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Vernam
05-27-2004, 11:13 PM
I apologize for the length of this. It's the first thread I've tried starting, after replying to a bunch. I've been thinking a lot about the Sox and their fans. Iím lucky enough to be seeing my fourth game of the year tomorrow against the Angels, for my son's 11th birthday. The tradition (or virus!) gets handed down . . .

I have to call the media bashing of Sox fans what it really is: Class bias. Working class people have been systematically shut out of pro sports due to escalating costs. I have no idea how someone making less than $50K per year can afford to take a family of four out to Sox Park or any other park more than once per year, if that. The new parks (not just the Cell) give the finger to people who can't afford to sit at Club Level. In a special baseball issue several years ago, Smithsonian magazine ran commentary by a distinguished architect who showed how the upper decks in ALL the newer stadiums are about 100 feet farther from the field to accommodate sky boxes. Sox Park is often half-empty not because there are no Sox fans, but because a lot of their fans can no longer afford to attend games.

Letís face it: Most well-to-do people don't want working stiffs around any more than necessary. That's where a lot of this snarkiness toward Sox fans comes from, IMO. When drunks run on the field or fight, it reflects on us as a group and plays into a stereotype of what non-Sox fans think of us. But stuff like that happens in every park. Only at the Cell does it become a federal offense. Why? Start by looking at the neighborhood, not just as it is now but as it was back when the Stockyards were still around.

Elitist, faux baseball fans like Chris Berman -- he really is heir to Cosell in that sense -- love to pretend they're into the history of the game. Sportswriters rhapsodize about the romance of old parks and retro parks, but they show their true colors by making snide comments about Sox fans and South Siders, whose original park was deemed expendable. Certain media figures in Chicago all pay tribute to Wrigley because a.) they know at some point they might want to work for the Tribune Company (if they don't already), b.) they know there's more money to be made catering to Cub fans, and c.) they don't respect the working man.

The Sox management deserves some blame in this regard, too, going back to Einhorn's comments about having more "class." They blew their chance to build in Addison (thankfully) and have since spent a lot of energy alienating their fan base. Veeck had his drawbacks, but he absolutely identified with working people. Yet the same writers and radio hosts who sentimentalize him go out of their way to put down Sox fans.

It's symptomatic of today's society in general. Some people would say there's a bigger gap than ever between rich and poor. I don't know . . . But I do believe at some point it stopped being respectable to earn an honest living that doesn't pay enough for a big house in a neighborhood with top schools. The first game I went to this year, we sat in the upper deck, and for the first time ever in the new park, I had a sense of how the old park felt. Not to romanticize it, but a lot of that had to do with the fact that I was sitting among some die hard fans. The lower level has die hards, obviously (especially in the outfield), but it also has a type of fan I first saw at the '83 playoff games: Well-off people who seem not to be followers of the team so much as scene-makers. If the Sox keep winning, you'll see more of these people, and I guess that's what we need to pay the top salaries. But will they keep coming if the Sox start letting upper-deck fans down onto the 100 level? That whole segregation is weird and wrong, IMO.

If I were Sox PR director, I'd market the team as counter-culture, counter-programming, and counter-intuitive. They need a campaign like the successful ones Apple has run, because the Sox will always be the Macintosh to the Cubs' Microsoft; hopefully theyíll never play Betamax to the Cubsí VHS! So why do what everyone else does? Why do what The Man tells you to do? Think for yourself. Be real. Be a Sox fan.

VC

ode to veeck
05-27-2004, 11:28 PM
Smithsonian magazine ran commentary by a distinguished architect who showed how the upper decks in ALL the newer stadiums are about 100 feet farther from the field to accommodate sky boxes.

It's also due to the fact that modern parks don't have support pillars anywhere between fans and the field. The upper decks' front row seats of the old parks like Comiskey and the old Tiger Stadium were directly above the front row seats of the lower level, making ALL the upper deck seats A LOT closer to the game.

If someone really wanted to build a cool retro park that got the fans a lot closer to the field, they'd give up on all the overly cantelevered upper deck designs and give up a realtively few obstructed view seats by putting the supports in to have an old style upper deck looking right over the field.

The "old" named "club seats" in the old comiskey were actually the 1st several rows of seats in the upper deck between 1st and 3rd that looked right down on the game. These were phenomenal seats that mostly don't exist at any parks anywhere today.

Max Power
05-27-2004, 11:56 PM
Originally posted by Vernam

If I were Sox PR director, I'd market the team as counter-culture, counter-programming, and counter-intuitive. They need a campaign like the successful ones Apple has run, because the Sox will always be the Macintosh to the Cubs' Microsoft; hopefully theyíll never play Betamax to the Cubsí VHS! So why do what everyone else does? Why do what The Man tells you to do? Think for yourself. Be real. Be a Sox fan.


I've often thought that too. Well said.

Bruck35
05-28-2004, 12:13 AM
Originally posted by Vernam
I apologize for the length of this. It's the first thread I've tried starting, after replying to a bunch. I've been thinking a lot about the Sox and their fans. Iím lucky enough to be seeing my fourth game of the year tomorrow against the Angels, for my son's 11th birthday. The tradition (or virus!) gets handed down . . .

