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Thread: Have they dug the hole too deep?

  1. #1
    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Have they dug the hole too deep?

    Has the malfeasance in the ownership and FO of the Reds over The Lost Decade (and beyond) irreparably harmed relations with the fans in Cincy?

    Consider these items:

    * With the exception of the BRM years Cincy attendance has always been in the lower ranks of MLB. It's a myth that Cincy is a great "baseball town".

    * Baseball as the "national pastime" is no longer true. Entertainment options for kids today are legion. Baseball just isn't a young hip sport (at least not in Cincy). Reds marketing efforts certainly don't encourage the notion that baseball isn't "an old man's sport".

    * Any child born in 1985 or after has no idea the Reds are relevant. That's assuming that most 5 years olds don't clearly remember a WS let alone understand it's importance. Sure, there were a couple of interesting years (1999) but for the most part anyone collage-aged or younger haven't a clue that the Reds can play baseball past October 1st.

    * Sustained winning will bring back the fans. But can the Reds build a teams that will produce sustained wins in today's economic environment (reduced revenues) and the MLB structure?

    Is the reality that the Reds have maneuvered themselves into a position from which it will be very difficult, if not impossible to recover? (fans simply moved on to other interests...)

    Is it a death spiral that will be self-perpetuating? (fans stay away, sponsorship goes down, corporate spending decreases....)

    The Reds need to build a winner to bring back the fans, but at this point can they build a team that wins enough to bring back disaffected fans?
    Last edited by Ltlabner; 11-19-2009 at 05:23 PM.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

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  3. #2
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Have they dug the hole too deep?

    Bad News: Reds dropped 300K in attanedance from last year, it was the lowest attendance for the team since 1986.

    Good News: The Reds have about 4 Million bucks in contracts for 2012, so they haven't cut off their nose to spite their face yet, they could have some flexibility if they play their cards correctly and don't dole out a bunch of jack to guys who are still in the lower end of the pay scale.

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    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Have they dug the hole too deep?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post
    The Reds need to build a winner to bring back the fans, but at this point can they build a team that wins enough to bring back disaffected fans?
    Of course they can....it isn't impossible.

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    High five! nate's Avatar
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    Re: Have they dug the hole too deep?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post
    Has the malfeasance in the ownership and FO of the Reds over The Lost Decade (and beyond) irreparably harmed relations with the fans in Cincy?

    Consider these items:
    * With the exception of the BRM years Cincy attendance has always been in the lower ranks of MLB. It's a myth that Cincy is a great "baseball town".
    * Baseball as the "national pastime" is no longer true. Entertainment options for kids today are legion. Baseball just isn't a young hip sport (at least not in Cincy). Reds marketing efforts certainly don't encourage the notion that baseball isn't "an old man's sport".
    * Any child born in 1985 or after has no idea the Reds are relevant. That's assuming that most 5 years olds don't clearly remember a WS let alone understand it's importance. Sure, there were a couple of interesting years (1999) but for the most part anyone collage-aged or younger haven't a clue that the Reds can play baseball past October 1st.
    * Sustained winning will bring back the fans. But can the Reds build a teams that will produce sustained wins in today's economic environment (reduced revenues) and the MLB structure?
    Is the reality that the Reds have maneuvered themselves into a position from which it will be very difficult, if not impossible to recover? (fans simply moved on to other interests...)

    Is it a death spiral that will be self-perpetuating? (fans stay away, sponsorship goes down, corporate spending decreases....)

    The Reds need to build a winner to bring back the fans, but at this point can they build a team that wins enough to bring back disaffected fans?
    Do you mean to tell me A&E Doors and Window sponsorship can't help the Reds compete with Jay-Z, the new Call of Duty and Twilight: New Moon?

    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Have they dug the hole too deep?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post

    * With the exception of the BRM years Cincy attendance has always been in the lower ranks of MLB.
    That is incorrect.
    Here is a graph of the Reds rank in MLB Attendance from 1980-2008

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    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: Have they dug the hole too deep?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    That is incorrect.
    Here is a graph of the Reds rank in MLB Attendance from 1980-2008
    So since 1996, the last 12 years, we've been in the bottom ranks.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

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    Re: Have they dug the hole too deep?

    The hole isn't too deep. Win games, and people will come back, simple as that. People don't support losing franchises, with football being the exception. That is mostly like because any NFL team only plays 8 home games a year.

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Have they dug the hole too deep?

