As a business, the sport has never done better, setting records last season in gross revenue ($6.1 billion) and total attendance (79.5 million). Projections right now are for attendance to easily soar over the 80 million ticket mark in 2008.
I have a problem with the numbers they throw out to support claims that baseball is doing so well. In order to make an accurate comparison to history, these numbers should be adjusted for inflation and also to take the total U.S. population into consideration.
As inflation persists and the total population continues to increase, it would stand to reason that "records" will continue to be set on a regular basis, regardless of who the commissioner is. These numbers have been on a fairly steady incline for the past 100 years.
Why don't they mention that total attendance was over 70 million in Pud's first year of 1993 and has consistently returned to that level only recently, and this while there are more teams than ever and a larger population than ever?
Oh, and should we mention that the National League began counting "tickets sold" as "attendance" in 1993? Before that, it was only the number of bodies that actually walked through the turnstiles. (When did the AL start doing this? I know they did it before the NL.) What is the no-show rate for the typical game? What is the no-show rate in September for teams that are hopelessly out of it? Furthermore, teams also now count tickets given away to charity in their "attendance" numbers.