I have to call the media bashing of Sox fans what it really is: Class bias. Working class people have been systematically shut out of pro sports due to escalating costs. I have no idea how someone making less than $50K per year can afford to take a family of four out to Sox Park or any other park more than once per year, if that. The new parks (not just the Cell) give the finger to people who can't afford to sit at Club Level. In a special baseball issue several years ago, Smithsonian magazine ran commentary by a distinguished architect who showed how the upper decks in ALL the newer stadiums are about 100 feet farther from the field to accommodate sky boxes. Sox Park is often half-empty not because there are no Sox fans, but because a lot of their fans can no longer afford to attend games.

Letís face it: Most well-to-do people don't want working stiffs around any more than necessary. That's where a lot of this snarkiness toward Sox fans comes from, IMO. When drunks run on the field or fight, it reflects on us as a group and plays into a stereotype of what non-Sox fans think of us. But stuff like that happens in every park. Only at the Cell does it become a federal offense. Why? Start by looking at the neighborhood, not just as it is now but as it was back when the Stockyards were still around.

Elitist, faux baseball fans like Chris Berman -- he really is heir to Cosell in that sense -- love to pretend they're into the history of the game. Sportswriters rhapsodize about the romance of old parks and retro parks, but they show their true colors by making snide comments about Sox fans and South Siders, whose original park was deemed expendable. Certain media figures in Chicago all pay tribute to Wrigley because a.) they know at some point they might want to work for the Tribune Company (if they don't already), b.) they know there's more money to be made catering to Cub fans, and c.) they don't respect the working man.

The Sox management deserves some blame in this regard, too, going back to Einhorn's comments about having more "class." They blew their chance to build in Addison (thankfully) and have since spent a lot of energy alienating their fan base. Veeck had his drawbacks, but he absolutely identified with working people. Yet the same writers and radio hosts who sentimentalize him go out of their way to put down Sox fans.

It's symptomatic of today's society in general. Some people would say there's a bigger gap than ever between rich and poor. I don't know . . . But I do believe at some point it stopped being respectable to earn an honest living that doesn't pay enough for a big house in a neighborhood with top schools. The first game I went to this year, we sat in the upper deck, and for the first time ever in the new park, I had a sense of how the old park felt. Not to romanticize it, but a lot of that had to do with the fact that I was sitting among some die hard fans. The lower level has die hards, obviously (especially in the outfield), but it also has a type of fan I first saw at the '83 playoff games: Well-off people who seem not to be followers of the team so much as scene-makers. If the Sox keep winning, you'll see more of these people, and I guess that's what we need to pay the top salaries. But will they keep coming if the Sox start letting upper-deck fans down onto the 100 level? That whole segregation is weird and wrong, IMO.

If I were Sox PR director, I'd market the team as counter-culture, counter-programming, and counter-intuitive. They need a campaign like the successful ones Apple has run, because the Sox will always be the Macintosh to the Cubs' Microsoft; hopefully theyíll never play Betamax to the Cubsí VHS! So why do what everyone else does? Why do what The Man tells you to do? Think for yourself. Be real. Be a Sox fan.

VC

Excellent post - a pretty down to earth view of how many "working class" people feel about the changes made by the Sox organization. I think this reflects society as a whole...the expanding upper class, expanding lower class and shrinking middle class. Stadiums make a ton of $$$ from the skyboxes and they're becoming so regular that few question the idea of putting the seats closer to the park and moving the skyboxes further away.

The skyboxes have to be in a prime location so they can charge the necessary big bucks, and the upper deck seats suffer the consequences.

Thanks for taking the time to bring up some good points!

Kadafi311
05-28-2004, 12:25 AM
Originally posted by Vernam
If I were Sox PR director, I'd market the team as counter-culture, counter-programming, and counter-intuitive. They need a campaign like the successful ones Apple has run, because the Sox will always be the Macintosh to the Cubs' Microsoft; hopefully theyíll never play Betamax to the Cubsí VHS! So why do what everyone else does? Why do what The Man tells you to do? Think for yourself. Be real. Be a Sox fan.

Agree completely. This is such an obvious solution to the Sox marketing and PR dilemma, I'm unable to comprehend why it isn't equally obvious to ownership.

Good guys wear black, build from there.

elrod
05-28-2004, 12:59 AM
Excellent, excellent post. The White Sox fan has always been the working man or woman. It's time to tell all the fratboy yuppies who moan over Wrigley Field to go to Hell.

wilburwood
05-28-2004, 01:09 AM
The first team in MLB to in :o: stall lights so the working stiff could catch a game? you guessed it Comiskey Park.
The last team to put in lights??? well folks take a guess....

C-Dawg
05-28-2004, 05:23 AM
In my case, I can afford to go to the games but I find it difficult to do so since my work is seasonal and April-November is by far our busy season. This pretty much limits me to Sunday games, or Saturday NIGHT only. I work 70 hours a week, weather permitting. Our vacations are limited to Jan. - March, and I was able to go to Arizona this year and saw a couple spring training games at Tucson; something I've wanted to do for a long time. But unlike Cub fans, I just don't have the luxury of spending weekdays at the ball park (How do those guys do it? Are they all college kids, going to see the Cubs with tickets they charged on their parents Visa cards???).