    From 1900-1961 the National league had 8 teams, if the attendance pie was divided in 8ths each club would be expected to draw 12.5% of the leagues attendance. Using this as the base we can find that the Reds achieved 12.5% or better in attendance 20 times in the 61 season before the first expansion, 5 of these occurred prior to World War One, with the last year in that particular set occurring in 1912 when Crosley Field opened as Redland Field.

    In the 24 seasons between the 1969 expansion and the 1993 expansion the Reds drew better than average in 17 seasons. That’s the foundation for the reality base that current Reds fans seem to operate under.

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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Have they dug the hole too deep?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post
    Has the malfeasance in the ownership and FO of the Reds over The Lost Decade (and beyond) irreparably harmed relations with the fans in Cincy?
    If any franchise could have irreparably harmed relations with the fans in Cincy, it would have been the post PB and pre-Marvin Bengals years. Yet, as soon as it was apparent that the franchise was headed in the right direction, the fans returned in droves.
    Consider these items:
    * With the exception of the BRM years Cincy attendance has always been in the lower ranks of MLB. It's a myth that Cincy is a great "baseball town".
    Ok, so is being a "great baseball town" a requirement for your thesis? Of course not. Cincy has proven itself to be a major league town. They simply have had a period of poor leadership that has created a down cycle. Show improvement and the fans will increase their committment.
    * Baseball as the "national pastime" is no longer true. Entertainment options for kids today are legion. Baseball just isn't a young hip sport (at least not in Cincy). Reds marketing efforts certainly don't encourage the notion that baseball isn't "an old man's sport".
    Nearly every major league game is televised from Opening Day through the World Series. Many stadiums are regularly near capacity. There is enough money to pay average ballplayers $5M a year. Sounds like a "national pastime" to me.

    As for kids, the youth leagues in my area are thriving and soccer is running its course as a faddish sport. I sure do not get the impression when I attend a Reds ballgame that they are targeting "old men." I also cannot think of one example, other than maybe fantasy camp ads, where I feel like I'm the target market. I really have no idea what you mean by the comment about Reds marketing. Examples?
    * Any child born in 1985 or after has no idea the Reds are relevant. That's assuming that most 5 years olds don't clearly remember a WS let alone understand it's importance. Sure, there were a couple of interesting years (1999) but for the most part anyone collage-aged or younger haven't a clue that the Reds can play baseball past October 1st.
    Three of my four sons love baseball. Two are Reds fans, one is a big Reds fan, and the other is an Indians fan. The Reds are relevant to them. They are on TV every night, they have adopted their favorite players, they follow the rest of the league, and they believe that the Reds will get to the playoffs someday just like the other teams in the league. I think everyone understands the possibility that the Reds can contend just like anyone else, whatever their age. Sure, winning will bring in more fans, but I see a lot more young folks and their families at games than old codgers. The old codgers are too busy living in the past of the BRM and typing on RZ!
    * Sustained winning will bring back the fans. But can the Reds build a teams that will produce sustained wins in today's economic environment (reduced revenues) and the MLB structure?
    Yes. But they will have to be more innovative than they have shown in the past 15 years.
    Is the reality that the Reds have maneuvered themselves into a position from which it will be very difficult, if not impossible to recover? (fans simply moved on to other interests...)

    Is it a death spiral that will be self-perpetuating? (fans stay away, sponsorship goes down, corporate spending decreases....)

    The Reds need to build a winner to bring back the fans, but at this point can they build a team that wins enough to bring back disaffected fans?
    I think that would have happened by now if it was going to.

  11. #10
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Have they dug the hole too deep?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post
    So since 1996, the last 12 years, we've been in the bottom ranks.
    Yeah, just about. Of course there hasn't been a lot to write home about since then (1999/2000 were good, but we have had 2 winning seasons since 1996 ended).

  12. #11
    Member Ron Madden's Avatar
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    Re: Have they dug the hole too deep?

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor View Post
    Ok, so is being a "great baseball town" a requirement for your thesis? Of course not. Cincy has proven itself to be a major league town. They simply have had a period of poor leadership that has created a down cycle. Show improvement and the fans will increase their committment.
    Yet everytime a member of RedsZone questions that poor leadership you are there to defend that leadership?

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    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: Have they dug the hole too deep?

    Quote Originally Posted by nate View Post
    Do you mean to tell me A&E Doors and Window sponsorship can't help the Reds compete with Jay-Z, the new Call of Duty and Twilight: New Moon?

    Well...it would be a close race. Toss in some JTM commercials and Jay-Z would be in trouble.

