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  #1  
Old 09-27-2012, 05:58 PM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
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Default Chicago NPR Station Story On Sox Runs Friday

Folks:

I was interviewed for the segment today by Michael Puente. He told me the segment on the Sox and their attendance issues will run as part of the local 'All Things Considered' segment twice between the hours of about 4:30 and 6:30 Chicago time Friday.

He said the finished piece will run five to six minutes.

He also said that when it was completed he'd send me a link which I'll include in this thread if you are interested or can't listen to the original broadcast.

I have no idea how much or how little they'll use from me, but it was nice to be contacted. Puente said he's been a Sox fan for years by the way so we'll see what angle he takes on this.

Here is the station info:

Michael Puente| Reporter, WBEZ 91.5 FM Chicago Public Media
Listen online at http://www.wbez.org/

Lip
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Old 09-27-2012, 06:29 PM
Mr. Jinx Mr. Jinx is offline
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Sounds cool. I'll have to listen, although I suspect you mean NPR
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Old 09-27-2012, 06:33 PM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
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Yo're right, my bad. Perhaps a mod can fix the title.

Lip
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Old 09-27-2012, 07:03 PM
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Will be listening.

Maybe during the off season, and with mods permission, we could have a civil, measured discussion of the attendance issue. I don't want to start it here, but I have to say a lot of my opinions I had at the beginning of the year have changed.
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:23 PM
Hitmen77 Hitmen77 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lip Man 1 View Post
Folks:

I was interviewed for the segment today by Michael Puente. He told me the segment on the Sox and their attendance issues will run as part of the local 'All Things Considered' segment twice between the hours of about 4:30 and 6:30 Chicago time Friday.

He said the finished piece will run five to six minutes.

He also said that when it was completed he'd send me a link which I'll include in this thread if you are interested or can't listen to the original broadcast.

I have no idea how much or how little they'll use from me, but it was nice to be contacted. Puente said he's been a Sox fan for years by the way so we'll see what angle he takes on this.

Here is the station info:

Michael Puente| Reporter, WBEZ 91.5 FM Chicago Public Media
Listen online at http://www.wbez.org/

Lip
When I read the thread title and saw it said "story on Sox runs", I thought it was going to be a story on how this team lives and (now) dies with the long ball.

I probably won't be able to listen to the original broadcast so I look forward to the link.
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:47 PM
ChiSoxFann ChiSoxFann is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roylestillman View Post
Will be listening.

Maybe during the off season, and with mods permission, we could have a civil, measured discussion of the attendance issue. I don't want to start it here, but I have to say a lot of my opinions I had at the beginning of the year have changed.

I thought the posters on this board had a great discussion about attendance issues, ticket prices, marketing the team, etc. earlier this year and I'm glad the mods let it slide. I had my own opinions, but it's great to see how everyone else feels about all that stuff.

I definitely think another one this off-season won't hurt. I just hope the people viewing this site from 35th St. would pay attention.
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:23 PM
thomas35forever thomas35forever is offline
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I'll be working, but hope it's good.
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:27 PM
Mr. Jinx Mr. Jinx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lip Man 1 View Post
Yo're right, my bad. Perhaps a mod can fix the title.

Lip
Ha ha, just giving you ****. Looking forward to putting a voice with a name now!
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  #9  
Old 09-28-2012, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Lip Man 1 View Post
Yo're right, my bad. Perhaps a mod can fix the title.

Lip
Taken care of.
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Old 09-28-2012, 07:42 AM
Madvora Madvora is offline
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The attendance issue is always tied to why more people go to Cubs games than Sox games. I don't understand how attendance at Comiskey is a rip on Sox fans. Sox fans are the ones at the park. If anything this issue should be a rip on Cub fans or most of the city. Why is it that 60%-70% of the city chooses to follow the team that sucks every year instead of the one that's more often in contention? This isn't the Sox fans' fault. They're already doing their part. They can't help it that the majority of the people in the city are idiots.
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:49 AM
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Default Attendance Issue