I have a friend who is a Cub fan. Sometimes, whenever he feels like ditching work, he calls in sick and goes up to the Cub game. If he doesn't have tickets, he just hangs around in the neighborhood. If I tried this, I wouldn't have my job for very long. I have to work for a living.

SSN721
05-28-2004, 05:59 AM
Originally posted by C-Dawg
In my case, I can afford to go to the games but I find it difficult to do so since my work is seasonal and April-November is by far our busy season. This pretty much limits me to Sunday games, or Saturday NIGHT only. I work 70 hours a week, weather permitting. Our vacations are limited to Jan. - March, and I was able to go to Arizona this year and saw a couple spring training games at Tucson; something I've wanted to do for a long time. But unlike Cub fans, I just don't have the luxury of spending weekdays at the ball park (How do those guys do it? Are they all college kids, going to see the Cubs with tickets they charged on their parents Visa cards???).

I have a friend who is a Cub fan. Sometimes, whenever he feels like ditching work, he calls in sick and goes up to the Cub game. If he doesn't have tickets, he just hangs around in the neighborhood. If I tried this, I wouldn't have my job for very long. I have to work for a living.

That always amazes me as well. Where do these kids get all this money to afford to get drunk at game with beer prices as they after paying so much for tickets. And on weekday no less. I took off for opening day but other than that I can only than k the White Sox for having lights and most of their games at night. I work 50-60 hours a week and I still have made it to 11 or 12 games this year. I understand the premise of the first post here, it is very tough to go see games, luckily I only have to buy for myself, but if I had to take a whole family on the same salary I cant see going to more then a game every one or two months.

Realist
05-28-2004, 06:33 AM
Vernam, thank you so much for the excellent post. I think it quite nicely compliments, echos and improves on a post I made awhile ago. I'll quote my post below and link to the thread it's from.

While my post may have addressed part of the problem, you went even further and offered solutions. I tip my hat to you, Sir. I am humbled by your eloquence.

The one thing that is never brought up on these "Sox vs. Cubs" threads is CAPITALISM. Let's face it folks, we live in an economy driven by profit and it just so happens that gentrification and immigration to Chicago begins on the northside. THAT'S what's driving the media to worship those slack jawwed-bag licking-yuppie scum Cubs (sorry Lee Elia, your rant is very outdated).

Chicago is in a period of major change. While it was once all the rage for Chicagoans to flee the city to the suburbs for a better life for their families, it is now all the rage for suburban white folk to move back to the city and try to establish "suburbanesque" lifestyles within an urban setting. I suppose it's so they can attach the tag "worldly" to their existance. I dunno.

Anyway, that's the trend. When some hayseed from Nebraska or Iowa decides to move to Chicago (the 2nd CITY), they immediately begin asking around for the best place to live and the answer is - "The North Side... around Wrigleyville... it's safe".

So these semi-affluent white folks from Greengrass, Iowa move to Chicago. They move to Wrigleyville, Lincoln Park, Bucktown, and Lakeview and hope they don't get shot or mugged in the "big city". In the mean time, whether they know it or not, they've landed in "Cubbieland" and being the sheep that humans tend to be, they jump on the "Cubbiebandwagon" because they're completely emersed in it. I've seen it constantly for 3 years (bartending for these same sheep 4 blocks from the Urinal).

So... now we've got tons of folks on their way UP the economic ladder saturating Chicago, but it's only on the NORTHside and they become instant Flub fans. Next... the gawdforsaken corporate media realises that these are the folks driving our economy and the advertisers' paychecks up, so they begin to avalanche us with Flubbie propoganda.

We're fighting an uphill battle. We're no longer "The City of Big Shoulders", or the Back of the Yards, or the Steel Mills (south eastside, where I'm from :smile: ). We're the city of Jettas, Starbucks, track lighting, and "shhhhh... be quiet.... it's after 9pm and my babies, Biff and Jennifer, are trying to sleep".

In the past, the White Sox flourished in Chicago because we were always a "blue collar" town. As the urban mise en scene shifts from rolled up sleaves and an honest day's work for an honest day's dollar to "what does it take for me to make a quick easy buck", the Chicago White Sox and what they and their fans have always represented fade more and more into the sunset.

That's not to say I'm giving up without a fight!! Go White Sox!! Die Yuppie Scum!! .... and not to forget... CUBS SUCK!! (with teeth)

http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?postid=284571#post284571

PaulDrake
05-28-2004, 06:58 AM
Vernam- Your post is a home run.

Realist- I agree with your historical analysis and current assessment of the situation. We left the area in the mid 80's and if I tried to come back I probably couldn't afford it. Housing costs have skyrocketed, it would have to be a cheap apartment in a non gentrified neighborhood.

Even demographics, history and the forces of nature are against us. Still we perservere. I hope to make a semi annual visit this summer and catch a Sox game or two.

BigEdWalsh
05-28-2004, 07:25 AM
Vernam, you're my new hero.
Someone said you hit a homerun. S***! You hit a GRAND SLAM!

white sox bill
05-28-2004, 07:25 AM
Although not a native Chicagoan, I beleive the demo's are changing right? The area around the Park is getting better, although not "yuppiesh" right?

