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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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  #46  
Old 10-03-2012, 07:58 AM
Jollyroger2 Jollyroger2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kobo View Post
There's no future with this organization. The other side of town made clear their plans, and while I would never spend a lot of money to go see a game if I was a fan, at least there's hope in the future for them. I can respect that and I would be willing to go see a couple games a year because they seem to be moving in the right direction. They appear to be making the right moves. But I'm not a Cubs fan. What are the Sox doing to instill any type of hope in this fanbase? What do we as fans have to look forward to next year and beyond? There's really nothing. The farm system is one of the worst in all of baseball. The current roster is full of veterans who are old and slow and a bunch won't be here next year. Management tells the fanbase through the press that they can't do things if fans don't come to the games, but charge the 4th highest avg ticket price to watch this team in person. The entire organization is a joke right now. There is no direction. There is no hope. IMO, those 2 factors are the main reasons fans are staying away.
I'm more in line with this post I think, most of it anyway. The lack of direction (or desire, etc) was very evident this season. The team would look great at times and other times look horrible. That's not just a talent issue, it's a lack of desire, leadership, etc. There is no reason why this team should exel against the likes of the Yankees and Rangers but then often fail miserably against the Royals, etc.

The head to head games vs. the Tigers were also a huge disappointment. Two sweeps in their park? Now I don't think the Tigers are anything special...so why get whipped like that? Plus when you factor in, in those sweeps the Sox got outscored 33-14, it shows most of the time they weren't even competitive. Clearly the team was either intimidated or just not up for the games.

I don't know if I'd agree on the Cubs though...they are still a mess and years away from contending. Here in the DC area I've seen the Nationals go from a real train wreck in what they were in Montreal, with no farm system, etc, to a very good young franchise with a deep farm system and lots of good players already at the MLB level. But they had to endure some painful seasons including back to back 100-loss seasons. Would the Sox blow up the ship and clean house and start over like that? Probably not because the fans wouldn't have the patience. In DC the fan base was happy just to have a team. The Sox don't have that luxury. They are a franchise that has semi-recently won a title and is expected to compete every season.

But you're right, there really is no direction right now.
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  #47  
Old 10-03-2012, 11:14 AM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
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Just a few thoughts:

For every team that basically starts from scratch like Atlanta did in 89 and has a brilliant run of success, there are five or more like the Royals who have been "rebuilding" for 20 years.

With the Sox it's not as simple as a pure baseball decision. In a two team market with a fan base that will not tolerate losing it gets a lot more complicated.

That said, I don't think you can burn the candle at both ends and succeed. Either the Sox have to go back to "going for it," or "start a logical rebuilding process." Rebuilding while contending hasn't worked out very well. The total number of wins under JR is right up there among the best of the AL in 32 years but the number of playoff spots in that time ranks below teams like Minnesota, Cleveland and Oakland.

Something is amiss.

Lip
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  #48  
Old 10-03-2012, 11:53 AM
Mohoney Mohoney is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DumpJerry
People look at Tampa as a team that took advantage of being pure crap for many years to load up on great draft picks to get to the World Series and contend for the post season each year since.

People also look at Mega Millions Lottery winners as proof that you, too, can strike it rich.

If taking a dive to get great draft picks (and, given how MLB structures the draft, do you really have an advantage after the first round? After the second round, the playing field is pretty much leveled) works into making a team a World Series contender, I have three words: Kansas City Royals. The Royals have their moments, but they will never be a pick to click in March.
The Royals have the exact same problem that the Cubs have; they have no idea where they are going to get the two or three reliable starting pitchers that they so desperately need. At least the Cubs have the benefit of available cash if the young position players ever develop into a team that can contend. The Royals have to get almost everything either from the draft or from savvy trades, and by the time they can develop some pitching, some of these decent young players that they have will play themselves out of the Royals' price range.
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  #49  
Old 10-03-2012, 12:07 PM
Jerko Jerko is offline
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2006 FULL season ticket numbers went up a tad because partial ST holders in 05 were offered tickets for ALL playoff games that year IF they upgraded to a full season ticket plan in 06. I know a bunch of people who took that upgrade.
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  #50  
Old 10-03-2012, 12:14 PM
jabrch jabrch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voodoochile View Post
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".
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  #51  
Old 10-03-2012, 12:25 PM
SCCWS SCCWS is offline
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Living in the greater Boston area, I see a completely different picture on fan attendance. I posted this several years ago on WSI as well. Obviously Boston draws well. But I think if you were able to get a listing of Red Sox Season Ticket Holders, more than 60% would be corporate. As Boston's success and prices rose, the average fan got pushed into cheaper seats or gave up. When I say Corporate seats, I am not referring to boxes. In addition to the Corporate boxes, many companies have 6-8-10 grandstand seats. A typical company may have 10 seats. 5 in the Home plate area and 5 more cheaper grandstand seats down the lines. The good seats are used for customers and the lesser seats often given to their employees. I have a Purchasing background so I was constantly getting Red Sox tickets before I retired. My kids live in Boston and also go to 10+ games a year w corporate tics. In fact, I know La Salle Bank had Corporate Tickets when I visited them about 10 years ago. Not sure whose but they all seemed like Cub fans.

