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THE_HOOTER
04-11-2002, 10:03 AM
Only 38,000 tickets sold for opening day on a Friday afternoon.

I know there are a lot of people on this board going, but you have to admit it is sad that we can't sell out on opening day.

Maybe the walk ups will push us to a sell out, but it should already be sold out.

I suppose this lack of fan support is Reinsdorf's fault too, huh George?

There are less than 12,000 tickets sold for every other game on the homestand!

That is pathetic- If I were a player I would think our fans suck. Even though the fans who go are awesome, the lack of support is crap. :(:

cheeses_h_rice
04-11-2002, 11:03 AM
:giangreco

LIVE from Section 554, row 26 at opening day at Comiskey Park, it's Mark Giangreco reporting. Do you see this section of blue seats behind me? DO YOU SEE IT?!? EAT IT, SOX FANS!!!

voodoochile
04-11-2002, 11:14 AM
Originally posted by THE_HOOTER
I suppose this lack of fan support is Reinsdorf's fault too, huh George?

Actually, yes. That has been George's point all along and one I am starting to agree with. Some of the attendance problems are JR's fault. He has made many decisions over the last 20 years, and almost none of them are fan friendly. The list includes:

Moving the Sox to PPV in the early 80's.
Leading the Strike movement of the early 90's (cost us a WS title many people believe).
The White Flag Trade - whether it worked out in the long run or not, it ticked a lot of people off. Then he had the gaul to rub it in the fans faces after the Sox won their division in 2000.
Tearing down old Comiskey and building the generic stadium they now play in.
Firing Tony LaRussa.
Allowing Krause to dismantle the Bulls Championship team - yeah, I know it isn't the Sox, but again, it ticked a lot of people off and when the fans don't like the owner of one team they are not going to jump on the bandwagon of his other team.
Chasing off the big drinking, crowd that used to populate the old ballpark in favor of a family oriented atmosphere.
Bad Marketing ploys all around.
and there are more...

See, I somewhat agree that the fans have to share some of the blame for not filling the park on a regular basis, but JR has to shoulder at least SOME of the blame - or do you think the above list had no affect on the fan base at all?

THE_HOOTER
04-11-2002, 11:40 AM
I agree with some of the points because he hasn't won any fans over, and he did make the Comiskey Park request to have it where it is.

Also, catering to the family has been such a priority that the park feels like a romper room sometimes.

However, the no matter what he has done with the strike, trades, or whatever, you should still support your team if you are a fan.

Chicago has never supported the Sox-heck the Reinsdorf era has the best attendance figures and they treat fans like crap.

There are an awful lot of Sox fans out there who are just bad fans. Boy, they'll cheer like hell in the playoffs, but only then. There are so many south side guyS WHO CLAIM TO BE BIG FANS, BUT NEVER GO TO ONE GAME!

These are the same guys who use the strike and white flag as an excuse.

voodoochile
04-11-2002, 11:54 AM
Originally posted by THE_HOOTER
I agree with some of the points because he hasn't won any fans over, and he did make the Comiskey Park request to have it where it is.

Also, catering to the family has been such a priority that the park feels like a romper room sometimes.

However, the no matter what he has done with the strike, trades, or whatever, you should still support your team if you are a fan.

Chicago has never supported the Sox-heck the Reinsdorf era has the best attendance figures and they treat fans like crap.

There are an awful lot of Sox fans out there who are just bad fans. Boy, they'll cheer like hell in the playoffs, but only then. There are so many south side guyS WHO CLAIM TO BE BIG FANS, BUT NEVER GO TO ONE GAME!

These are the same guys who use the strike and white flag as an excuse.

Yep, that's the other side of the coin - and one I agree with. There is plenty of blame for both sides. You have to remember most of the good attendance figures are from the 80's and early 90's. We haven't drawn crap since the WFT. I'm not worried about the attendance issue, though. The team should draw pretty well this year, once they start winning and hopefully that will carry over to next year...

Still JR would do well to fire Gallas and get a real PR person in here to market the team. Find a way to go after the casual fan that flocks to Wrigley all the time.

Bring back the drunks!!!

Heck that should be our new attendance motto here at WSI - if I do say so myself...