SaltyPretzel
05-28-2004, 07:38 AM
Originally posted by wilburwood
The first team in MLB to in :o: stall lights so the working stiff could catch a game? you guessed it Comiskey Park.
The last team to put in lights??? well folks take a guess....


It was actually Cincy, but we get your point. :smile:

HomerCoach
05-28-2004, 08:42 AM
Originally posted by Vernam
I apologize for the length of this. It's the first thread I've tried starting, after replying to a bunch. I've been thinking a lot about the Sox and their fans. Iím lucky enough to be seeing my fourth game of the year tomorrow against the Angels, for my son's 11th birthday. The tradition (or virus!) gets handed down . . .

I have to call the media bashing of Sox fans what it really is: Class bias. Working class people have been systematically shut out of pro sports due to escalating costs. I have no idea how someone making less than $50K per year can afford to take a family of four out to Sox Park or any other park more than once per year, if that. The new parks (not just the Cell) give the finger to people who can't afford to sit at Club Level. In a special baseball issue several years ago, Smithsonian magazine ran commentary by a distinguished architect who showed how the upper decks in ALL the newer stadiums are about 100 feet farther from the field to accommodate sky boxes. Sox Park is often half-empty not because there are no Sox fans, but because a lot of their fans can no longer afford to attend games.

Letís face it: Most well-to-do people don't want working stiffs around any more than necessary. That's where a lot of this snarkiness toward Sox fans comes from, IMO. When drunks run on the field or fight, it reflects on us as a group and plays into a stereotype of what non-Sox fans think of us. But stuff like that happens in every park. Only at the Cell does it become a federal offense. Why? Start by looking at the neighborhood, not just as it is now but as it was back when the Stockyards were still around.

Elitist, faux baseball fans like Chris Berman -- he really is heir to Cosell in that sense -- love to pretend they're into the history of the game. Sportswriters rhapsodize about the romance of old parks and retro parks, but they show their true colors by making snide comments about Sox fans and South Siders, whose original park was deemed expendable. Certain media figures in Chicago all pay tribute to Wrigley because a.) they know at some point they might want to work for the Tribune Company (if they don't already), b.) they know there's more money to be made catering to Cub fans, and c.) they don't respect the working man.

The Sox management deserves some blame in this regard, too, going back to Einhorn's comments about having more "class." They blew their chance to build in Addison (thankfully) and have since spent a lot of energy alienating their fan base. Veeck had his drawbacks, but he absolutely identified with working people. Yet the same writers and radio hosts who sentimentalize him go out of their way to put down Sox fans.

It's symptomatic of today's society in general. Some people would say there's a bigger gap than ever between rich and poor. I don't know . . . But I do believe at some point it stopped being respectable to earn an honest living that doesn't pay enough for a big house in a neighborhood with top schools. The first game I went to this year, we sat in the upper deck, and for the first time ever in the new park, I had a sense of how the old park felt. Not to romanticize it, but a lot of that had to do with the fact that I was sitting among some die hard fans. The lower level has die hards, obviously (especially in the outfield), but it also has a type of fan I first saw at the '83 playoff games: Well-off people who seem not to be followers of the team so much as scene-makers. If the Sox keep winning, you'll see more of these people, and I guess that's what we need to pay the top salaries. But will they keep coming if the Sox start letting upper-deck fans down onto the 100 level? That whole segregation is weird and wrong, IMO.

If I were Sox PR director, I'd market the team as counter-culture, counter-programming, and counter-intuitive. They need a campaign like the successful ones Apple has run, because the Sox will always be the Macintosh to the Cubs' Microsoft; hopefully theyíll never play Betamax to the Cubsí VHS! So why do what everyone else does? Why do what The Man tells you to do? Think for yourself. Be real. Be a Sox fan.

VC

A good foundation for a Moronotti article!

archangelgabe66
05-28-2004, 09:02 AM
I have been a Sox fan for the last 35 years, and I have seen my share of fans that are making a mockery of the other Sox fans that respect the game, the team, and other fans.

I agree that it is difficult for the "blue collar" worker to attend as many games as they used to attend. I don't blame them for not going. It is a question of priorities. I respect that ideal.

I attend some ten to fifteen games a year, and I definitely take advantate of the "half-price" nights. Who wouldn't? I just wish that some people would take soem responsiblity for their actions; however, I understand that might not always happen.

I will keep cheering for the Sox to improve and win. With the media in this city being so biased towards one team, I will continue to do what I can to give the Sox its much deserved credit.

Frater Perdurabo
05-28-2004, 09:05 AM
Vernam, this is not just post of the week material. This is post of the year. Excellent, excellent post!