If the White Sox do not have an active Corporate Sales Department, that may be a major problem. It might also explain a comment I saw on here that the Cubs get a lot of tourists. That seemed odd to me. Maybe they get are a lot of visiting business people.
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  #52  
Old 10-03-2012, 12:37 PM
doogiec doogiec is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lip Man 1 View Post
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?


Lip


My exact statement was "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." Note the "last few years" part. Its an important part of my sentence. I included it for a reason.

You replied by talking about teams that made multiple playoff appearances as some point in time in history. Some of those teams have made a single appearance in the "last few years". None of those teams (except PHI, which I previously admitted I should have classified with NYY and TEX) have been on a run of back to back playoff appearances (WC or DIV) in the last few years. That's why I didn't include them in my "short list". They didn't qualify.

Teams rarely go to the playoffs three, four or five years in a row. There's too much parity, player movement, and all around money being thrown around to make that a reality. Would I like that to happen? Hell yes. Do I believe the Sox deserve to flounder in the bottom third of attendance if they don't. Of course not. A marketing plan that requires three or four consecutive playoff seasons to see an increase in ticket sales is insanity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lip Man 1 View Post
But feel free to keep finding ways to "blame" the fan base.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doogiec View Post
And for the record, I blame this COMPLETELY on Sox marketing.
I don't know how I could have stated this any clearer as to who I blame for this issue. But if you prefer to just put words in my mouth....


So I am going to state my beliefs in a few short paragraphs, and then go away for many months as is my habit:

Sox attendance should somewhat correlate with performance on the field. It historically has not. I'm not talking about the stupidity that exists on the north side. I'm talking about a middle of the pack team drawing middle of the pack numbers. I'm talking about a World Series team drawing in the top five of the league. And I'm OK with a 95-100 game loser finishing at or near the bottom. That shouldn't be hard in a huge market such as Chicago, even if it is essentially cut in half.

The failure to do this is a failure of Sox marketing. When you look at attendance numbers around the league, it is clear that just about every other team can figure out a way to sell tickets even if they aren't going to the playoffs. The Sox can't, and even struggle to do so at a normal level when they are going to the playoffs

Last edited by doogiec; 10-03-2012 at 12:40 PM. Reason: spelling
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  #53  
Old 10-03-2012, 12:58 PM
DSpivack DSpivack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCCWS View Post
Living in the greater Boston area, I see a completely different picture on fan attendance. I posted this several years ago on WSI as well. Obviously Boston draws well. But I think if you were able to get a listing of Red Sox Season Ticket Holders, more than 60% would be corporate. As Boston's success and prices rose, the average fan got pushed into cheaper seats or gave up. When I say Corporate seats, I am not referring to boxes. In addition to the Corporate boxes, many companies have 6-8-10 grandstand seats. A typical company may have 10 seats. 5 in the Home plate area and 5 more cheaper grandstand seats down the lines. The good seats are used for customers and the lesser seats often given to their employees. I have a Purchasing background so I was constantly getting Red Sox tickets before I retired. My kids live in Boston and also go to 10+ games a year w corporate tics. In fact, I know La Salle Bank had Corporate Tickets when I visited them about 10 years ago. Not sure whose but they all seemed like Cub fans.

If the White Sox do not have an active Corporate Sales Department, that may be a major problem. It might also explain a comment I saw on here that the Cubs get a lot of tourists. That seemed odd to me. Maybe they get are a lot of visiting business people.
This is a good point, and one in which I wonder is not being discussed enough. Before the financial crisis, I wonder if each team had quite a few corporate clients; and trying to cut down on that, if many companies didn't choose Cubs over Sox in that regard.
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  #54  
Old 10-03-2012, 01:20 PM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
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This and that:

Spivak: I do know that the Sox lost some sponsors over the time period you were talking about due to the economy. If I remember the specifics were discussed on it here at WSI. In the story I summerized from the Tribune dated September 1st, it quoted a Cub front office person as saying 40% of Cub attendance comes from tourists. I suspect that means more people from Iowa, downstate Illinois, Indiana etc than corporations but there could be some.

Jab: Sox ticket prices are comparable to the Yankees and Red Sox. They are the 4th highest on average in the game. I suspect many Sox fans ARE willing to pay that type of price but if you want to charge like the Yankees or Red Sox, you damn well better win like them no?

Even in this economy I think enough fans would find a way to take in maybe one more game (and those add up) if they seriously thought a club could do something. Since 2006 I suspect very few fans honestly thought the franchise was a real serious contender, not for what is usually the worst division in baseball, but as Kittle often points out, a contender for the pennant / World Series.

Yes they were in first place for 117 days this year but they never really seemed in control, never seemed to be able to put the thing away (and they had a boatload of chances) and again I suspect that come September fans lost faith because of it.

