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View Poll Results: What's the real truth?
If you build it, we will come... (fans) 26 26.53%
If you come, we will build it... (management) 2 2.04%
We have a very small fanbase who will come, and a large bandwagon that is unpredictably inconsistent 52 53.06%
If we bake them, you will eat Churros 18 18.37%
Voters: 98. You may not vote on this poll

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  #31  
Old 10-02-2012, 01:16 PM
russ99 russ99 is offline
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Originally Posted by doogiec View Post
I often hear that White Sox fans will support a winner, that they just won’t support losing baseball. And often that is said as a criticism of Cubs fans.
I think the facts show that this, unfortunately, is complete BS.

In 2005, the White Sox had the ultimate season. First place every day. Best record in the AL, again every day. Only one win short of best record in MLB. An exciting team that got off to a red hot start. The White Sox will never have a better season than 2005.

And they finished 17th in attendance. In September, they averaged around 27,000 per game.

Now you may make the argument that the Sox just don’t have a large fan base. But in 2006, they finished a very respectable 9th in attendance. Those fans came from somewhere.

Fast forward to 2012. They were clearly not the best team in baseball, but rolled into September in first place. And for the final homestand, games that meant as much as playoff games were sparsely attended. They were giving away lower deck tickets to people who merely filled out a survey to avoid embarrassment. And lots of tickets were priced as low as $12.

Many have made the argument that high ticket prices during a bad economy were the cause. Yet, when playoff tickets were put on sale, games 1 and 2 sold out within a day. Those tickets weren’t cheap .
The White Sox, for reasons unknown to me, have a huge portion of their fanbase that will only come out AFTER a championship of some sort has been won. That is very different than saying Sox fans will only support a winner. That is the definition of bandwagon fans.

The Sox need to attract more casual fans that just want to enjoy a day at the ballpark. They can start by getting a TV PBP man that doesn’t sound like the angry bitter drunk you move away from at a bar. They can try to improve stadium operations: Get the concession lines moving quickly or use technology to make it easier to order food, hire and train ushers who act like they give a crap, use the scoreboards to give baseball information other than meaningless trivia. They can make the price of parking reasonable so you don’t feel ripped off before you even enter the building.

A day at the ball game can be fun even if they aren’t raising a flag that day. And if a large portion of the Sox fan base can’t deal with that, the Sox need to do a better job of attracting new fans.
Attendance numbers should really be more in percentage of capacity than number of people. We'll never beat the bigger teams and/or the bigger ballparks using that method.

Attracting fans is a big deal, and the best way to do so is have a personable star. Look at Chicago's other franchises for an example, like the Bears with Urlacher and the Hawks with Kane & Toews. As an extreme case, without Rose would the Bulls have so much pull?

A big issue with the current roster is that the better players are not personable, which would be fine if their play made up for it. Guys like Dunn and Rios (who's play has made up for it this year) have been downright surly due to previous seasons, and Paul and A.J. are more quiet leaders than outgoing stars. Makes marketing's job much harder.

Maybe some of the younger guys like Sale will fit the bill in the future.
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  #32  
Old 10-02-2012, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doogiec View Post
I often hear that White Sox fans will support a winner, that they just won’t support losing baseball. And often that is said as a criticism of Cubs fans.
I think the facts show that this, unfortunately, is complete BS.

In 2005, the White Sox had the ultimate season. First place every day. Best record in the AL, again every day. Only one win short of best record in MLB. An exciting team that got off to a red hot start. The White Sox will never have a better season than 2005.

And they finished 17th in attendance. In September, they averaged around 27,000 per game.

Now you may make the argument that the Sox just don’t have a large fan base. But in 2006, they finished a very respectable 9th in attendance. Those fans came from somewhere.

Fast forward to 2012. They were clearly not the best team in baseball, but rolled into September in first place. And for the final homestand, games that meant as much as playoff games were sparsely attended. They were giving away lower deck tickets to people who merely filled out a survey to avoid embarrassment. And lots of tickets were priced as low as $12.