THE_HOOTER
04-11-2002, 12:13 PM
Bring back the Drunks!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And smoke all the cigs you want in the seats too. :gulp: :gulp: :gulp: :gulp: :gulp: :gulp:

Procol Harum
04-11-2002, 12:30 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile


Bring back the drunks!!!


I agree with most all of your points about JR's incredibly disastrous marketing of our Sox, but I seem to remember security being beefed up and the chasing out of the "drunks" having taken place back in the '80s. I remember the alternative and although it was often entertaining there really was a low-life ambience that prevented people from bringing their families. Given the success of most of the "family" promotions and strategies (i.e.--those are the only time the Sox really draw good crowds aside from Flub games and the opener since the WFT),I certainly can't see that there would be any numerical advantage to cancelling out the "family" constituency in favor of the "drunks."

Aside from JR and Gallas' incompetence, the biggest single problem for us attendance-wise in comparison with the Flubs is the fact that Comiskey is located away from the fan base in the Illinois and NW Indiana burbs. And then there's the problem of being in a relatively poor residential neighborhood rather than one infested by affluent, idiot yupsters. Tough to get the sort of instant walk-up that the Flubs enjoy.

Still, if the Sox will win, the fans will start to come out--even with JR at the helm. And if he were to sell the franchise tomorrow I'd be willing to wager that we'd have a 33% jump in attendance this year, regardless of record.

:reinsy
"Did you point out that it only costs a mere $13 to park? You can park for 3 hours and pay more than it would cost you in the Loop--and if attendance is over 20,000 you'll get to enjoy the lot for an extra half hour!"

moochpuppy
04-11-2002, 12:50 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile


Chasing off the big drinking, crowd that used to populate the old ballpark in favor of a family oriented atmosphere.


I knew there had to be a logical explanation to the boost in attendance for the Cubs since the early 90's.

harwar
04-11-2002, 12:56 PM
Bummer,Bummer,Bummer.I'm driving down from wisconsin for fridays' game.I didn't think we'd have a sellout anyway,after all this is a cubs town<-yetch!As long as we can get 25-30 on most game days,that would be ok.NO ONE hates reinsdorf more than i do but dammit we have to get out there and support this team.

yyz
04-11-2002, 01:01 PM
It seems like reserving a large block of seats and designating them as 'family friendly' would solve this 'drunks v family' problem.

I think a large part of the problem is that Rob Gallas is a very crappy marketing guy. The Sox ad campaigns are invariably lame, and he couldn't even manage to produce a 2000 highlight video. Frank may not be the most personable superstar, but he is one of the greatest hitters of our lifetimes, and with any sort of decent marketing, he should be a big draw. The fact that Maggs, who is personable, is not recognized on Michigan Avenue is also indicative of marketing failure.

THE_HOOTER
04-11-2002, 01:01 PM
Harwar,

You make the perfect point- no matter the owner or park- get out there and support your team!

RedPinStripes
04-11-2002, 01:02 PM
Originally posted by THE_HOOTER
Bring back the Drunks!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And smoke all the cigs you want in the seats too. :gulp: :gulp: :gulp: :gulp: :gulp: :gulp:

I'm still there. :D: :gulp: He can't get rid of me JoeBatters and Guido, but I'd love to get rid of him.

Pete_SSAC
04-11-2002, 01:03 PM
Originally posted by moochpuppy


I knew there had to be a logical explanation to the boost in attendance for the Cubs since the early 90's.

Oh yes, heaven knows we want those types of people stinking up the bleachers. Ahhhh... I always said Comiskey was missing that great smell of urine.

- Pete

No-Neck
04-11-2002, 01:07 PM
Unfortunately, the truth is our fan base is very low in this city, and I don't see anything short of a pennant caliber team and very successful year improving it at all.

The further truth is 75% of this city could care less about the Sox and about 50% of the city hate our guts.

I've been living in NW Indiana for 10 years (I grew up and lived over 30 years in the Wicker Park area), and

Northwest Indiana has turned from being almost all Sox fans to a majority of Cubs fans. My 11 year old son only has three other Sox fans out of 24 children in his classroom.

And NW Indiana was previously always a bastion of White Sox fans.

And I blame Jerry Reinsdorf 99% for it. He is the most polarizing, smug owner in the majors. The press hates him, and therefore they hate the Sox, and the franchise is now really hurting because of this pompous ass.