:)

idseer
05-28-2004, 09:18 AM
Originally posted by Kadafi311
Agree completely. This is such an obvious solution to the Sox marketing and PR dilemma, I'm unable to comprehend why it isn't equally obvious to ownership.



was anyone able to comprehend why it wasn't obvious to ownership what jm was doing to this team?
ownership's agenda is not the fans agenda.

tebman
05-28-2004, 10:06 AM
Originally posted by Vernam
I have to call the media bashing of Sox fans what it really is: Class bias. Working class people have been systematically shut out of pro sports due to escalating costs. I have no idea how someone making less than $50K per year can afford to take a family of four out to Sox Park or any other park more than once per year, if that. The new parks (not just the Cell) give the finger to people who can't afford to sit at Club Level. In a special baseball issue several years ago, Smithsonian magazine ran commentary by a distinguished architect who showed how the upper decks in ALL the newer stadiums are about 100 feet farther from the field to accommodate sky boxes. Sox Park is often half-empty not because there are no Sox fans, but because a lot of their fans can no longer afford to attend games.

Letís face it: Most well-to-do people don't want working stiffs around any more than necessary. That's where a lot of this snarkiness toward Sox fans comes from, IMO. When drunks run on the field or fight, it reflects on us as a group and plays into a stereotype of what non-Sox fans think of us. But stuff like that happens in every park. Only at the Cell does it become a federal offense. Why? Start by looking at the neighborhood, not just as it is now but as it was back when the Stockyards were still around.

Elitist, faux baseball fans like Chris Berman -- he really is heir to Cosell in that sense -- love to pretend they're into the history of the game. Sportswriters rhapsodize about the romance of old parks and retro parks, but they show their true colors by making snide comments about Sox fans and South Siders, whose original park was deemed expendable. Certain media figures in Chicago all pay tribute to Wrigley because a.) they know at some point they might want to work for the Tribune Company (if they don't already), b.) they know there's more money to be made catering to Cub fans, and c.) they don't respect the working man.

The Sox management deserves some blame in this regard, too, going back to Einhorn's comments about having more "class." They blew their chance to build in Addison (thankfully) and have since spent a lot of energy alienating their fan base. Veeck had his drawbacks, but he absolutely identified with working people. Yet the same writers and radio hosts who sentimentalize him go out of their way to put down Sox fans.

It's symptomatic of today's society in general. Some people would say there's a bigger gap than ever between rich and poor. I don't know . . . But I do believe at some point it stopped being respectable to earn an honest living that doesn't pay enough for a big house in a neighborhood with top schools. The first game I went to this year, we sat in the upper deck, and for the first time ever in the new park, I had a sense of how the old park felt. Not to romanticize it, but a lot of that had to do with the fact that I was sitting among some die hard fans. The lower level has die hards, obviously (especially in the outfield), but it also has a type of fan I first saw at the '83 playoff games: Well-off people who seem not to be followers of the team so much as scene-makers. If the Sox keep winning, you'll see more of these people, and I guess that's what we need to pay the top salaries. But will they keep coming if the Sox start letting upper-deck fans down onto the 100 level? That whole segregation is weird and wrong, IMO.

If I were Sox PR director, I'd market the team as counter-culture, counter-programming, and counter-intuitive. They need a campaign like the successful ones Apple has run, because the Sox will always be the Macintosh to the Cubs' Microsoft; hopefully theyíll never play Betamax to the Cubsí VHS! So why do what everyone else does? Why do what The Man tells you to do? Think for yourself. Be real. Be a Sox fan.

VC

Vernam, your post summarizes so neatly what's going on here.
The Sox are identified with "working people," which has a
meaning very specific to what I call the "comfortable class."
The comfortable class, whether they live in Lakeview or Naperville,
strive to build a gated community for themselves that has no
texture, no nuts in the pudding, no crust on the bread. A gated
community can be literal, like in Oakbrook or Rosemont, where
there's literally a gate, or it can be virtually created by jacking up
living costs high enough to keep out the working people.

To the comfortable class, the working people are icky. They don't
have nice haircuts, they don't have well-manicured lawns, they
don't have clear skin, etc., etc. And they work in icky jobs like
construction, clerical, plumbing, nursing, and others that fall into
the category of "Help," as in, "We'll hire some help to do this job."

I don't know what the comfortable class does that contributes to
a better society. They don't fix anything, they don't build anything,
they don't maintain anything. The whole Sox-Cubs schism is a
symptom of what you and Realist so eloquently described: a growing
disdain for working people, encouraged by the force of
business & money interests and supported by government policies.
I too consider myself one of the proud, and have tried to make
my (now grown) kids aware of what's going on as well.

Well put, my friends. Go Sox!

- tebman

joeynach
05-28-2004, 10:21 AM
Great post. And the point i would like to make is money has an impact on sox attendance just as much as winning does. The prices are just too high to enjoy a game and not feel guilty about how much your spending, except for season ticket holders. We call the season ticket holders wealthy and every other fan basically blue collar middle class. I am one of them as is my family. My dad says to us we cant go unless its half price night, i cant go iwth my friends unless its half price night. We dont have $22 for a bleacher ticket + $16 for parking + $20 for food = $58 per night per person. That is just way too much money so sit in the cheapest seats in the lower bowl and feel like your part of the action. For a family of four thats like the family outing for the month and you can do it once. Prices set consumer demand. The prices are too high to attract people, its that simple. There just is not enough demand for $24 right field seats with $16 parking just to get in the gate. I gurantee if the prices were lowered demand to go to the game would be much greater. Imagine a bleacher seat cosing $15 instead of $22 and parking costing $10 instead of $16. Then i spend a reasonable $25 to get in the gate, vs $40. AMERICANS BASE THEIR PURCHASING DECISIONS ON PRICES, ITS A FACT.

