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bucksfan2
04-27-2010, 04:16 PM
I wonder how Bud will spin this article http://mlb.fanhouse.com/2010/04/27/is-lagging-attendance-crisis-or-fluke/?ncid=txtlnkusspor00000002

Two interesting comments


There are many clubs, however, where one big giveaway or new face isn't going to heal the early wounds. The Mets, the Marlins, the Padres, the White Sox, the Blue Jays and the A's are all down more than 4,000 fans per game over the first three weeks of the season and the Reds (3,977) and Indians (3,846) aren't far off.


The one place where new fans are storming the gates this season is in Minneapolis, where the new Target Field has seen the Twins' attendance soar by 14,222 per game. American League attendance is down only 35 fans per game thanks to the Twins. Take the Target Field numbers out of the equation, however, and the other 13 AL teams are off an average of just under 900 fans per game. The National League, with no new parks to introduce in 2010, is off 1,070 per game.

TRF
04-27-2010, 04:42 PM
Actually, he doesn't need to spin it much. It's a tough economy.

The individual owners need to spin it in the form of "we feel your pain and are lowering ticket prices."

macro
04-27-2010, 04:44 PM
I didn't see anywhere in the article where they compared this year's numbers to historical numbers. Where do they rank with the numbers from five years ago or ten years ago at this point in the season?

Caveat Emperor
04-27-2010, 04:46 PM
Sad thing from the Reds POV -- anecdotally, it seems like this is the best early-season weather I can remember in quite some time.

Captain Hook
04-27-2010, 04:49 PM
I wonder how much technology affects baseball attendance.I know that just about all the games this year are looking pretty good on my 45' HD TV.That and the ability to pause the game anytime I want, follow all other games and sporting events on my wireless laptop meanwhile still giving the wife and kids the impression that I'm paying a little attention to them makes staying home watching the games much more enjoyable.

I will still attend my usual handful of games but I'd imagine these things could keep some from attending as often.

Always Red
04-27-2010, 04:53 PM
FWIW, Baseball-Reference.com has the Reds attendance slightly UP this year (I have learned to never question their numbers!):

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/current_attendance.shtml

Caveat Emperor
04-27-2010, 04:53 PM
The individual owners need to spin it in the form of "we feel your pain and are lowering ticket prices."

I'm actually somewhat surprised that teams don't "paper the house" a little more, especially in the smaller markets, to get people in the door and spending money at the park. If I were running a team like the Reds, I'd charge half price for weeknight tickets.

Get 'em in, and see if you can't send them home with a $4 hotdog and $8 beer in their stomach on the way out.

Captain Hook
04-27-2010, 04:56 PM
FWIW, Baseball-Reference.com has the Reds attendance slightly UP this year (I have learned to never question their numbers!):

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/current_attendance.shtml

Just a guess but that probably has more to do with the decent weather in April then the product of the field.

Chip R
04-27-2010, 04:59 PM
I'm actually somewhat surprised that teams don't "paper the house" a little more, especially in the smaller markets, to get people in the door and spending money at the park. If I were running a team like the Reds, I'd charge half price for weeknight tickets.

So you screw your season ticket holders who paid full price for 81 games?


Get 'em in, and see if you can't send them home with a $4 hotdog and $8 beer in their stomach on the way out.

Would it give the Reds more revenue if they sold more hot dogs and beer than if they kept the tickets the same price and drew fewer people? Do the Reds make $8 when they sell a beer or is that shared between the Reds, the concessionaire, the county, etc?

Sea Ray
04-27-2010, 05:01 PM
I'm pretty sure the Reds get all the concession revenue except for taxes

Ghosts of 1990
04-27-2010, 05:12 PM
Actually, he doesn't need to spin it much. It's a tough economy.

The individual owners need to spin it in the form of "we feel your pain and are lowering ticket prices."