Taking everything into account, I'm surprised the White Sox draw as well as they do. Years ago former writer/ life long White Sox fan Bill Gleason said he never thought the White Sox would draw a million people a year at Comiskey Park.(Keep in mind he grew up in the 1930's) I never thought the White Sox would draw 2 million people a year and then have people say they have an attendance problem. When you stop and consider the fact that the White Sox fan base is no longer on the Southside of Chicago and the high ticket prices(especially for the prime games) have kept the crowds down I don't think they're attendance is all that bad. The Cell should of never been built at its present location and having the 4th highest ticket prices in MLB hasn't helped matters.
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Madvora View Post
The attendance issue is always tied to why more people go to Cubs games than Sox games. I don't understand how attendance at Comiskey is a rip on Sox fans. Sox fans are the ones at the park. If anything this issue should be a rip on Cub fans or most of the city. Why is it that 60%-70% of the city chooses to follow the team that sucks every year instead of the one that's more often in contention? This isn't the Sox fans' fault. They're already doing their part. They can't help it that the majority of the people in the city are idiots.
A major reason for that, too, though is Wrigley's status as a tourist destination. I would estimate that roughly 95% of the people that come to Chicago from out of town and catch a baseball game go to Wrigley. It just is what it is. You can see the crowds at Wrigley are dwindling now that the tourist season is winding down and all that's left to fill the seats are Cub fans... Not too many are bothering.

I know people only look at "butts in the seats" and see the Sox at 25 K a night and think, THIS IS A HUGE PROBLEM, but if you look a little deeper, the picture's not so bleak. Thanks to their high average ticket prices, the Sox are always around the Top 10 of the league in terms of average dollars pulled in from attendance (attendance x ticket price). They might be even higher, generally the Cell's most expensive tickets (Scout Seat, Lower Bowl around home plate) are full while the cheapest seats (deepest parts of the Upper Deck) sit empty. I would suspet if the Sox actually felt there was an attendance problem, they'd actually do something about it.

I've always felt that the Sox are content to price their tickets so their targeted goal is about 24,000-25,000 fans per night. It's a pretty safe number, not too unattainable, and leaves open for a huge payday if the team really plays well and demand goes up. Seems to be smarter business than cutting tickets so you can expect to draw 30,000+ nightly every year but then leave all that extra revenue to the hands of the secondary market. I really don't know why that's so controversial to some people.

I don't know why so many fans seem to have such a chip on their shoulder with attendance. In the post game thread from last night, there are scores of people commenting on how the Sox "always blame the fans." Uh, when? Seems like every time KW comments on the subject, he's always noting that when attendance is down the team "hasn't done enough to earn fans' support." When he talks about simple payroll problems, he's referring to the simple rules that the Sox and seemingly all teams beside the Yankees, must adhere to; you can't spend more than you make. The Sox have been in or just outside of the Top 10 in MLB payroll for going on near a decade now. That doesn't scream "MAJOR PROBLEM" to me.
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:32 AM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
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Two thoughts:

1. In a story done by reporter Ted Gregory on this subject for the Tribune on September 1st, he quoted a Cub official directly as saying that 40% of overall Cub attendance comes from tourists. That's a sizable amount to pad attendance.

I posted a summery of the story since it was a "members only" feature and it might have been missed so I post it again here for anyone. Has some interesting numbers on the demographics of Cub vs. Sox fans:

"He talks about the good season the team has had so far, how unexpected it was but says they rank 24th in home attendance. He calls it "particularly galling, and perhaps embarrassing" considering the Cubs as bad as they are outdraw a first place club.

He quotes a fan as saying his best guess as to why are because of the bad 2011 and that Kenny Williams used the "rebuilding" word this past winter.

He quotes Brooks Boyer (who never mentioned ticket prices or the dynamic pricing concept) on why the fans aren't turning out as saying that Sox fans are loyal and unique, but last year's disappointing performance was followed by several changes, including the exit of manager Ozzie Guillen and beloved pitcher Mark Buehrle.

"You add the frustration of last season and you put it in an off-season where there weren't many expectations," Boyer said, and it created "a perfect storm."

Gregory then goes into the neighborhood issue quoting fans on how there are other things to do at Wrigley Field but nothing around U.S. Cellular. Adds that according to the Cubs 40% of their attendance comes from tourists.

Then he goes into the factual differences in the fan bases.

Research by Scarborough Sports Marketing, of New York City, indicates contrasts, some distinct.

Compared with fans at the Cell, a slightly higher percentage of adults attending Cubs are employed full time nearly 59 percent to 56.4 percent, while fewer are self-employed, according to Scarborough surveys. Also, nearly 54 percent of adults at Cubs games are white collar; 52 percent attending Sox games are white collar.

Scarborough's research also shows that nearly 40 percent of adults who attend Cubs game are college graduates while that figure drops to 34.1 percent at U.S. Cellular Field.

Nearly half of all adults in 17 counties in the Chicago area watched, attended or listened to a Cubs game in the past year, Scarborough's research shows, while slightly more than 41 percent of them did the same for a White Sox game.

