. Unfortunately for you, this is not a playground, and your mommy can't save you from the mean bully.

You will find no affirmation of your ignorant stereotypes here. I know you're short on reading comprehension, but every post responding to your smear disagreed with you:

Originally posted by yours truly
The neighborhood objectively is not "lousy."

Originally posted by washington
The complaint that the neighborhood that The Cell is in is "lousy" is complete and utter BS.

Originally posted by nasox
I totally agree with you on the gentrification of Bridgeport. The area is great I would not mind living there at all.

Originally posted by ExSoxFan
There are very definite stereotypes about each team and their fanbase. With the Sox, that stereotype extends to the neighborhood.

Join your brethren at a cubbie fan site. You'll fit right in there.

Greg1983
11-25-2003, 11:26 AM
Maurice, you really ought to get a job as a fact-checker with the Rush Limbaugh show. You'd fit right in there. You think that by copying and pasting things totally out of context you prove your point, when in fact you just make yourself look more and more like a blowhard with a tenuous grip on reality.

Two out of the three people you from whom you copied and pasted agreed with me that the surrounding neighborhood is more a liability than an asset for Sox ballpark attendance. That could be perception, that could be reality, it could be some of both. I never once said that people will get accosted by whores and drug addicts between the red line and the gate. The point is simply that USCF is not, at the present time, in an ideal location for an entertainment venue. It is a poor location for a ballpark...unless of course the team that plays in that ballpark starts winning consistently.

If you really think that I'm a Cub fan just because of my impressions of Bridgeport, then you truly are a fool--or a fascist. I think most of the Taliban had a greater respect for different opinions than you. And your remark that I have a penchant for name-calling is particularly funny. There were some five-dozen posts on this thread that were all civil and pleasant. There wasn't a note of hostility anywhere until you came roaring in, accusing me of peddling crap and being a Cubbie troll. So for you of all people to hide behind whimpers of "name-calling" is as stupid as it is cowardly.

If you really want to continue spewing your invective and making yourself look like a childish blowhard, go ahead. I'm moving on to other threads.

maurice
11-25-2003, 01:29 PM
Originally posted by Greg1983
copying and pasting things totally out of context

It must be awful to be hung with your own words. It's all right there in black and white. You said the neighborhood was "lousy" and literally everybody else who commented on that point disagreed with you. Lacking any facts remotely supporting your lie, you resorted to posting paragraph after paragraph containing naught but childish name-calling.

your remark that I have a penchant for name-calling is particularly funny

By now, it's pretty clear that my remark was 100% accurate. Some examples from your latest post alone:

blowhard . . . fool . . . fascist . . . stupid . . . cowardly . . . childish . . . blowhard

I guess you ran out of invectives and needed to repeat yourself with that last one. When you grow up, you'll learn that everybody who proves you wrong is not a "fascist." In the meanwhile, take your drivel back to your grammar school playground . . . or at least to an Ann Cloulter or Michael Moore fan site, where you'll fit right in.

Dadawg_77
11-25-2003, 02:02 PM
Originally posted by maurice
or at least to an Ann Cloulter or Michael Moore fan site, where you'll fit right in.

Wow, nice to be apolitical there.


Greg, the worst thing is perpetrating the stereotype of the area around Comiskey does nothing but enforce the false beliefs of the majority. While the area isn't as popular or develop as Wrigley vile, it is on par with the area around UC and better the area around SF. With the gentrification occurring north of and spread to the park, the are will be a hot bed in a decade. Honestly, from the people I talk to who are scared of the area around Comiskey are suburbanites who have irrational fears of larges groups of black people. Now that is different then people who want to go to a game then head to the bar afterwords and that should be the case at Comiskey when the gentrification occurs.

Hondo
11-25-2003, 02:08 PM
Originally posted by maurice
. . . or at least to an Ann Cloulter or Michael Moore fan site, where you'll fit right in.

Keep Coulter out of the same sentence from Michael Moore. She may be a saucy chick but she's no Michael Moore.