This idiot is still sticking by Jerry Krause!

And to top it off, Kenny Williams coming on the airwaves and always commenting on the fan's support as a condition for putting a quality team on the field defies logic. He is Ignoramus II, since the only people listening to him in the first place are the die-hards who he's eventually going to piss off and thus further erode the puny fan-base.

This 2002 Sox team is not a very solid one, so look for about 1.7 million tops this season, unless the Sox get hot, and even then
it won't reach 2 million.

I agree with the poster who stated that a 33% increase would follow the sale from JR. His time is over, and he has overstayed his welcome.

voodoochile
04-11-2002, 01:11 PM
Originally posted by yyz
It seems like reserving a large block of seats and designating them as 'family friendly' would solve this 'drunks v family' problem.

I think a large part of the problem is that Rob Gallas is a very crappy marketing guy. The Sox ad campaigns are invariably lame, and he couldn't even manage to produce a 2000 highlight video. Frank may not be the most personable superstar, but he is one of the greatest hitters of our lifetimes, and with any sort of decent marketing, he should be a big draw. The fact that Maggs, who is personable, is not recognized on Michigan Avenue is also indicative of marketing failure.

Does Comiskey even offer "non-drinking" sections of seats? Every other park does that I can think of - yet I don't seem to recall this being an option at Comiskey...

Pete_SSAC
04-11-2002, 01:12 PM
Originally posted by No-Neck

I've been living in NW Indiana for 10 years (I grew up and lived over 30 years in the Wicker Park area), and

Northwest Indiana has turned from being almost all Sox fans to a majority of Cubs fans. My 11 year old son only has three other Sox fans out of 24 children in his classroom.

And NW Indiana was previously always a bastion of White Sox fans.


Now, where iI work, I see about 1,000 people a day, now granted, I can only tell by someone wering a hat, shirt, jacket, whatever (so this isn't entirely error-proof), the majority of people are Sox fans, and I live in NW Indiana.

- Pete

voodoochile
04-11-2002, 01:13 PM
Originally posted by Pete_SSAC


Oh yes, heaven knows we want those types of people stinking up the bleachers. Ahhhh... I always said Comiskey was missing that great smell of urine.

- Pete

Of course we want "those type of people" coming to Sox games. That is where a good chunk of the money is. Sox need to do more to attract the casual fan (read: people just looking for a good time and bandwagoners). How else do you get your attendance about 2.5 million/year?

MattSharp
04-11-2002, 01:14 PM
I blame the park more than the ownership. My dad doesn't want to do to the game and pay 50 bucks so we can sit in the far reaches of the upper deck. I agree that the lower deck should always be sold out, but like you said its family orientated, and families can't afford to go to baseball games all the time. I understand that they can't just make it cheaper, but thats the reason why. If I get the job I want this summer I am gonna try to go to a game a week or so. And sometimes it may even be by myself, so maybe I can meet up with some people sometime.

voodoochile
04-11-2002, 01:32 PM
Originally posted by MattSharp
I blame the park more than the ownership. My dad doesn't want to do to the game and pay 50 bucks so we can sit in the far reaches of the upper deck. I agree that the lower deck should always be sold out, but like you said its family orientated, and families can't afford to go to baseball games all the time. I understand that they can't just make it cheaper, but thats the reason why. If I get the job I want this summer I am gonna try to go to a game a week or so. And sometimes it may even be by myself, so maybe I can meet up with some people sometime.

Tell your dad that most nights he can sit behind home plate about half way up the upper deck for $12/seat. Don't buy at the website, buy at the park and tell them you want upper deck reserved seats close to the field...

hold2dibber
04-11-2002, 01:43 PM
There is no reason the Sox can't turn things around. During the five year period from 1990-1994 combined (not too long ago), they outdrew the Cubs 11.9 million to 11 million. The Indians, Mariners, and Orioles, among others, have, in recent years, re-connected with dwindling fan bases and seen their parks filled with happy fans. There is no reason the Sox can't do the same. There are many obstacles, but these things are largely cyclical, and I have no doubt that, eventually, the Sox will become a hot draw again. Everyone in the organization, starting with JR and KW, needs to focus on the fans (and potential fans) out there. The marketing effort has to be completely reconsidered and improved (the marketing dept has obviously failed spectacularly -- they need to start over with someone outside of the organization who is aggressive and talented and brings new ideas to the table).