Many have made the argument that high ticket prices during a bad economy were the cause. Yet, when playoff tickets were put on sale, games 1 and 2 sold out within a day. Those tickets weren’t cheap .
The White Sox, for reasons unknown to me, have a huge portion of their fanbase that will only come out AFTER a championship of some sort has been won. That is very different than saying Sox fans will only support a winner. That is the definition of bandwagon fans.

The Sox need to attract more casual fans that just want to enjoy a day at the ballpark. They can start by getting a TV PBP man that doesn’t sound like the angry bitter drunk you move away from at a bar. They can try to improve stadium operations: Get the concession lines moving quickly or use technology to make it easier to order food, hire and train ushers who act like they give a crap, use the scoreboards to give baseball information other than meaningless trivia. They can make the price of parking reasonable so you don’t feel ripped off before you even enter the building.

A day at the ball game can be fun even if they aren’t raising a flag that day. And if a large portion of the Sox fan base can’t deal with that, the Sox need to do a better job of attracting new fans.
Your analysis completely ignores the issue that good attendance for the year and high averages require a large season ticket holder base. That's why 2006 had a much higher attendance than 2005. In 2005 the attendance average was hurt by a small base and as a result low attendance before summer kicked in and kids got out of school. The Sox drew well all summer and through September but couldn't overcome the low attendance in April and May which can ONLY be increased by high season ticket sales (as has repeatedly been demonstrated and discussed). In 2006 with the higher base they "drew" well those first few months and it pushed the average up for the whole year, even though attendance dropped off later in the season when the Sox fell off the pace.

Edit: If you are counting on mid-season sales or even walkup sales to boost your average you won't hit a high percentage for seats sold for the year unless you absolutely get red hot (see 2005).
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  #33  
Old 10-02-2012, 02:37 PM
doogiec doogiec is offline
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Originally Posted by russ99 View Post
Attendance numbers should really be more in percentage of capacity than number of people. We'll never beat the bigger teams and/or the bigger ballparks using that method.
.
In the case of a team that normally draws at or near capacity, I'd agree. To use Fenway as an example, the Red Sox would probably sell lots more tickets if they had more seats. Since they sell near 100% of tickets, it is probably safe to say that some people don't buy tickets simply because none are available.

But in the case of the 2005 White Sox, they weren't selling out many games. They would have drawn the same number of fans to a 50,000 seat stadium as they did at USCF.
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  #34  
Old 10-02-2012, 02:49 PM
mrfourni mrfourni is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voodoochile View Post
Your analysis completely ignores the issue that good attendance for the year and high averages require a large season ticket holder base. That's why 2006 had a much higher attendance than 2005. In 2005 the attendance average was hurt by a small base and as a result low attendance before summer kicked in and kids got out of school. The Sox drew well all summer and through September but couldn't overcome the low attendance in April and May which can ONLY be increased by high season ticket sales (as has repeatedly been demonstrated and discussed). In 2006 with the higher base they "drew" well those first few months and it pushed the average up for the whole year, even though attendance dropped off later in the season when the Sox fell off the pace.

Edit: If you are counting on mid-season sales or even walkup sales to boost your average you won't hit a high percentage for seats sold for the year unless you absolutely get red hot (see 2005).
I agree with this and think that, unless something changes, this problem is only going to increase. The incentive to buy season tickets at this point is not there when you factor in all of the April/Early May games you get "stuck" with. Add on the fact that most potential season ticket holders are smart enough to realize that the Sox have 1/2 price ticket codes for just about every game, and you can find tickets on stubhub for most games at or near face value for premium seats.

Last edited by mrfourni; 10-02-2012 at 02:55 PM.
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  #35  
Old 10-02-2012, 02:52 PM
doogiec doogiec is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voodoochile View Post
Your analysis completely ignores the issue that good attendance for the year and high averages require a large season ticket holder base. That's why 2006 had a much higher attendance than 2005. In 2005 the attendance average was hurt by a small base and as a result low attendance before summer kicked in and kids got out of school. The Sox drew well all summer and through September but couldn't overcome the low attendance in April and May which can ONLY be increased by high season ticket sales (as has repeatedly been demonstrated and discussed). In 2006 with the higher base they "drew" well those first few months and it pushed the average up for the whole year, even though attendance dropped off later in the season when the Sox fell off the pace.