:thumbup:

Couldn't agree more. Especially if you're not winning.

westofyou
04-27-2010, 05:14 PM
http://www.ticketnews.com/MLB-average-ticket-prices-rise-slightly-but-many-teams-drop-cost-of-concessions-and-merchandise4108234?printview=true


This season, the average FCI for the league is $195.08, a decrease of nearly a dollar over last season. The Diamondbacks lead the League here again, with an FCI of $115.24. The Padres come in second at $120.60, having dropped $50 off their FCI of last season. The club accomplished this by making several changes to fan costs, including dropping the price of the smallest beer from $6.50 to $5.00, dropping soda from $4.25 to $4.00, selling a new cap at nearly half the price of the original, and eliminating the cost of programs. The Cincinnati Reds, with one of the lowest FCI’s at $151.26, are selling one dollar hot dogs and sodas for the second year in a row.

Always Red
04-27-2010, 05:16 PM
Just a guess but that probably has more to do with the decent weather in April then the product of the field.

It's been a beautiful April here. The Reds? not so much.

Cyclone792
04-27-2010, 05:34 PM
So you screw your season ticket holders who paid full price for 81 games?

I can't speak for CE, but I'd also cut the season ticket holder prices down low enough to account for the CE Discount.

Stuff like this should be decided in the offseason, priced into the upcoming season ticket packages and then priced into the individual games. It's not like the data isn't there; the Reds don't draw anybody on weeknights. Even against Manny Ramirez and the Dodgers last week with beautiful evenings, the seats were a barren wasteland.

Sea Ray
04-27-2010, 05:54 PM
I don't think the Reds sell $1 hot dogs and soft drinks. Anyone who's been to a game this year notice $1 hot dogs? I know last year they had an occassional special date where they offered $1 hot dogs but that was not a regular price by a long shot

Cyclone792
04-27-2010, 05:57 PM
I don't think the Reds sell $1 hot dogs and soft drinks. Anyone who's been to a game this year notice $1 hot dogs? I know last year they had an occassional special date where they offered $1 hot dogs but that was not a regular price by a long shot

I think they're offered at one or two specific locations only, not everywhere. The lines are usually atrocious too unless you get there well before a game. That means on a typical weeknight, there are about 12k fans at the game, and half of them are in line for dollar hot dogs.

TRF
04-27-2010, 06:02 PM
How about 1/2 price tickets on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays? Plus any weekday day games? You'll miss a lot of thursdays and mondays due to them being travel days, throw in Wednesdays to show you care and day games that aren't on the weekend.

To me, that sends a nice message to the community and puts butts in seats.

Roy Tucker
04-27-2010, 06:27 PM
How about 1/2 price tickets on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays? Plus any weekday day games? You'll miss a lot of thursdays and mondays due to them being travel days, throw in Wednesdays to show you care and day games that aren't on the weekend.

To me, that sends a nice message to the community and puts butts in seats.

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/cin/ticketing/udf.jsp

TRF
04-27-2010, 06:31 PM
http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/cin/ticketing/udf.jsp

I had no idea. That's quite the bargain. Should be promoted more.

I'm kind of a marketing genius. Someone give me one of Raisor's Nobel Prizes.

But I'd not require UDF and I'd do it all season. 40K fans at half price > 15K fans at full price.

Chip R
04-27-2010, 07:36 PM
I had no idea. That's quite the bargain. Should be promoted more.

I'm kind of a marketing genius. Someone give me one of Raisor's Nobel Prizes.

But I'd not require UDF and I'd do it all season. 40K fans at half price > 15K fans at full price.

They sell $5 tickets in advance and they still have problems drawing. Sure, they are up in the corners but you can always move down.

johngalt
04-28-2010, 02:25 AM
Discounting tickets is not going to bring in hordes of people during the week.

Take this past week during the Dodgers series for example. Let's say the Reds did have half-price tickets for weeknight games. That means View Level are $7 (just like the Bleachers are always), Sun/Moon Deck are $11, Terrace Outfield in left field are $9.50 and Field Box on the lower level are $17.

Now, during the Dodgers series, you're talking roughly 12,000-13,000 people at each game. Do you really think attendance would be in the 25,000-26,000 range just because of the half-price tickets? That's the number you would have to hit just to break even on the tickets. Sure, you get some additional concession and merchandise sales, but those profits are split with Sportservice who operates them.