Of course, the two things that would immediately increase attendance are (1) sale of the team by JR, preferably to a high-energy, deep pockets owner desparate to win and (2) win a friggin' play-off series (or two!) and field a team that contends every year for at least 3-4 years (neither of which have happened in this town for so long that people would stand up and pay attention).

And there are some reasons to be optimistic. I too see way more Sox paraphenalia around town than I did a few years ago. They just set their single day ticket sales record. I think I read that the opener against the Mariners was the highest rated Sox regular season game in years. And the team is pretty good and pretty exciting. Hopefully they'll catch fire and people will start coming out to the park.

Paulwny
04-11-2002, 02:01 PM
Being family oriented is part of the problem. Attendance always seems to be low until the school season is over and then attendance seems to increase ~ 10,000/ game. When school resumes in Sept. attendance drops back to spring numbers. Many families will wait for the summer to go to a game rather then running around on school nights.
Win consistantly and the casual fan will return
I'm not from Chi; but this is what I've observed over the last ~7 yrs.

Foulke You
04-11-2002, 04:26 PM
The Sox are now saying that only 3,000 tickets remain for Friday's game. With a capacity of 45,000 seats at New Comiskey, that means they have sold 42,000 already. That is about 4,000 more then the Cubs sold on their opening day. I know their park is smaller but it is still a valid point. I'd also bet my next paycheck that by gametime, it will be a sellout. They'll probably sell at least another 1000 today and the walkup crowd will take care of the rest.

Remember, just a few years ago we were getting a paltry 26,000 on opening day. We sold out in 2000, 2001, and are close to a sellout this year. If you're fretting about the lack of a sellout, DON'T! Comiskey is going to be rocking tomorrow whether there is 39,000 or 45,000+ Get ready for Chicago baseball's REAL opening day.

MarqSox
04-11-2002, 04:37 PM
Originally posted by THE_HOOTER
Bring back the Drunks!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And smoke all the cigs you want in the seats too. :gulp: :gulp: :gulp: :gulp: :gulp: :gulp:

Once again, a lot of us are contradicting ourselves. We mock Cub fans in that they go to Wrigley to get drunk, not for baseball, then we complain that not enough people at Comiskey are drunks?? Baseball alone should be reason to go to the game. I'm proud that Comiskey is a baseball stadium, whereas Wrigley is a beer garden.

Have a beer at the game, go nuts -- but don't chastise the Sox for being too family friendly. Baseball is a child's game, not a drinking game. If I wanna get drunk, I'll go to the North Side. If I want to watch baseball, I'm gonna go to a Sox game.

voodoochile
04-11-2002, 05:49 PM
Originally posted by MarqSox


Once again, a lot of us are contradicting ourselves. We mock Cub fans in that they go to Wrigley to get drunk, not for baseball, then we complain that not enough people at Comiskey are drunks?? Baseball alone should be reason to go to the game. I'm proud that Comiskey is a baseball stadium, whereas Wrigley is a beer garden.

Have a beer at the game, go nuts -- but don't chastise the Sox for being too family friendly. Baseball is a child's game, not a drinking game. If I wanna get drunk, I'll go to the North Side. If I want to watch baseball, I'm gonna go to a Sox game.

It isn't that I dislike the family orientation, but they take it too far. They need to do more to attract the casual fan if they want to see an attendance spike. Casual fans are the answer - not familys. They are the 20-something singles that frequent the Bleachers at Wrigley. They like to drink and have fun. They are not die-hard fans. They want to see winning baseball, but they don't go nuts if the team loses. However - they have lots of disposable income and they can afford to go to lots of games and drink lots of beer.

The Sox need to do a better job of marketing themselves to these type of fans. Face it they are not going to fill the park everyday with die-hard fans, and more fans means more revenue means higher payroll and more FA signings (at least in theory)...

Besides, the average family of 4 cannot afford to go to more than a game or two a month (at most). Your average 20-something has free time and money to go to as many as they want to...

RedPinStripes
04-11-2002, 05:57 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile


It isn't that I dislike the family orientation, but they take it too far. They need to do more to attract the casual fan if they want to see an attendance spike. Casual fans are the answer - not familys. They are the 20-something singles that frequent the Bleachers at Wrigley. They like to drink and have fun. They are not die-hard fans. They want to see winning baseball, but they don't go nuts if the team loses. However - they have lots of disposable income and they can afford to go to lots of games and drink lots of beer.