Edit: If you are counting on mid-season sales or even walkup sales to boost your average you won't hit a high percentage for seats sold for the year unless you absolutely get red hot (see 2005).
I actually agree with you 100% on the first part, and that was the point of my post. I think season ticket sales went up around 9,000 per game in 2006. Were these really new Sox fans? No, they simply bought season tickets because the Sox were defending World Champs and most were probably gone the next season. They waited until after the championship to commit. If they could afford season seats in 2006, why not in 2005? They were hopping the bandwagon. And they hopped right off. I'm sure the same thing applies to single game and walk up sales. They need to find a way to sell season tickets to people who simply enjoy going to the games, and won't bail everytime they don't win a title.

I would disagree that the Sox drew well in September 2005. 27k average for a team leading the the AL, in a tight race and playing three games against a hot second place team is not drawing well (at least not by current baseball standards).
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  #36  
Old 10-02-2012, 03:00 PM
bunkaroo bunkaroo is offline
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OK SoxMan24 explain your vote!
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  #37  
Old 10-02-2012, 03:18 PM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
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Doogie:

Again it's CONSISTENT winning to excite the fan base, sell off season tickets etc.

The 2005 Sox AGAIN came out of nowhere right? They were expected to be a middle of the road team.

What happened in 2003? Blew a two game lead with 18 games left...what happened in 2004? faded in the second half because of season ending injuries to Thomas and Ordonez. Why should fans have thought even with the brilliant start that things were going to be any different in the first half of the year? They'd seen that before many times right?
,
Fans aren't going to "suddenly" start coming out in droves in the middle of the season because the Sox "happen" to be in first place. It just doesn't work that way.

They will come out if the previous seasons have been good, generated interest and excitement. It all builds on the previous few years which is why to me the Sox have consistently had attendence issues.

They can never sustain anything, teams come out of nowhere and do well then in many cases regress the next few years putting the entire process back to square one.

Lip
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  #38  
Old 10-02-2012, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doogiec View Post
I actually agree with you 100% on the first part, and that was the point of my post. I think season ticket sales went up around 9,000 per game in 2006. Were these really new Sox fans? No, they simply bought season tickets because the Sox were defending World Champs and most were probably gone the next season. They waited until after the championship to commit. If they could afford season seats in 2006, why not in 2005? They were hopping the bandwagon. And they hopped right off. I'm sure the same thing applies to single game and walk up sales. They need to find a way to sell season tickets to people who simply enjoy going to the games, and won't bail everytime they don't win a title.

I would disagree that the Sox drew well in September 2005. 27k average for a team leading the the AL, in a tight race and playing three games against a hot second place team is not drawing well (at least not by current baseball standards).
Actually it took several years for them to fully "hop off" as can be seen by the extended run of good attendance they had until 2009, when the economy was deep into the recession.

Is 27K the average for September or for the whole season?
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  #39  
Old 10-02-2012, 04:38 PM
doogiec doogiec is offline
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Originally Posted by voodoochile View Post
Actually it took several years for them to fully "hop off" as can be seen by the extended run of good attendance they had until 2009, when the economy was deep into the recession.

Is 27K the average for September or for the whole season?
27k was the average in September. On 9/7/2005, when they extended their winning streak to 8 games and their division lead to 9.5 games, they played before less than 19,000 fans, for example.

