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View Full Version : Has Chicago Always Been the Cub's Town?


TheBull19
05-11-2004, 12:43 PM
I decided to break it down by attendance by decade since the AL's inception in 1901 up until the strike of '94. Average per year by decade rounded to the thousand.

1901-1909 - Sox average 459,000/yr
Cubs 418,000/yr
Sox attendance outpaces Cubs 6 of 9 years
Chicago single season high-1905 Sox 687,000

'10's - Sox ave 557,000/yr
Cub ave 403,000/yr
Sox attendance outpaces Cubs 9 of 10 years
Chicago single season high-1917 Sox 684,000

'20s - Sox ave 623,000/yr
Cub ave 815,000/yr
Cub attendance outpaces Sox 6 of 10 years
Chicago single season high 1929 Cubs 1,485,000

'30s - Sox ave 411,000/yr
Cub ave 878,000/yr
Cub attendance outpaces Sox 10 of 10 years
Chicago single season high- 1930 Cubs 1,463,000

'40s - Sox ave 706,000/yr
Cub ave 894,000/yr
Cub attendance outpaces Sox 7 of 10 years
Chicago single season high- 1947 Cubs 1,364,000

'50s -Sox ave 1,129,000/yr
Cub ave 869,000/yr
Sox attendance outpaces Cubs 10 of 10 years
Chicago single season high 1959 Sox 1,423,000

'60s -Sox ave 1,082,000/yr
Cub ave 879,000/yr
Sox attendace outpaces Cubs 9 of 10 years
Chicago single season high 1960 Sox 1,644,000

'70s -Sox ave 1,105,000/yr
Cubs ave 1,234,000/yr
Cub attendance outpaces Sox 8 of 10 years
Chicago single season high 1977 Sox 1,657,000

'80s -Sox ave 1,444,000/yr
Cub ave 1,724,000/yr
Cub attendance outpaces Sox 6 of 10 years
Chicago single season high 1989 Cubs 2,491,000

'90-94 Sox ave 2.379.000/yr
Cub ave 2,236,000/yr
Cub attendance outpaces Sox 3 of 5years
Chi single season high 1991 Sox 2,944,000

Overall Sox attendance greater than Cubs 49 of 94 years.

Hangar18
05-11-2004, 01:54 PM
So in other words, the cubs will pass us in Attendance in a couple more years?

poorme
05-11-2004, 02:00 PM
this is only tangentially related, but the milwaukee braves led the national league in attendance in 6 straight years from 1953-58 (over 2 mil), but by 1965 only had 500,000 and left for Atlanta in 1966. (AND they were a pretty good team the whole time).

i guess things can change in pretty short order. although I bet it's easier to kill your fanbase than win it back.

DrummerGeorgefan
05-11-2004, 02:46 PM
i think those stats show that winning is the most important thing, well up until it became cool to go to wrigley

TheBull19
05-11-2004, 03:09 PM
Originally posted by Hangar18
So in other words, the cubs will pass us in Attendance in a couple more years?

Yeah, probably, but I was trying to address the growing myth that Chicago has historically always been a cubs town. Obviously since the strike of '94 and Reinsdorf's increasing mismanagement of the sox since, sox fans have been disgruntled. And after the black sox scandal sox fans were disgruntled. But there were some long stretches where the Sox consistently outdrew the Cubs. Also popularity seems to shift between the teams in cycles around 15-25 years. So hopefully in another few years the lovable loser fad will be over again.

TheBull19
05-11-2004, 03:21 PM
Originally posted by DrummerGeorgefan
i think those stats show that winning is the most important thing, well up until it became cool to go to wrigley

Yeah, somewhat, but I don't remember any great cubs teams from the 20's, 40's or 70's. It kind of seems like a lot of times the cubs outsold the sox only after the sox started stinking it up at the Cubs level, whereas the sox attendance only increased when they had a competitive team.
Of course that changed after '94 and then the white flag trade, because you know we sox fans are not a bunch of morons going off to feed the mouth that bites us. Once Reinsdorf sells or dies I'll go back to COMISKEY. "f" the cell. Once they start paying me I'll call it the cell.

jackbrohamer
05-11-2004, 03:26 PM
It is NOT a Cubs town. No matter how many Sox executives and players say it is. Sheesh.

rahulsekhar
05-11-2004, 03:40 PM
Originally posted by jackbrohamer
It is NOT a Cubs town. No matter how many Sox executives and players say it is. Sheesh.

IMO it is CURRENTLY a Cubs town due to the combination of Tribune nepotism and Sox management (or lack thereof). It may not have always been that way, but it certainly is that now. The Sox have some work to do to make it back into a Sox town. There's an old adage that it costs a lot more to win a new customer than to keep existing ones happy. Unfortunately, the Sox have lost enough of them that they now have to work that much harder just to get back to where they were 10-20 years ago from a fanbase perspective.

jackbrohamer
05-11-2004, 03:52 PM
Originally posted by rahulsekhar
IMO it is CURRENTLY a Cubs town due to the combination of Tribune nepotism and Sox management (or lack thereof).

