From Kavitha A. Davidson at The Athletic on July 3, 2019:
“Nobody goes to baseball games anymore.” That’s the prevailing attitude among sports fans and industry professionals who saw a four percent drop in league-wide attendance last season and the lowest total attendance in MLB since 2003. Factors such as weather, affordability, each team’s individual success on the field, the heightened convenience and experience of watching games at home, and market-specific challenges like competing entertainment options all come into play. Yet with that consistent decline in attendance, the league has also seen revenues rise steadily, pulling in a record $10.3 billion in 2018, the 16th straight year of gross revenue growth.
That’s in line with what we’ve seen in other sports — attendance might be down, but is no longer the primary driver of revenue. Broadcasting rights and corporate sponsorships are the primary avenues through which leagues make their money.
Still, the optics of empty seats don’t sit well with executives, especially in baseball, where the number of games and the size of the stadiums present challenges amid broader concerns about the long-term health of the sport.
Read the full article here (subscription required): https://theathletic.com/1035994/2019/07/02/once-theyre-going-to-a-game-hopefully-then-theyre-fans-for-life-why-mlb-teams-embrace-flexible-ticket-options/
Originally published: July 4, 2019. Last Updated: July 4, 2019.