Originally Posted by jojo
Lets measure success using your own variables:
It's pretty evident that the DH has increased run scoring and attendance in the AL. A couple of economists looked at this issue in 1990 (Domazlicky and Kerr, 1990 The American Economist 34:62-68) and estimated the impact of adding the DH to translate into 12.8% more runs and 13.4% greater attendance for the AL.
Here's snap shot of "a day in the life" of mlb in 1972 (pre-DH) and last season:
AL NL %
1972 953,212 1,294,144 74%
2012 2,438,828 2,592,218 94%
AL NL %
1972 3.47 3.91 74%
2012 4.54 4.22 108%
The DH has pretty much closed the historic attendance disparity between the two leagues and has opened a scoring disparity in the AL's favor. If the DH was implemented in order to increase run scoring and attendance compared to the NL, then it certainly looks to have worked.
I'd guess that implementing the DH in the NL ultimately would increase revenue.
1972 was the absolute rock bottom for the AL. Prior to the 60's the AL was very similar to the NL in attendance and even beat the NL many years. There was not some historic disparity prior to the 60's...
There were many reasons for problems in the AL in the 60's into the early 70's. The main thing was the choices for expansion and relocation. The big thing was the NL got a New York franchise and the old New York franchise became the team in LA (with huge attendance). The AL got a LA franchise, but it floundered along with their new franchise in Seattle. It also helps the NL grabbed the bay area with the Giants and the A's struggled in Oakland. Another factor is the NL saw more new ballparks which increased attendance for the NL in the short term. The White Sox also had attendance issues as rumors of relocation to Milwaukee swirled around the team (which made sense since the White Sox started playing some of their home games in Milwaukee, another reason White Sox fans just love Bud Selig). Even one of the NL expansion teams that completely fell apart thanks to attendance was actually a major attraction. The Expos were incredibly successful from an attendance standpoint in their early years.
A case could be made that while the DH was a reactionary measure and the AL saw bumps in attendance, it was not the only reason the AL rebounded. The new teams began to take hold, the novelty of the new stadiums in the NL lost their luster while KC and Seattle added new stadiums, and overall stability in baseball returned after a very turbulent time. The return to glory by the Yankees in the mid to late 70's also helped the AL after going through a tough time (for them). Changes do not happen in a vacuum, and the increase in AL attendance cannot simply be attributed to the DH. Especially when you consider the AL and NL attendance figures prior to the 60's were very similar.