I disagree completely, and I refuse to be stigmatized because of poor management, incompetent media coverage and the opinions of people who love Wrigley Field but know nothing about baseball.

john2499
05-11-2004, 05:41 PM
I think a few opportune events helped bring about the scrubs recent popularity. Some by their own doing , some by luck and others by the lack of good decisions made by their counterparts.

The 1st being the arrival of Harry Caray from the south side.

Everything started going right for them around 1984. Ryne Sandberg had one of the most memorable games ever against Bruce Sutter and on national TV. They won the division, and came one ground ball away from the W.S.

The re-gentrification of the north side, not just Wrigleyville has been a tremendous help to their popularity. They have put a nicely contrived artificial package around their brand of baseball. I don't agree with it, but even if I did the Sox version of this package is now a parking lot.

They were also the only baseball team from Chicago showing all their games on free TV (I think the Sox only showed about 30 or 40 games on CH 32, the rest were on Sportsvision). Just think how many kids didn't watch the Sox because they didn't have that stupid ON-TV box perched on the top of their color consoles. I know this first hand. I might not be here had it not been a little channel surfing I did way back in 1977. I came upon WSNS TV channel 44, and their they were, The Chicago White Sox vs. The Toronto Blue Jays, and it was FREE, there was no cable in my house until 1987.

They didn't threaten to leave the city, ala JR, if they didn't get a new park. By the way, Wrigley is older now than Comiskey was when they tore it down. By 10 years!!!

But in the early 1990's the tide was turning, the Sox were the alpha males in this city. We had NICE new uniforms, a new stadium, an excellent young ball club. We had the story of a limping Bo Jackson's blast to the seats in right in his triumphant return. How sweet it was!!! We came up just a little short in '93, but '94 was going to be the year. I was ready, Sox nation was ready even the city was ready, but then.......BAM!!! The DAMN deplorable lockout!!! And, it was, right or wrong, believed to be the handiwork of good ol' JR, not, the Tibune.

So, I guess I'd say it has been a combination of many things that make me gag when I see the 57th story about mark prior's precious little ankle or that idiot they have in right.
But I know what will bring Sox fans back to the ballpark "Just Win Baby"

LongLiveFisk
05-11-2004, 05:46 PM
Whether or not it has always been a Cubs town depends on what criteria you use to make that assessment. If people make that judgment based on attendance, then clearly the answer is NO, it has not always been a Cubs town. Not a chance.

But there are other factors you can look at (merchandise sales over the years, for example), if you really want to be in-depth about it. And I really can't comment on those issues because I don't have any numbers in front of me to confirm it nor deny it.

But, I will say that people who claim it has always been a Cubs town (and I swear, JR is one of them--correct me if I'm wrong) are full of it. Usually, just ego-infested Cubs fans lay claim to that. If JR did say it, I can only imagine it was to deflect criticism from himself for the decline of the franchise under his ownership. Don't chastise me for that last statement, it's just my opinion.

pudge
05-11-2004, 06:10 PM
Great stuff, wherever you dug it up from, very interesting... I think this goes to show how cyclical it has been, for the most part very balanced... we're obviously in a Cubbie era right now... but imagine, if the Cubs actually did win a WS, their "mystique" would be over, and the media might actually focus on the next losing team, ie the Sox.

Then again, the Cubs may dominate attendence for the next 20 years, who knows.

Someday, someone else WILL own the Sox... things will have to change eventually.

Lip Man 1
05-11-2004, 10:29 PM
Good ole Uncle Jerry DID say that recently on Chicago Tonight and in June 2002 on ESPN Radio 1000 before the start of the Cubs / Sox series.

Lip

MJL_Sox_Fan
05-11-2004, 10:41 PM
1901-1993
W Attend Ave Wins Ave Attend
Sox 7228 85,410,856 78.6 928,379
Cubs 7308 91,814,347 79.4 997,982
Difference -80 (6,403,491) -0.9 (69,603)

1996 to 2003
W Attend Ave Wins Ave Attend
Sox 665 13,601,588 83.1 1,700,199
Cubs 609 21,071,168 76.1 2,633,896
Difference 56 (7,469,580) 7.0 (933,698)

Prior to the strike, the town was evenly split in both success on the field and in attendence. We all know the recent history but here are the numbers. What I think is lost in all the talk of the "bad" sox attendence, is that actually in historical perspective it has been well their longterm above average recently.

iwannago
05-11-2004, 10:46 PM
Originally posted by rahulsekhar
IMO it is CURRENTLY a Cubs town due to the combination of Tribune nepotism and Sox management (or lack thereof). It may not have always been that way, but it certainly is that now. The Sox have some work to do to make it back into a Sox town. There's an old adage that it costs a lot more to win a new customer than to keep existing ones happy. Unfortunately, the Sox have lost enough of them that they now have to work that much harder just to get back to where they were 10-20 years ago from a fanbase perspective.

Who cares what kind of town it is. If your a Sox fan then your a Sox fan. If you don't like the Trib stop buying it.