That's just for one series. Do you think that really holds up over the course of the season? I just don't see it. Keeping Opening Day aside, the Reds have $5 tickets to every game and $7 tickets (bleachers) to all games except the big Select series. There's the UDF promotion on tickets, CincinnatiUSA.com promotes ticket deals through their Web site, and the team offers discounts for certain games throughout the year for Senior Citizens and Sunday family days.

For people who want food deals, there's that Kroger Meal Deal Marty and Thom talk about on commercials, the $1 menu stands, and the all you can eat seats I see advertised on their Web site a lot.

I don't know what more you can really expect for them to do other than just open the gates and wave everyone in.

Roy Tucker
04-28-2010, 09:02 AM
I don't know what more you can really expect for them to do other than just open the gates and wave everyone in.

That's the truth there.

The Reds offer tickets in the Cadillac, the Chevy, and the Chevette ranges. If you want to go all-out, you can. If you want to go cheap, you can. You can go for a full-blown MLB experience with Diamond seats, get some darn fine field tickets, or go sit in the outfield or upper deck. All have their pros and cons but all are a good stadium experience and I've always had a great time at whatever seat I'm in (excluding what may or may not happen on the field). And yhe value is good for whatever ticket range you buy.

The bottom line is the Reds can throw all the two-fers and bogos and discounts they can at you, but only a competitive and winning team will bring in the throngs of fans they need. Cincinnati fans have always been fickle.

reds1869
04-28-2010, 09:38 AM
The Reds already provide one of the best values around. I've never understood the complaints about ticket prices. When you can get in for $5 there is no reason to complain other than you don't like the view you get for $5. Well, you know what? I'd like to pay for a Hyundai and get a Ferrari, too. But it doesn't work that way and I'm perfectly content with my Hyundai seats in 537.

I know parking is an issue, too. That's why I'm moving downtown in August. On the surface it is to be closer to my wife's job. But we all know why I really want to live downtown.

KittyDuran
04-28-2010, 09:52 AM
So you screw your season ticket holders who paid full price for 81 games?

:wave:

Has happened for two seasons to me. I have a weekend season ticket package for 1 outer view level seat. Supposedly, I'm the only season ticket holder (and IIRC, the team no longer allows these seats to be season tickets). Last year I took a credit of about $280 which was applied to this season's tickets, at full price. Paid the difference, then a few months later the team lower the price to $5 again. They were going to give me another credit for next year - but I asked for a check. Haven't received it yet, so I might have to send another email.

bucksfan2
04-28-2010, 09:52 AM
I heard an interview a couple of years ago with the director of the Cyclones. It was a very good marketing interview in the way they view their tickets. They realized that they weren't competing with another sports team rather someones expendable income. They were competing with movies, bowling, all forms of entertainment. They needed to not only provide the product on the ice but also the atmosphere that surrounded the game.

The same could be said about the Reds. I do think the new ownership "gets it" in terms of the fan experience. But I also think that people are busy. I am married with a dog and it seems like I am always on the run. Softball on Wed, golf on Thurs, they gym on days I have nothing going on. In all reality I can go to the gym on a Tuesday, stop at the grocery, and be home by about 7 to catch the first pitch in glorious HD TV. I love going to games but there are just times that I just don't feel like it or it doesn't fit into my schedule.

The walk up crowd will increase if the Reds start to play better baseball especially after school is out. If the Reds come back from this road trip with a 5-1 trip I think you will see a little more excitement around GABP when they return. But I do think there is a major issue in growing your young fan base.

Redhook
04-28-2010, 09:58 AM
For me, it's not the price of the ticket, it's the concessions. It's similar to movies. I don't mind paying to get into the park, I just can't stand paying that much for beer, food, popcorn, soda, etc. When I go to a baseball game, I want to have 3-4 beers, some nachos, and maybe a hot dog. That's about $40 for drinks and food. And that's not counting my wife. For the 2 of us, it'll be over $100 to go to a game and enjoy it the way we'd like to. It costs way too much. I strongly feel I'm not getting my money's worth when I go to a game, and that's why I haven't been to one in 2 years and won't go to one again this year.

gonelong
04-28-2010, 10:05 AM
Everybody concentrates on the money aspect of it (prices), but time is the largest driver for me.

