An Associated Press-Knowledge Networks released on Thursday confirms what has been talked of this season, and truth be told, for some time: the high cost of attending games is the biggest concern for fans of Major League Baseball.
(See the poll results â€“ PDF)
Of the four questions asked, a staggering 63 percent of those polled said the cost of attending games represents the biggest problem with Major League Baseball, up from 45 percent just before the season started when the same poll questions were asked. That compared with just 18 percent saying players made too much money (down from 29 percent at beginning of the season), 14 percent saying player use of PEDs (down from 19 percent at beginning of the season), and 4 percent saying games take too long (down from 6 percent at the beginning of the season).
While the ecomomy moved into a recession, the cost of tickets were up this season in Major League Baseball.
Based on season-ticket prices and Team Marketing Reportâ€™s weighted system, the Yankeesâ€™ average ticket is an eye-popping $72.97, according to TMR calculations, and the Metsâ€™ $36.99. Both increases helped the league-average ticket price up 5.4 percent in 2009, to $26.74. If you take the Mets and Yankees out of the equation, this year and last year, and the average ticket for the other 28 teams ($23.07) would be up just .09 percent. So the New York teams, who certainly help their peersâ€™ bottom lines with impressive road attendance, are worth about $3.67 to the total average of the league
The leagueâ€™s Fan Cost Index is up 3.4 percent to 197.17. The Fan Cost Index (FCI) measures the cost to take a family of four to a sporting event.
(See more on average ticket costs and the FCI in MLB this season)
A whopping 72 percent of those polled said baseball was not doing enough in curbing the use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.
When the topic of whether players that have been tied to performance-enhancing drugs should be allowed baseballâ€™s Hall of Fame, nearly all respondents said, no
When asked about specific players, 71 percent of those polled said Manny Ramirez should not be allowed into the HOF, followed by 67 percent for Barry Bonds, 66 percent for Alex Rodriguez, and 65 percent for Sammy Sosa.
In what may be a more alarming trend for baseball's bottom line, of those polled 31 percent said they were not at all likely to attend a game this season, with 27 percent saying not too likely, 22 percent saying somewhat likely, and just 19 percent saying very likely, down from 21 percent at the beginning of the season.
When respondents answered that they were â€śveryâ€ť or â€śsomewhatâ€ť likely to attend games this season, there was a sharp decline in the number of games they said they would attend when asked the same question at the beginning of the season:
|How many (more) games do you think you might attend THIS year?
|# of games
|5 or more
The interview dates were June 26 â€“ July 5, 2009 and included 655 adults interested or very interested in MLB
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).
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