CubKilla
05-28-2004, 10:52 AM
Originally posted by SSN721
Where do these kids get all this money to afford to get drunk at game with beer prices as they after paying so much for tickets. And on weekday no less.

Mommy and daddy.

skobabe8
05-28-2004, 11:14 AM
Needless to say, great post Vernam. Next time you're watchin Baseball Tonight highlights, take a gandar at the 'behind home plate seating' at any park across the country. How many ballparks have that "special section" of luxurious padded seats right behind homeplate? Do the people who are fortunate enough to sit in these seats really and truly care about the home team like most of us do here on WSI?
Hell, you can look up the seating chart for any ballpark in baseball and see what im talking about. The sox dont have one of those sections. yet. But im kinda proud of that.

soxruleEP
05-28-2004, 11:29 AM
>We call the season ticket holders wealthy and every other fan basically blue collar middle class. <

I have been a season ticket holder for the past four years and I am not wealthy. How do I do it? The same people have been doing for many years. Four guys get together and split two seats.

This year when JR restructured the upper deck seating, creating the "premium upper deck box", we opted to move from our second row to the seventh row--the first row of the regular box seats.

For two seats to 81 games, we paid $1920. That's a lot of money except divided by four, it's $480. That's paid in two installments of $240. That's how a working man gets a season ticket.

And the biggest bonus is that season ticket holders can enter the lower bowl. I have only sat in the upper twice this season. I will have to sit there for th Cub/Sox series sure, but most of hte time I can sit in the outfield or just out of the infield in the lower deck if I wish.

there are other pluses to being a season ticket holder, but it not just for the "wealthy". It just for the wealthy if you want to sit in the infield for 81 games, but there are ways for hte regular guy to be part of the mix.

That said, it is too expensive for the regular guy to bring his family more than once or twice a year.

Just for comparison's sake, when I first moved to Chicago in 1978 (I had the great fortune to marry a Sox fan) my wife and I used to go to games with $15 in our pockets. We parked, got in the game, and each had beverage for that much money. We went to about forty games that year.

We go to that many or more now and spend a lot more money (in a lot nicer park).

BTW--GREAT POST VERNAM.

MarkM2112
05-28-2004, 11:44 AM
Originally posted by skobabe8
Needless to say, great post Vernam. Next time you're watchin Baseball Tonight highlights, take a gandar at the 'behind home plate seating' at any park across the country. How many ballparks have that "special section" of luxurious padded seats right behind homeplate? Do the people who are fortunate enough to sit in these seats really and truly care about the home team like most of us do here on WSI?
Hell, you can look up the seating chart for any ballpark in baseball and see what im talking about. The sox dont have one of those sections. yet. But im kinda proud of that.

Once again, great post Vernam! I read that Bill Veeck said that a baseball fan's knowledge is in inverse proportion to the price of the seat... (or something to that effect) :D:

Dan H
05-28-2004, 12:03 PM
Let me echo about how good this post was. The current ownership and the media have forgotten the roots of Sox fans. Night games used to start at 8:00 to give working people a chance to go home, eat and then make it out to the ballpark. Now you're not wanted if you don't buy your food at the park.

If people sometimes wonder about fan alienation, think about this: In 1982 Eddie Einhorn complained about attendance. What was going on in 1982? The worst economic recession to hit this country since 1929. And the blue collar workers, the people most identified as Sox fans, were hit the hardest. Yet Einhorn didn't understand attendance problems. What planet did he live on?

joeynach
05-28-2004, 12:14 PM
Originally posted by soxruleEP
>We call the season ticket holders wealthy and every other fan basically blue collar middle class. <

I have been a season ticket holder for the past four years and I am not wealthy. How do I do it? The same people have been doing for many years. Four guys get together and split two seats.

This year when JR restructured the upper deck seating, creating the "premium upper deck box", we opted to move from our second row to the seventh row--the first row of the regular box seats.

For two seats to 81 games, we paid $1920. That's a lot of money except divided by four, it's $480. That's paid in two installments of $240. That's how a working man gets a season ticket.

And the biggest bonus is that season ticket holders can enter the lower bowl. I have only sat in the upper twice this season. I will have to sit there for th Cub/Sox series sure, but most of hte time I can sit in the outfield or just out of the infield in the lower deck if I wish.

there are other pluses to being a season ticket holder, but it not just for the "wealthy". It just for the wealthy if you want to sit in the infield for 81 games, but there are ways for hte regular guy to be part of the mix.

That said, it is too expensive for the regular guy to bring his family more than once or twice a year.

Just for comparison's sake, when I first moved to Chicago in 1978 (I had the great fortune to marry a Sox fan) my wife and I used to go to games with $15 in our pockets. We parked, got in the game, and each had beverage for that much money. We went to about forty games that year.

We go to that many or more now and spend a lot more money (in a lot nicer park).

BTW--GREAT POST VERNAM.