The Sox need to do a better job of marketing themselves to these type of fans. Face it they are not going to fill the park everyday with die-hard fans, and more fans means more revenue means higher payroll and more FA signings (at least in theory)...

Besides, the average family of 4 cannot afford to go to more than a game or two a month (at most). Your average 20-something has free time and money to go to as many as they want to...

No kidding! I can't take anotehr "Willie Wonka day!!! :angry: They have like 10 a year and had the BALLS to have Willie Wonks day on Mother's day. The one day a year where i behave and bring my Mother and Grandmother to the game. They didn't do **** for all the Mom's out there, but the Willie friggin Wonks truck was surround by kids on MOTHERS DAY! What's wrong with that picture? Hey , kids are great and tehy should have a few days for tehm, but they just over do it. They completly overlooked mother's day so they can sell them stupid toys.


:reinsy
Hey! I'm trying to build for the future! Just like Kids on teh farm, I have kids in the stands too! There's a lot of money in this 10 years from now. idiot fans! Give me money!

Chisox353014
04-11-2002, 06:08 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
It isn't that I dislike the family orientation, but they take it too far. They need to do more to attract the casual fan if they want to see an attendance spike. Casual fans are the answer - not familys. They are the 20-something singles that frequent the Bleachers at Wrigley. They like to drink and have fun. They are not die-hard fans. They want to see winning baseball, but they don't go nuts if the team loses. However - they have lots of disposable income and they can afford to go to lots of games and drink lots of beer.

The Sox need to do a better job of marketing themselves to these type of fans.

My 2 cents on attendance:
The main reason the Flubs get these casual fans is because of Wrigleyville, plain and simple.
1. You have a lot of these 20-something, disposable income singles living right next door to Wrigley. Now contrast that to Comiskey, which is surrounded by the modest-income Bridgeport neighborhood and housing projects.
2. For whatever reason, Wrigleyville is thought of as a "safe" neighborhood. The Flubs get a LOT of tourists and suburban high school/college students and families at their games. (Trust me- I see the tourists returning from the game downtown near my job everyday (many with shiny new Cub gear), and I ride the Addison bus west towards the Blue Line with the suburbanites everyday). Now contrast that to the South Side, which has a rep as a "dangerous" place to be.
3. Wrigleyville is like a little vacationland, with bars, retaurants, stores, etc. all over the place. Around Comiskey there's what? Parking lots, projects. You have to almost be a local to know where the bars are around there. In short, people can spend the whole day in Wrigleyville; they go to Comiskey pretty much just for the game.

The longer I live in Chicago, and the more baseball continues to price out the middle-to-low-income fan, the more convinced I am that the only thing that will consistently draw the casual fan to Comiskey is the gentrification or redevelopment of the area around the stadium itself.

CerberusWG
04-11-2002, 06:52 PM
Originally posted by No-Neck
Unfortunately, the truth is our fan base is very low in this city, and I don't see anything short of a pennant caliber team and very successful year improving it at all.

The further truth is 75% of this city could care less about the Sox and about 50% of the city hate our guts.

I've been living in NW Indiana for 10 years (I grew up and lived over 30 years in the Wicker Park area), and

Northwest Indiana has turned from being almost all Sox fans to a majority of Cubs fans. My 11 year old son only has three other Sox fans out of 24 children in his classroom.

And NW Indiana was previously always a bastion of White Sox fans.




Very true. I live in Valparaiso, Indiana, and there are NO White Sox fans here. It's all Cubbies this, Cubbies that. Look Sammy hit a Zinger! They don't realize the Cubs lost.

Last Summer, when I had a Soccer Ref job, I think I summed up our situation. A guy with a Sox hat, shirt, and pants walked by me. I had my Sox hat on, and said "I thought Sox fans didn't live here? We're a dying breed." I smiled, and so did he, but it's true.

Tragg
04-12-2002, 08:55 AM
I don't live in Chicago, and I'm sure there are all sorts of reasons of which I'm unaware.
However, with our "opening day" two weeks into the baseball season, it can hardly be compared to an opening day that would occur in the first week of the season.