In 2007, they fell back to slightly below MLB average attendance, shedding over 300,000 off the bandwagon. But you are correct, it took a few years for the complete collapse.
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  #40  
Old 10-02-2012, 04:48 PM
doogiec doogiec is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lip Man 1 View Post
Again it's CONSISTENT winning to excite the fan base, sell off season tickets etc.
The 2005 Sox AGAIN came out of nowhere right? They were expected to be a middle of the road team.
What happened in 2003? Blew a two game lead with 18 games left...what happened in 2004? faded in the second half because of season ending injuries to Thomas and Ordonez. Why should fans have thought even with the brilliant start that things were going to be any different in the first half of the year? They'd seen that before many times right?
,
Fans aren't going to "suddenly" start coming out in droves in the middle of the season because the Sox "happen" to be in first place. It just doesn't work that way.
They will come out if the previous seasons have been good, generated interest and excitement. It all builds on the previous few years which is why to me the Sox have consistently had attendence issues.
They can never sustain anything, teams come out of nowhere and do well then in many cases regress the next few years putting the entire process back to square one.
Lip
23 teams outdrew the White Sox this year. Are all of those teams consistent winners? Not even close. One of those teams hasnít had a winning season in 20 years. There are 30 teams in this league, and the majority of them didnít spend a minute in first place. Many of those teams havenít won anything in years.

In 2005, 16 teams outdrew the Sox. Were all of those teams consistent winners? Nope.

The Sox donít exist in a vacuum. When other teams are in first place, and their fans do come out in droves to support them, as usually happens to teams not playing in Florida, it gives those teams a financial advantage over the Sox. Baseball is and always has been a business, and like it or not, with any business, planned payroll expense is going to be somewhat related to revenue. And no one can say for a fact that the fans will support a consistently winning team, since the Sox havenít had one, by your standards quoted above, worthy of support in their entire 112 year history.

My point is simple- most fan bases have a sizable portion of fans that purchase tickets because they like going to baseball games. The Sox, on the other hand, seem to have a sizable portion of fans who will show up only after a championship has been won. Changing that dynamic, not making excuses for it, is what Sox marketing needs to do if they are to provide a revenue stream that supports a large market payroll. And for the record, I blame this COMPLETELY on Sox marketing. Like you, I've been a Sox fan long enough to know what happens when a team is near the bottom of the league in attendance for an extended period of time. It gets ugly.

Looking at the standings the last few years, itís hard to find a team not named the Yankees or Rangers who has maintained the level of excellence year in and year out that you seem to require for the Sox to at least justify mediocre attendance. Out of the six LAST place teams this year, four outdrew the Sox.

It seems like most other teams have a decent size portion of their fan base that enjoys going to games regardless. The Sox don't appear to have that.
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  #41  
Old 10-02-2012, 06:00 PM
JasonFrasor54 JasonFrasor54 is offline
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Its puzzling to me. This is Chicago. Attendance should be better.

One of my thoughts has always been that the location is a poor place. I know this cannot be fixed but if the Sox had a downtown stadium I feel this would help a lot. I firmly believe Wrigley's location helps them a great deal.

Perhaps a change in marketing strategy. A lot of people on and off this site have been saying this begins with the broadcast booth.

A lot of people need to realize U.S. Cellular is a great place to watch a game. It is not the same building that was created in 1991. They have done a great job in expanding the park and making it more fun for the fans. I hope more is still to come.

One more thing, I am okay paying the prices for upper deck tickets, if i were allowed to visit the rest of the park! I love catching batting practice. I go a good amount but I'd for sure go a few times more. (this is the only stadium I've been to where if you had an upper deck seat it restricted you from some of the popular sites in the park.)
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  #42  
Old 10-02-2012, 06:01 PM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
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Doogie:

Try adding the Red Sox, Angels, Braves, Phillies, Cardinals and Giants to your "small" list. What do they have in common with the Yankees and Texas? Hmmmmmmmm................

And the team that outdrew the Sox after 20 years straight of losing. Well DUH...I'd sure as hell hope they would after that putrid run. I'd imagine those fans were shocked and thrilled to see anything resembling good baseball.

Sorry you and I are going to have to disagree. The Sox don't appear to have a sizable portion of the fan base who simply "enjoys" going to games for a reason. As Pale Hose George often put it, "because there's nothing cute and cuddly about losing..."

I 'enjoy' watching little league and high school baseball for example, when it comes to the Sox it's about winning and I suspect a large percentage of the fan base is the same way

Lip
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  #43  
Old 10-02-2012, 07:17 PM
doogiec doogiec is offline
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Originally Posted by Lip Man 1 View Post
Doogie:

Try adding the Red Sox, Angels, Braves, Phillies, Cardinals and Giants to your "small" list. What do they have in common with the Yankees and Texas? Hmmmmmmmm................

