Originally Posted by voodoochile
The fans will support a winner, but if they don't build a team that looks like a potential pennant contender prior to the season, they won't sell enough season tickets to be able to afford more. You can't pay the rent based on walk-up sales or even on mid-summer advance sales.
Jim - I like you - you know that... But I'm calling bull****. They didn't support this winner.
If the answer is, "they will come only if the pre-commit before the season starts and won't buy into anything else" then so be it...but this team was a contender all season. It had the components needed to win in the post season. Fans still didn't come. Had they come when this team was in first most of the summer, maybe management would have had money to make a bigger move at the deadline...or banked it to make a bigger move next year. As it is, the overwhelming majority of our fans showed that they are going to come if they want to...and that building a winning team won't impact that significantly.
We have a very small, very rabid fanbase who will come no matter what. The rest, as someone else said, is fickle, unpredictable, and inconsistent. They want to have a payroll like the Yankees, but they won't pay the ticket prices for it. They want to have a farm system like the Rays, but won't put up with the crappy seasons it takes to build it. They won't come to attend baseball games for the pure joy of attending games....and that's fine...that's their perrogative. Yes, it is expensive. Yes, it takes time to get there from the N or W. Yes, it is a committment... But it is a committment that great teams' fans make. Ownership spent the money. Ownership put a good team on the field. (it happened to suck last year, but they made good aggressive moves that didn't pan out until a year later than plan) And the majority of the fans stayed away... I'm not talking about the rabid few....mostly the types we have here...I'm talking about the difference between 1.5mm and 3mm....that extra 1.5mm...what would enable this franchise to be able to spend 130MM+ consistently...those customers have spoken this season.
They have said, we will come if we want to. And we won't commit to coming even if you build a winner....even if you make the ballpark a family friendly place to come....even if you make affordable ticket options....even if you have decent public transportion, good parking options and even neighborhood activities...we, the 1.5mm variable customers, may come...or we may not... So, if I am running a business, and I have variable benefits and variable costs assoicated with them, I'm VERY careful to avoid fixing those costs at a level that can't be sustained given the fickle nature of those variable customers. Maybe I am willing to be a contender every now and then...because it seems like I can count on a set group of customers if I offer that value proposition. Offering a bigger spend did not get me any more revenues....and there is no way I can guarantee them a winner every year that it would take to convert some of these "customers" into "rabid fans".