Iwritecode
11-25-2003, 02:41 PM
Originally posted by Greg1983
Long story short, as though that were possible now, the Sox need to win. Not for a month or two, and not a division. We need consistent excellence over a couple of years, going deep into the playoffs. Then we'll come back. Cosmetic improvements to the ballpark aren't going to fool us any more. Just win, baby.

Greg1983

I'm going to skip over the arguement about the neighborhood and say that this paragraph is completely true.

I've been saying the same thing for years. Winning fixes everything. Just ask the Yankees...

maurice
11-25-2003, 04:58 PM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
Wow, nice to be apolitical there.

Originally posted by Hondo
Keep Coulter out of the same sentence from Michael Moore.

I tried to even it out politically by picking one fan of hyperbolic nonsense from each camp. Moore thinks conservatives are fascists, and Coulter thinks liberals are traitors. They're both wrong.

I agree that Moore doesn't equal Coulter. He must weigh like three times more than she does. :D:

Greg1983
11-29-2003, 04:01 PM
Maurice,

Notice that as I was comparing USCF to Yankee Stadium, I wrote:

"And while the Bridgeport area isn't great, it's not that bad, and the Bronx sure as hell ain't Mayberry."

If you would read my entire post, you would see that I was not trying to slam Bridgeport. Sadly, you consistently choose instead to focus on two words, rip them totally out of context, and throw a tantrum. So much hostility for no reason.

Taking things out of context seems to be a habit for you. Note that you did the same thing with the reply from nasox. Yes, he agreed with you that Bridgeport is an improved neighborhood, but of me he wrote:

"...his points are all very valid and good."

While I hate to drag him into our little spat, I think it is clearly absurd to try to count him as a detractor of me or my post when he writes this.

As for the use of the phrase "lousy neighborhood," let me reiterate that I was not suggesting that it is rife with crack pushers and prostitutes or any other such ugliness. I was CERTAINLY not referring to the neighborhood being racially mixed. You imposed that meaning on my words. I was simply trying to argue that Bridgeport as it is today is not an ideal location for a major entertainment venue. Do you disagree with that statement? If so, can you point out a single thing that is adjacent to or otherwise in plan view from the ballpark that would entice someone to come on down to the area for an evening out, even if the Sox are having a lackluster year?

The point of the thread and of my post specifically was that the Sox really need to field a winner, because they cannot rely on their ballpark or the surrounding neighborhood to be a big draw as it is for the Cubs, perhaps the Red Sox, etc. You have yet to raise a single argument that would contradict that. Do you have one?

As for the name-calling, let me remind you of a couple of your own statements. In your first reply to my post, you began by saying:

"Go peddle this crap..."

So immediately your incivility and hostility come raging to the surface. Then, in your next post, you wrote:

"...typical of a cubbie troll."

This is a baseless accusation and clearly an insult to anyone interested in posting on this board. Then, you conclude with:

"call the liars on their lies quickly and sternly."

It's not possible that we disagree, or even that I would be mistaken somehow. Instead, I am a liar. Not sure about you, but where I come from, calling someone a liar is a pretty serious affront. If you're going to call me a liar, Maurice, you really ought to be man enough to expect some name-calling right back. Indeed, based on the above, words such as "idiot" and "bully" aren't so much "insults" as they are simply accurate descriptions of your conduct.

HOWEVER...

In the spirit of the holidays, Maurice, I would like to offer you an olive branch. There is nothing about this back-and-forth that I enjoy. I regret that I used the phrase "lousy neighborhood." I have seen that you live in Bridgeport, and I understand that my remark could have been taken as an affront to your home/community. Clearly that would be very rude on my part. I only intended to say that I do not think Bridgeport is a good location for an entertainment venue such as a Major-League Baseball stadium, but I did not explain myself well, and I apologize.

In return, I would ask only that you acknowledge that I am not a Cub fan and not a liar. I do resent those remarks and would like you to take them back.

What say you?

maurice
12-01-2003, 03:12 PM
Originally posted by Greg1983
In return, I would ask only that you acknowledge that I am not a Cub fan and not a liar. I do resent those remarks and would like you to take them back.