    To answer my own question, on a macro sense, baseball is merely entertainment. If they build an entertaining team (i.e. one that wins consistently), price it correctly and market it at a skill level above 5th grade, the fans will come back.

    In a micro sense, the Reds have dug themselves in pretty deep. It's not an insurmountable task, but they'd really started to paint themselves into a corner. Fans are apathetic, younger kids (on average) aren't as involved in baseball as they might have been in "the golden years", disposable income is harder to find, corporate involvement is getting smaller....these factors all play into the original question.

    They'd have to continue to lose at a Pitsburgian rate to actually jeopardize the fanbase long-term, so no, the hole isn't "too deep". But they keep digging downward IMO and that doesn't appear to be changing anytime soon.
    Last edited by Ltlabner; 11-20-2009 at 06:53 AM.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

  14. #13
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Have they dug the hole too deep?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post
    To answer my own question, on a macro sense, baseball is merely entertainment. If they build an entertaining team (i.e. one that wins consistently), price it correctly and market it at a skill level above 5th grade, the fans will come back.
    Cleveland had a very long sell out streak because of that entertainment value. They had a good club to go along, but it became the thing to do in Cleveland during the mid to late 90's. Even when the Indians got good again the fans didn't turn up at the same rate.

    My wife loves going to Reds games. She hates watching them on TV. My company has 4 season tickets about 15 rows up on the 3rd base side. Customers and employees love going to the games. If they had to pay face value for those tickets I doubt they would go. But when given the opportunity to go for cheap they jump all over it. If you have a MLB team, sans the Marlins, they will always draw people for the entertainment value as well as watching a baseball game on a summer night. You can't beat going to the ball park to watch a MLB team play on a nice night.

    FWIW I think the Castellini organization recognizes that they need to create a "fun" environment for you casual baseball fan. Its a nice improvement from the Linder run organization.

    In a micro sense, the Reds have dug themselves in pretty deep. It's not an insurmountable task, but they'd really started to paint themselves into a corner. Fans are apathetic, younger kids (on average) aren't as involved in baseball as they might have been in "the golden years", disposable income is harder to find, corporate involvement is getting smaller....these factors all play into the original question.

    They'd have to continue to lose at a Pitsburgian rate to actually jeopardize the fanbase long-term, so no, the hole isn't "too deep". But they keep digging downward IMO and that doesn't appear to be changing anytime soon.
    I think baseball is a dwindling sport all over. Kids just don't play baseball at the rate I did 15 years ago. Basketball has take a large chunk of not only inter city kids, but also kids in the burbs. I never saw kids playing pickup baseball in Columbus when I was at OSU and I have family in Canton and baseball is almost like a foreign language up there. I would imagine that there are more soccer players than there are baseball players growing up now.

    I heard Colin Cowherd on the radio talking about how baseball was for your middle aged man. I think it is a problem that baseball has largely ignored over the past decade. They like to show the progress their inner city baseball development program has made but they ignore a larger portion of their base who is flocking away from baseball in general. I still think little league baseball is fairly strong in the Cincy area.

    Winning helps. I have little doubt that if the Reds put together a good season they will create an atmosphere like that of the Brewers (Having the banks developed will also help the Reds.) A decade of lackluster baseball hurts the fan base, and I can only imagine how much worse that would have been had Jr. not been on the team. For your mid market clubs the only thing they can do to help attendance is put a winning team on the field. They also will need help from MLB and Selig, but that just isn't going to happen.

    To answer your question, the Reds have dug themselves a hole to some extent, but they haven't been helped out by the the people who run MLB.

  15. #14
    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: Have they dug the hole too deep?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post
    So since 1996, the last 12 years, we've been in the bottom ranks.
    Since that's the case, it appears that the strike of 1995 did more damage to fans' willingness to attend games than the Reds FO.

    There's no way to put that genie back in the bottle.
    /r/reds

  16. #15
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Have they dug the hole too deep?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unassisted View Post
    Since that's the case, it appears that the strike of 1995 did more damage to fans' willingness to attend games than the Reds FO.

    There's no way to put that genie back in the bottle.
    Of course it was actually the lock out of 1994. The players were going to strike, but the owners beat them to the punch and said "don't bother coming in". Unfortunately I think you are right. I still hear people talk about the "strike" for a reason why they won't go. My dad has been to 1 game since then, and he only went because it was Opening Day in $100 seats that he got for free. We used to go to 5-10 a year before then.


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