The Reds have to make it worth my time to leave work at 4:30, drive home, round-up the family, drive an hour, park, stay for a 3 hour game, and drive an hour plus back home to get home at 11:00 PM. I've got 6+ hours invested in a game, and frankly, the teams they put on the field are not worth me killing an entire weekday evening for them.

It's *way* too easy a choice to stay at home ... they need to make it more difficult.

GL

westofyou
04-28-2010, 10:10 AM
When i go to baseball game I never eat the food, that's like going to a restaurant and watching the kitchen staff play wiffle ball, which is probably a better deal than the food at a ballpark.

Chip R
04-28-2010, 10:34 AM
I don't know what more you can really expect for them to do other than just open the gates and wave everyone in.


I swear to God, if they said one weekday morning that for that evening's game would get in free, the park still wouldn't be half full.

I think the marketing department has done a very good job the past 3-4 years. Before that it was almost like anti-marketing.

westofyou
04-28-2010, 10:38 AM
Cincinnati fans have always been fickle.

And staunchly German in their approach to spending on entertainment too. I've never heard a fan base focus on cost more than the Reds fans, a team that has some of the cheapest tickets around, in any sport.

reds1869
04-28-2010, 10:42 AM
And staunchly German in their approach to spending on entertainment too. I've never heard a fan base focus on cost more than the Reds fans, a team that has some of the cheapest tickets around, in any sport.

Maybe that's why I don't get it...I'm just too darn English. The complaining about cost has always baffled me, especially after living in several cities where entertainment was more expensive.

Roy Tucker
04-28-2010, 11:08 AM
As far as eating at the ballpark, any more, we take our own stuff in.

Stop at Biggs and buy a big bag of peanuts and a bag of Twizzlers, stop at Subway and get $5 subs and split them, stop at AmeriStop and everyone gets 2 bottles of some kind of pop, and we take it all into the park in a soft-sided cooler. Spend maybe a total of $20 for 4 people. I'm a cheap sob.

We still buy beer at the ballpark, but I don't swill down the suds like I used to and I usually drive, some may 1 time out of 3 I'll have 1-2 beers. That cost has gotten silly too so I just don't pay it.

Time is the killer for me as well. I just don't have that many free evenings. I'd like to go to more games but there are a lot of things I'd like to do more of but just don't have the time for.

Sea Ray
04-28-2010, 11:15 AM
Cincinnati fans have always been fickle.

I don't agree with that. Since 2000, this team has drawn over 2 million fans 6 times. Given the product they've been served, I think Cincinnati fans have been remarkably generous. What you're seeing today is a combination of the economy and of fans saying enough is enough and I can't blame 'em. They've really been very patient IMO.

Roy Tucker
04-28-2010, 11:43 AM
I don't agree with that. Since 2000, this team has drawn over 2 million fans 6 times. Given the product they've been served, I think Cincinnati fans have been remarkably generous. What you're seeing today is a combination of the economy and of fans saying enough is enough and I can't blame 'em. They've really been very patient IMO.

Compared to other clubs, its been pretty shabby since 2000. Cincy fans turn out only after the club does well.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CIN/attend.shtml

Ghosts of 1990
04-28-2010, 11:48 AM
My problem is being in Columbus, I get off work in CBUS at 5 at the earliest... Two hour drive; how can we swing it? But when I can sneak off work early, I can usually slip there around 5 to 10 times a year.

This year my goal is to get to 20 games if this team deserves it or is MILDLY interesting. When I lived in Cincinnati for two summers I made it to about 30 games on a college kid's wages. So I'm going to up my support for the team this year and see if I can get out to 20 starting with the next homestand. We'll see.

westofyou
04-28-2010, 11:48 AM
Compared to other clubs, its been pretty shabby since 2000. Cincy fans turn out only after the club does well.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CIN/attend.shtml

This is the truth and has been discussed numerous times, anyone still trying to paint the city as a great baseball town must not include the attendance for the pro team.

Sea Ray
04-28-2010, 11:59 AM
Compared to other clubs, its been pretty shabby since 2000. Cincy fans turn out only after the club does well.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CIN/attend.shtml

Well the team has been pretty shabby too.