I readily acknowledge that you're probably not a cub fan. My reference to cub fandom was an analogy and not a designation. Cub fans (including those in the media) frequently express their fear and/or ignorance of the South Side by deriding it. They are wrong. The South Side generally contains numerous points of interest and enjoyable places to pass time. The Bridgeport / Bronzeville area is no exception. Misinformation damages South Side businesses (including the Chicago AL ballclub) and usually goes uncontradicted.

I agree that the "liar" label is fairly harsh. Unfortunately, it's an accurate description. According to Webster's, a "liar" is "one [who] tells lies," and a "lie" is "an untrue or inaccurate statement." As I expressed previously to nasox, everything I've said in this thread relates to a single point in your initial post, which was untrue and inaccurate, was not taken out of context, and was disavowed by every other poster who referenced it. You misrepresenting my reply when you generalize it to your entire post.

In response to your question, off the top of my head, the area around the Cell is one of the top dining neighborhoods in the city, and folks who do not intend to watch a live baseball game very frequently visit the area for dinner. It also contains several architecturally and historically significant locations, which are visited by knowledgeable and interested tourists, who usually do not also stop to watch a ballgame. Finally, the area is home to scores of non-yuppie drinking establishments and approximately one yuppie drinking establishment, which receive favorable reviews from the non-locals at this site.

Happy Thanksgiving.

nasox
12-02-2003, 12:48 AM
voodoo, move this to the parking lot already so they can argue there

Greg1983
12-02-2003, 07:57 AM
"was not taken out of context..."

While you're looking up words, Maurice, you should try looking up "context," because you clearly don't know it.

"Context" is defined by the American Heritage dictionary as "the setting of words and ideas in which a particular word or statement appears." And yet it is precisely that setting that you refuse to acknowledge. In the very same post in which I DEFEND the Bridgeport neighborhood, and overall compare it and USCF quite favorably to a supposed baseball shrine like Yankee Stadium, you continute to seize on TWO WORDS. Words that I had not even intended in the manner in which you interpret them.

Words for which I even apologized in my last post, trying to make peace, acknowledging that they were inaccurate and perhaps hurtful, but you've failed to even acknowledge that.

Nor have you provided a single, concrete example of a business establishment or other attraction that makes Bridgeport the utopia you seem to think it is. Moreover, you've once again disregarded the question I put to you. I challenged you to name a single establishment, "ajdacent to or otherwise in plan view from the ballpark." We're not talking about getting in the car and driving 10 minutes, we're talking about things that add to the ballpark atmosphere, things that make USCF a more viable entertainment venue.

Indeed, the unnamed attractions you mention that may not be of interest to people going to a Sox game only prove my point. Bridgeport may be a lovely place, full of community assets. Yet if the assets it offers are not compatible with Major League Baseball, then Bridgeport was the wrong place to build the new stadium. So on that particular point, you've actually proved my case for me quite well.

So, you've utterly failed to defend (and support) your argument, and you've failed to demonstrate even a shred of gentlemanly behavior, even after an olive branch was extended and an opportunity to dispense with the name calling was offered.

There is too much else to talk about regarding the team and the game. Maurice, I've tried the high road of sensible dialogue and peacemaking with you, and you've demonstrated that you're not interested or not capable of either. At least not on this topic. I hope we meet again on other threads and our conversations will be more civil--and productive.

Voodoo, if you'd care to move this to the PL, feel free. I think it's been done to death.

maurice
12-02-2003, 01:22 PM
Originally posted by nasox
voodoo, move this to the parking lot already so they can argue there

Yes, please. It's literally become a question of semantics, manners, and how long it takes to drive a quarter of a mile, which is about as bad as a grammar and spelling thread. Nobody wants to read that crap.

voodoochile
12-02-2003, 02:00 PM
Originally posted by maurice
Yes, please. It's literally become a question of semantics, manners, and how long it takes to drive a quarter of a mile, which is about as bad as a grammar and spelling thread. Nobody wants to read that crap.

Maybe you should just drop it or start a new thread in the PL where you two can argue this crap to your heart's content.

I find it humorous that you want your own posts moved instead of just solving the problem on your own.

If you two force me to split it, I will, but I am hoping you will both act like adults and just get over it...

maurice
12-02-2003, 02:12 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
Maybe you should just drop it

Agreed.