There's no right answer or wrong answer...I agree with much of what you say. The answer is to grow the fan base and the Sox for the past 32 years under current ownership haven't done that very well except for a few brief periods. They've had their chances, sometimes things happen that were totally outside of their control...sometimes the organization was its own worst enemy.

Lip
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  #55  
Old 10-03-2012, 01:27 PM
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doublem23 doublem23 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lip Man 1 View Post
Jab: Sox ticket prices are comparable to the Yankees and Red Sox. They are the 4th highest on average in the game. I suspect many Sox fans ARE willing to pay that type of price but if you want to charge like the Yankees or Red Sox, you damn well better win like them no?
This myth needs to die now.

The Sox ticket prices are not comparable to the Red Sox or Yankees. The Sox, on average, charge 46% less than the Red Sox, 43% less than the Yankees, and 38% less than the Cubs.

The Sox are also not the 4th highest average ticket in the Majors. They're not even Top 10.

1. Boston - $53.38
2. Yankees - $51.55
3. Cubs - $46.30
4. Phillies - $37.42
5. Twins - $33.04
6. Cardinals - $31.57
7. Tigers - $31.00
8. Nationals - $30.54
9. Astros - $30.09
10. Marlins - $29.62
11. White Sox - $29.00

http://fancostexperience.com/pages/fcx/fci_pdfs/8.pdf
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  #56  
Old 10-03-2012, 01:35 PM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
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Double:

I have no idea where you got your info. I only know the last time I saw the figuures in the paper they had the 4th highest price on average.

If this is in fact wrong, than the Sox obviously aren't letting the fan base know about it enough to explode the 'myth' because even in the NPR piece that ran Friday, a fan was quoted as talking about the high ticket prices. That's all I can tell you. I've been told from people they are extremely high, along with what I read in the paper.

Maybe the Sox need to send out a release or call a press conference exploding this "myth" if that's the case.

I do know the NPR story (and you can listen to it) had the reporter quoting the latest figures as saying that for a family of four to go to a Sox game it costs "over 200 dollars" (direct quote) I also know the Sox were charging 48 dollars a ticket for bleacher seats for the Yankee series in late August.

Lip

Last edited by Lip Man 1; 10-03-2012 at 03:36 PM.
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  #57  
Old 10-03-2012, 02:09 PM
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FielderJones FielderJones is offline
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Originally Posted by Lip Man 1 View Post
I have no idea where you got your info. I only know the last time I saw the figures in the paper they had the 4th highest price on average.
From a web site called fancostexperience.com. The penultimate column on the right is entitled FCI, the Fan Cost Index. Besides the four tickets, it includes the cost of 4 soft drinks, 2 beers, 4 hot dogs, two programs, parking, and two adult caps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lip Man 1 View Post
I do know the NPR story (and you can listen to it) had the reporter quoting the latest figures as saying that for a family of four to go to a Sox game it costs "over 200 dollars" (direct quote) I also know the Sox were charging 48 dollars a ticket for bleacher seats for the Yankee series in late August.
The $200+ cost is correct for the FCI listed above. The Sox are above the MLB average but not #4.

Unfortunately, the methodology for determining the average cost per ticket is not listed. I would think with dynamic pricing, and the way the Sox used to do it with ticket prices going up rather than down, an accurate number might be a bit more difficult than one might think at first glance.
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  #58  
Old 10-03-2012, 02:16 PM
hawkjt hawkjt is offline
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Saying that this team was not really that good is just wrong.
Based on the pythagorean formula as of today the Sox should be 87-74,while the Tigers are at 86-75. So,statistically, the Sox were as good or better than the Tigers and should have won this division.


I think the Sox must retain AJ,Youk, and add another starter,and if the economy picks up a bit, fans will buy more season tickets next year.

This was a likeable team...no jerks. Lower ticket prices a bit and cut parking fees,and this can be turned around.
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  #59  
Old 10-03-2012, 03:33 PM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
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One other point about the apparent disagreement over average ticket prices.

I'm not saying this is an absolute because it's possible it simply fell through the cracks, I want to be very clear on this. I'm simply passing this along.

Since I was invited to participate in the NPR station story, Brooks and I have exchanged a number of e-mails, some very involved.

I'm always blown away by the professionalism Brooks shows to me and by proxy, White Sox Interactive. He doesn't have to do any of this, he can just say, "what do they know?" but he doesn't. The e-mails contained generally an overview of things, how the problem is looked at, what the possible causes are.

I mentioned to him specifically the dynamic pricing concept and that the Sox tickets are the 4th highest on average in baseball are part of the issue.

Brooks never told me after this that those figures were wrong. I'd think that given it appears to be a major reason why Sox fans are staying away that Brooks would have at least mentioned, 'by the way, those numbers are wrong...' something like that.

Again I'm not saying because he didn't, those figures are correct, it simply might have been missed but I think it was worth putting this out there for discussion.

Lip
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  #60  
Old 10-03-2012, 03:43 PM
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Nellie_Fox Nellie_Fox is offline
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Most of the parking cost is a Chicago city tax.
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