I agree that Reds fans turn out when the team does well but that doesn't differentiate them from any other team. What's wrong with not spending money on an inferior product? I think Reds fans would be foolish to turn out in excess of 2 mill a year for this product. Ditto for the Bengals. Idiotic fans continued to buy tickets year after year and it was only after a mass exodus that Mike Brown brought in Marvin Lewis.

Kansas City had 11K fans last night. Other than George Bush Sr, I didn't see many fans in Houston last night either. I think it's unfair to single out Cincinnati as only coming out when it gets a winner.

Attendance problems in Cincinnati are on ownership

Sea Ray
04-28-2010, 12:08 PM
This is the truth and has been discussed numerous times, anyone still trying to paint the city as a great baseball town must not include the attendance for the pro team.

Honestly I don't know if it's a great baseball town anymore. In fact I fear that all this losing has cost the Reds a generation of fans. Unless they start winning we'll never know

TRF
04-28-2010, 12:21 PM
Detroit has a worse economy than Cincinnati, and still draw well. Yes they have some recent success, a WS appearance in 2006, but considering just how bad things have been in Detroit, to get 3 million people to show up for a 5th place team amazes me. (2008)

Chip R
04-28-2010, 12:23 PM
Compared to other clubs, its been pretty shabby since 2000. Cincy fans turn out only after the club does well.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CIN/attend.shtml


Yeah. The gold standard is no longer 2 million. It's 3 million which every team in our division except PIT has drawn at least once. Then there's a good news bad news scenario. The good news is that the Reds ticket prices are relatively inexpensive compared to other teams. The bad news is that when the Reds struggling to draw 2 million and their closest competitors are drawing 3 million, even if the ticket prices are the same, they aren't making the revenue that their competitors are and it's even less since ticket prices are so low.

guttle11
04-28-2010, 12:26 PM
Detroit has a worse economy than Cincinnati, and still draw well. Yes they have some recent success, a WS appearance in 2006, but considering just how bad things have been in Detroit, to get 3 million people to show up for a 5th place team amazes me. (2008)

The economy is not to blame for anything. It's bad, but there are still many sports fans that can afford to go to games. Detroit was one game from the playoffs just last year. That team wins, and people pay for winners. The Tigers draw, but the Lions can't pay people to get them in the door, and the NFL is king in 'Merica.

In Cincy the Bengals can sell out every game for 6 years with only a few exceptions where they needed corporate help. Why? The Bengals either win (2 division titles in the Marvin era) or they give the illusion of hope (three 8-8 seasons). The Reds (losers for a decade) can only draw on Opening Day or bobblehead night.

Good economy, bad economy...people find ways to pay to see a winner, and ways not to pay for a loser.

Sea Ray
04-28-2010, 12:30 PM
Detroit has a worse economy than Cincinnati, and still draw well. Yes they have some recent success, a WS appearance in 2006, but considering just how bad things have been in Detroit, to get 3 million people to show up for a 5th place team amazes me. (2008)

I am very familiar with Detroit and I find myself there often, in fact I went to a Tigers game last year and got tickets for a Saturday game 24 hrs prior and got great seats behind home plate.

The hype for 2008 built up the team as a contender for the World Series. Obviously it didn't work out that way but the tickets were already sold.

There's still plenty of money around Detroit. Don't go by what you see in the city. Go take a drive around the suburbs like Grosse Pointe, Birmingham and Farmington Hills. The Red Wings have very expensive tickets and they're hard to get.

The Tigers have a payroll of $122mill. It'd be interesting to see what our attendance would be here in Cincinnati if Cast added $50mill to the payroll

Sea Ray
04-28-2010, 12:39 PM
Yeah. The gold standard is no longer 2 million. It's 3 million which every team in our division except PIT has drawn at least once. Then there's a good news bad news scenario. The good news is that the Reds ticket prices are relatively inexpensive compared to other teams. The bad news is that when the Reds struggling to draw 2 million and their closest competitors are drawing 3 million, even if the ticket prices are the same, they aren't making the revenue that their competitors are and it's even less since ticket prices are so low.

You're right, in recent history 3 mill is the goal and in recent history every team in the division has gone to the playoffs except Pitt and Cin. See a pattern there?

gonelong
04-28-2010, 01:40 PM
And staunchly German in their approach to spending on entertainment too. I've never heard a fan base focus on cost more than the Reds fans, a team that has some of the cheapest tickets around, in any sport.