And the team that outdrew the Sox after 20 years straight of losing. Well DUH...I'd sure as hell hope they would after that putrid run. I'd imagine those fans were shocked and thrilled to see anything resembling good baseball.

Sorry you and I are going to have to disagree. The Sox don't appear to have a sizable portion of the fan base who simply "enjoys" going to games for a reason. As Pale Hose George often put it, "because there's nothing cute and cuddly about losing..."

I 'enjoy' watching little league and high school baseball for example, when it comes to the Sox it's about winning and I suspect a large percentage of the fan base is the same way

Lip
I was using the same standard for success that you used for the White Sox, referencing 2003 and 2004 as examples- if the team fails to win the division, there is no reason for anyone to buy tickets the following year, even if, overall the team had an above average season. See that same logic applied to the teams in your list:

Boston- dead last place with 91 losses at the moment. One division title in last 15 years.

Angels- haven't won the division since 2009

Atlanta-haven't won the division since 2005

Philadelphia-currently in third place, sold 1.6 million more tickets than Sox this year. But could make good argument for your point.

Cardinals- one division title in last six years

Giants- two division titles in last nine years.

By the way, I agree all of these teams have been very good the last decade, and deserve the support they receive. But see how easy it is to twist that success into failure? There are 30 teams, and in the end, 29 fail each year.

The only thing I see that these teams all have in common is that they have outdrawn the Sox year after year.

And Pittsburgh outdrawing the Sox this year is an absolute disgrace. If any fan base in baseball has reason to be skeptical, its that one.

And I agree, there is nothing "cute and cuddly about losing". But you are dead wrong, the 2012 White Sox were anything but "losers", and deserved far better fan support than they received.

They've had three losing seasons this century. Far better performance on the field than the fan support they have received would suggest.
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  #44  
Old 10-02-2012, 08:54 PM
Hitmen77 Hitmen77 is offline
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There is no other business in the world that operates under the model of "we will put out a good product once you start to support us." If that is still the White Sox operating principle they are screwed.
Also, no other business model blames the customers for not buying/supporting their products.

It's not poor price structures or several years of lousy, disappointing product or a previous offseason of lowering expectations. No, no, no.....it's because the lifelong customer sucks, is not loyal enough and is just looking for an excuse to not make a purchase!!!

Any questions Sox ownership/management have as to why they're not drawing enough fans should start and stop at the mirror.
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  #45  
Old 10-02-2012, 10:01 PM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
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Doogie:

We're obviously talking past each other. HOW MANY TIMES HAVE THOSE TEAMS THAT I MENTIONED MADE THE PLAYOFFS IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME?

Thank you.

Doesn't matter if you win the division or get in as a wild card THEY ARE STILL CONSISTENTLY GETTING IN. Years at a time in some cases.
MORE TIMES IN A ROW THAN SOX FANS CAN ONLY DREAM OF.
AND SOME OF THESE WILD CARD TEAMS ARE ACTUALLY GOING ON TO WIN THE WORLD SERIES!

I trust I made myself clear?



THAT's how you build fan interest, that's how you sell a ton of season tickets and single game tickets in the off season.

But feel free to keep finding ways to "blame" the fan base.

Again sorry you and I simply do not agree on this issue, not even close.

Oh and Doogie, you fail to understand those three losing seasons this century...HAVE ALL COME IN THE LAST SIX YEARS. This organization can't even put back to back winning seasons together anymore. And mentioning teams like Toronto, San Diego, Colorado, Pittsburgh et al, last I looked those clubs aren't in a market with two teams. You want to see baseball that badly? No matter how crappy the Jays are or the Pirates or the Royals, you see them or do without. Not exactly the same situation in Chicago is it, especially for the casual fan.

Not trying to come down harshly on you, your rational is very frustrating to me right now.

Lip

Last edited by Lip Man 1; 10-02-2012 at 10:38 PM.
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