But the White Sox draw a higher percentage of first-time customers than the Cubs do, Scarborough found, and TV ratings of Comcast SportsNet, which broadcasts many of each teams' games, show the Sox have gained ground while the Cubs have dropped. About 70,000 households tune in to Sox games on CSN, the network reports, 10 percent more than last season.

The Cubs, meanwhile, draw slightly more than 66,000 households to their CSN broadcasts, down 11 percent from last year.

Boyer then makes an interesting statement that the Sox are lowering some ticket prices for the remaining games because "it was an effort to regain the trust of fans."

The story concludes on this note, long-range optimism for larger crowds at U.S. Cellular Field may be found in the higher TV ratings, a sign that the pool of new Sox fans has expanded, said Bill Nielsen, vice president of sales for Scarborough."

2. For right or wrong, fair or unfair Kenny is remember for his early comment that "he can't ask the owner to spend a dollar if he only has fifty cents..."

In following years Kenny told the truth linking attendance to team payroll since that is the operating philosophy of the franchise and it did not go over well. In the past few years he has, wisely in my opinion, stayed away from speaking as bluntly as he had been about the linkage issue.

Lip
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  #14  
Old 09-28-2012, 09:39 AM
Madvora Madvora is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lip Man 1 View Post
"He talks about the good season the team has had so far, how unexpected it was but says they rank 24th in home attendance. He calls it "particularly galling, and perhaps embarrassing" considering the Cubs as bad as they are outdraw a first place club.
Yeah, this is one of the points I'm trying to make. Why doesn't someone walk over to Wrigley and ask them why they aren't showing up to Sox games? They're just as much as fault as anyone else in the city. Well, it's because they choose not to be Sox fans. That's their problem, not the Sox fans' problem.
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:30 AM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
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This and That:

Because I have no idea how much of my interview is going to make it into the final piece I thought I should give an account in general terms of what I said.

Interview lasted about 15 minutes.

Michael first asked for my background which I gave him.

His first question to me was the reasons I thought Sox attendance had dropped.

Basically I said it was a combination of things... the "dynamic pricing concept" which based on the comments at WSI many fans don't understand, dislike and in some cases feel they are being taken advantage of given the cost of tickets at other legit ticket broker sites.

I talked about because attendance has dropped, it has got to be hurting 'walk up' sales which are a large part historically of the Sox fan base. I said even with the team in first, the cost of the tickets overall and the economic situation in this country is making it very hard for fans to come up with the money to go particularly on the spur of the moment. I mentioned the Tribune story on September 1st quoting a CSN official as saying Sox games on TV are up 10% from last year, that fans are still intensely interested but simply can't go to the game in person.

I talked about the average ticket cost for a Sox game, 4th highest in baseball almost up there with the Yankees and Red Sox then linked that to the Sox performance since winning the World Series. I said Sox fans care about winning and will pay high prices if the team does so but if they are not they won't. I reminded him the Sox drew almost three million after winning the World Series.

Michael asked me 'but the team has been in 1st place most of the year' I answered go back to my comments about walk up sales and TV ratings. I also said that because the club was picked to finish so badly this year there was little off season buzz and fans remained skeptical about their chances which has proved to be correct based on crunch time.

Michael asked me if Ozzie's leaving and the notion that the team is boring without him,had anything to do with attendance.

I said most Sox fans wanted Ozzie gone because he quit on the team, mentioned Tom Paciorek's comments about the feeling in the club house this year compared to last season. Regarding the boring aspect because Ozzie wasn't around mouthing off every day I said it's about winning, everything else to a lot of Sox fans is secondary.

He then asked if I had the 'solution.'

I answered that my comments are based just on what I read, what I see fans posting at WSI and in some cases what I hear but I have no inside idea of what the Sox plan is, just that Brooks is a sharp guy and he must have some logical reasons for doing it the way he is. That said if it was me and I said I'm not a businessman but if sales are bad this off season I'd announce that next year certain section of the park, including some decent seats are going to be sold for 15-20 dollars, all games, all dates, all opponents...no exceptions. I said I'd rather have an extra 15 thousand a game at 15 bucks, plus parking, plus concessions plus souvenirs then five thousand a game at full price. But I also said if the team is bad next year the Sox could almost give tickets away and it will be a tough sell because the bottom line when all is said and done is winning.

It was a pleasant conversation.

He said he'd send me the link to the story which I'll post so fans can listen.

I also told him after he did that I'd send him the link to this thread so he and his station can read comments about the piece or about the problem in general.

So if you want to weigh in on the Sox attendance situation, this is your chance.

Lip

Last edited by Lip Man 1; 09-28-2012 at 12:01 PM.
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