I'll split hairs with you. :)

While they might be saying costs, IMO, they are thinking value. It's not that they simply can't afford a ticket, it's that the perceived return isn't worth the investment.

A lot of people aren't at the ballpark to simply watch the game. They have a rooting interest, and to many it seems, an extension of their self-worth associated with the outcome. They'll pay more for a perceived winner (value) than they will for a perceived loser.

You can see this with UC Football, the Bengals, tOSU football. When you are doing well, people will shell out the dough and the costs is either not a concern anymore, or at the very least, not an obstacle for the masses.

When the Bengals were losing 12 games a season, people literally put extra tickets (couldn't get any buddys to tag along) on their windshield for others to take free of charge, and they'd be there after the game, untouched. Free is not too expensive.

When there is a reason to get to the park, people go. They Reds have been lousy at giving many a reason to get to the park.

In the last two weeks I have attended a TBALL game, a coach pitch game, a kid pitch game, a JR game, a minor league game (Dragons), and caught a bit of a college practice. I have played catch in the back yard with my son and two different neighbors.

I like baseball, I seek it out. I read about it, I play catch, I coach, I watch. I follow their team, I listen to or watch their games, etc. I ought to about as easy a sell for the Reds organization as there is and they can't get me to go more than twice a year.

I think this is where the Reds organization completely misses the boat. They seem to always be focused on the cost of the game instead of the value.

GL

Roy Tucker
04-28-2010, 01:49 PM
I think this is where the Reds organization completely misses the boat. They seem to always be focused on the cost of the game instead of the value.



That's because cutting costs is easy. Building value is hard.

Any pudding-brained middle manager can get out the chain saw and whack staff, budget, product, costs, etc etc. Lord knows we've seen enough of that lately. But building a business (i.e. value) takes real skill and acumen.

REDREAD
04-28-2010, 02:32 PM
The bottom line is the Reds can throw all the two-fers and bogos and discounts they can at you, but only a competitive and winning team will bring in the throngs of fans they need. Cincinnati fans have always been fickle.

I don't think fickle is the right word. Maybe "Fed up" is a fairer term.
Allen and Lindner ticked off a lot of fans. Those fans have to be won back.

As recent as 2000, the Reds pulled in about 2.5 or 2.6 million (I can't remember the exact number). Some of that was from Jr, but some of it was due to the fact that the team almost made the playoffs in 1999, and it appeared that they were finally going to try to win the division.
Even though Neagle was dumped midseason while the team was in 2nd place, they still got a strong attendence year.

Since then, IIRC, we haven't even had a .500 team. Maybe I'm wrong, but the product has been horrible the last 10 years. I'm going to be honest. If someone gave me free seats for my entire family for this weekend, I am not sure I would accept them and drive down to see the game. I have a lot more fun watching minor league ball live. When the team puts a better product on the field, then I'll make the commitment to blow an entire day to drive down to Cincy and watch them. I'm seeing some signs of life in this franchise, but it's going to take more to win me back.

Ltlabner
04-28-2010, 03:58 PM
I think this is where the Reds organization completely misses the boat. They seem to always be focused on the cost of the game instead of the value.

Bingo.

People around here will spend silly amounts of money if they think there's value in the return. Folks will plunk down $25,000 on a dumb motorcycle because for them the entertainment value is worth more than the cash. People are willing to open the wallets for movies, restaurants, golf and the riverboats. So GL is right that it's got little to nothing to do with being cheep.

CTA513
04-28-2010, 04:14 PM
The Reds can have all the promotions they want, but a winning team will always bring in more fans.

WebScorpion
04-30-2010, 12:34 PM
Personally, I think this is simply a product of the recession. People are making the same amount + The cost of living is still going up + Record numbers are unemployed + MLB doesn't lower prices = nationwide lower attendance. Where's the mystery? :p:

westofyou
04-30-2010, 12:36 PM
Personally, I think this is simply a product of the recession. People are making the same amount + The cost of living is still going up + Record numbers are unemployed + MLB doesn't lower prices = nationwide lower attendance. Where's the mystery? :p:

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2066151&postcount=12