How do u get into the lower deck with an upper deck ticket. See this is exactly the alientation we have been talking about. It makes 1000 fans happy and millions other unhappy. They see you have a 500 level ticket how do you get by the check at the entrance, or do they see its a season ticket ticket and not a printed at the box office ticket and let you in. In any event its these dumb policies JR puts into effect that makes people dislike him and coming to the game. I as many others feel for the reason you just said he alienates us and makes non season ticket holders and those who cant afford the $32 seats in the lower bowl feel like second class citezens its crap. We are not asking to be able to sit in the lower bowl with an upper ticket, just have access to the concourse where you can walk around and see the game, go to pitch speed, go to the fan deck, rainroom, eat all the good food, hang out in the outfield concourse, and go to the gift shop. Its so BS, at every other stadium i have been to, inlcuding wrigley with a non lower seat i can go in the lower concourse, just not get to the seats, which is fine.

Railsplitter
05-28-2004, 12:38 PM
[i]Originally p
They blew their chance to build in Addison (thankfully) and have since spent a lot of energy alienating their fan base. [/B]

I have been to the Dave And Buster's in Addison many times. I think it's where Jerry and Eddie wanted to build what is now the Cell.

Do you hoenstly think none of those blue collar workers sent kids to college, who would later move to Kane, Will, DuPage, or Northwest Cook county? Demographics do change.

LauraJ14
05-28-2004, 12:54 PM
I went to Dodgers Stadium last year and your ticket only let you in certain gates, so if you had outfield seats you couldn't get in the lower level seats. US Cellular is not the only field that restricts where you can go in the park. I have the weekend season tickets in the UD and by showing my ticket at the 100 level
I can get into the lower level. I only do that when I want to try to get autographs or pictures of the players, I sit in my actual seats not someone else's.

doublem23
05-28-2004, 12:57 PM
Originally posted by wilburwood
The first team in MLB to in :o: stall lights so the working stiff could catch a game? you guessed it Comiskey Park.
The last team to put in lights??? well folks take a guess....

I'm pretty sure the first night game in MLB history was played in Cincinnati.

skottyj242
05-28-2004, 01:00 PM
I trade stock options for a living, not exactly "hard days work" does that mean I can't be a fan? Am I a bad person because I'm not in a union and don't do manual labor?

samram
05-28-2004, 01:31 PM
Originally posted by skottyj242
I trade stock options for a living, not exactly "hard days work" does that mean I can't be a fan? Am I a bad person because I'm not in a union and don't do manual labor?

Unfortunately, according to many in this thread, yes on both questions. I do legal and financial work, but I know every bit as much, if not more, about the Sox as they do.

Vernam
05-28-2004, 01:57 PM
Originally posted by skottyj242
I trade stock options for a living, not exactly "hard days work" does that mean I can't be a fan? Am I a bad person because I'm not in a union and don't do manual labor?
Originally posted by samram
Unfortunately, according to many in this thread, yes on both questions. I do legal and financial work, but I know every bit as much, if not more, about the Sox as they do.

Guys, I don't think that's what people are saying, and it's not what I meant to imply.

My point was about how everyone should feel welcome, and how one segment that has been the Sox' meal ticket for decades seems to feel less welcome than in the past. Some of that is due to economic realities beyond the control of Reinsdorf, IMO.

But especially, I think the media slams at Sox fans are veiled references to people's economic status, which just irritates the fire out of me. So unless you're that kind of snob, I'll buy you a beer any day. :gulp:

For the record, my upbringing was more working class than I am these days, but that's where my sympathies will always lie. Before this turns political, I'll just leave it at that. :smile:

Thanks, everybody, for the very kind responses. Such praise of a newbie by the church elders shows what a cool forum this is.

VC

MarkM2112
05-28-2004, 01:58 PM
Originally posted by LauraJ14
I went to Dodgers Stadium last year and your ticket only let you in certain gates, so if you had outfield seats you couldn't get in the lower level seats. US Cellular is not the only field that restricts where you can go in the park. I have the weekend season tickets in the UD and by showing my ticket at the 100 level
I can get into the lower level. I only do that when I want to try to get autographs or pictures of the players, I sit in my actual seats not someone else's.

Yes, but does Dodger Stadium also restrict access to general fan areas, such as the White Sox Hall of Fame, or FUNdamentals? (Which Upper Deck patrons are not allowed access to) Does Dodger Stadium even HAVE amenities like these? :?:

controlled chaos
05-28-2004, 02:13 PM
I'm "comfortable class" :(:

I have no nuts in my pudding or crust on my bread.

I promise I'll get fired tomorrow so I can hang with all the lower class folk and be a "real" sox fan.

Look, I understand the premise of Vernam's post and I think it was written well, but many of the latter posts are just bashing people if they're not lower class. I hate to tell ya, but everybody works. Some carry a breifcase and some carry toolbelt and the majority have worked to get where they are...it wasn't handed to them.

iwannago
05-28-2004, 02:27 PM
Originally posted by soxruleEP
>We call the season ticket holders wealthy and every other fan basically blue collar middle class. <

I have been a season ticket holder for the past four years and I am not wealthy. How do I do it? The same people have been doing for many years. Four guys get together and split two seats.

This year when JR restructured the upper deck seating, creating the "premium upper deck box", we opted to move from our second row to the seventh row--the first row of the regular box seats.

For two seats to 81 games, we paid $1920. That's a lot of money except divided by four, it's $480. That's paid in two installments of $240. That's how a working man gets a season ticket.

And the biggest bonus is that season ticket holders can enter the lower bowl. I have only sat in the upper twice this season. I will have to sit there for th Cub/Sox series sure, but most of hte time I can sit in the outfield or just out of the infield in the lower deck if I wish.

there are other pluses to being a season ticket holder, but it not just for the "wealthy". It just for the wealthy if you want to sit in the infield for 81 games, but there are ways for hte regular guy to be part of the mix.

That said, it is too expensive for the regular guy to bring his family more than once or twice a year.

Just for comparison's sake, when I first moved to Chicago in 1978 (I had the great fortune to marry a Sox fan) my wife and I used to go to games with $15 in our pockets. We parked, got in the game, and each had beverage for that much money. We went to about forty games that year.

We go to that many or more now and spend a lot more money (in a lot nicer park).

BTW--GREAT POST VERNAM.

I'm a season ticket holder also except their are 8 people in our group. I do a similar plan with Redskin tickets which are even more expensive. IMO its the only way to get a good seat at a reasonable price.

Vernam I understand what you are saying, GREAT POST!!!!!

samram
05-28-2004, 02:40 PM
Originally posted by controlled chaos
I'm "comfortable class" :(:

I have no nuts in my pudding or crust on my bread.

I promise I'll get fired tomorrow so I can hang with all the lower class folk and be a "real" sox fan.

Look, I understand the premise of Vernam's post and I think it was written well, but many of the latter posts are just bashing people if they're not lower class. I hate to tell ya, but everybody works. Some carry a breifcase and some carry toolbelt and the majority have worked to get where they are...it wasn't handed to them.

Agreed. One of the latter posts says no one in the "comfortable class" contributes to society. I'm sure doctors, lawyers, engineers, accountants, etc, would disagree with that, and frankly, with the hours some of them work, it's not very "comfortable" anyway.

tebman
05-28-2004, 03:41 PM
Originally posted by samram
Agreed. One of the latter posts says no one in the "comfortable class" contributes to society. I'm sure doctors, lawyers, engineers, accountants, etc, would disagree with that, and frankly, with the hours some of them work, it's not very "comfortable" anyway.

Sorry if my post wasn't clear. Hell, I'm an briefcase-totin' engineer myself and
I live in the western 'burbs, so by definition I'm part of the
comfortable class. My point was just to amplify on Vernam's
post about how the Sox/Cubs distinction is part of a larger
marginalization of a vaguely-defined group of people.

The Tribune has spent generations positioning itself to appeal to
what I called the comfortable class. WGN does the same thing.
That's their business strategy. Since they've run the Cubs, they've
marketed them the same way. So now we're at this pass where
the Cubs are chic and the Sox are not. I've been around long
enough to remember when the Cubs were anything but chic.
I'll don't think they'll ever slide back down there because the
Trib won't let that happen.

I don't know the answer. It's just a sad observation I've made
after nearly 50 years as a Sox fan.

- tebman

Vernam
05-28-2004, 04:01 PM
Originally posted by tebman
The Tribune has spent generations positioning itself to appeal to what I called the comfortable class. WGN does the same thing.
That's their business strategy. Since they've run the Cubs, they've marketed them the same way. So now we're at this pass where the Cubs are chic and the Sox are not. I've been around long enough to remember when the Cubs were anything but chic.
I'll don't think they'll ever slide back down there because the
Trib won't let that happen.
- tebman

Well said, tebman. Funny you should say "chic," 'cause I just now mentioned to my wife that the Sox should look at Target's ad campaigns and how they've taken a store that's basically K-Mart with better lighting and turned it into something hip. I think they've shrewdly played off the fake French pronunciation "Tarzhay," which is exactly the kind of reverse psychology Brooks Boyer should consider.

Now, hipness has its own drawbacks, but it's preferable to bankruptcy! The Sox could be sold as "funky but chic," I think, without alienating the old-school fans.

1951Campbell
05-28-2004, 05:01 PM
Wait a second here, folks.

Hasn't there been thread after thread here bemoaning half-price Tuesdays because it brings in the rabble? Hasn't there been thread after thread here about fights in the bleachers? You can't have it both ways. You can't complain about the lack of cheap tickets and then try to keep out those folks who can only afford cheap seats.

I went to a ton of games at Fenway. Of all the ballparks I've been to a lot, it has the fewest fights. Why? Because the tickets are so damn expensive and they have to be purchased in January because they all sell out. So...no fights. But there's tons of schumcks sitting in their Hale & Dorr box seats, and plenty of tweedy blowhards like Doris Kearns Goodwin and John Updike going to games and waxing poetic about the Tragedy of the Red Sox and the Purity of Baseball at Fenway.

You can't have it both ways. That's just the way it is. Everyone remembers the quote about baseball knowledge relating inversely to the price of the seats. But no one wants to admit the class ramifications of the fact that the fights relate directly to the price of the seat.

The White Sox are stuck. They need butts in the seats. This means lowering cost to stoke a little demand. That's the way it is.