10 September 2009

The Greatest Snow on Earth?

Good seats still available.

After allegedly drawing 20,025 Wednesday, most of whom presumably came to see the first place Dodgers, our revenue "sharing" Diamondbacks are in danger of attracting fewer fans in 2009 than at any time in franchise history.

They must average 22616 over their final dozen Chase-fests to equal the 2.058 million low water mark, set by themselves in 2005. It shouldnt be hard. Nine of the twelve games are weekenders, which traditionally draw larger crowds. Two bobblehead giveaways are planned, as well as a post game concert on September 19th, and fireworks following three Friday games.

Milwaukee visits this weekend. The other night, Grace and Sutton (who broadcast for the Brewers for several years) waxed on what a "good baseball town" Milwaukee is, and how fans there come out and support the team. It's true. The Brewers,who are reeling on the field, still average 37k fans per night in baseball's smallest market - and currently outdraw the Dbacks by a whopping 45%.

Sutton and Grace let this contrast linger heavy in the air, to let viewers draw the unspoken conclusion that Phoenix isnt a good baseball town. What they fail to tell you, because it destroys their implication, is that the contrast wasnt always so. Indeed, when evil incarnate Jerry Colangelo ran the organization (1998-2004), the Diamondbacks outdrew the Brewers every single year but one - the year Milwaukee christened Miller Park. Even then, they outdrew us by less than a thousand per game, which Colangelo emphatically reversed over his remaining tenure. The Diamondbacks absolutely crushed the Brewers at the gate over a seven year span, by a factor greater than Milwaukee beats us today.

Phoenix wasnt, and really isnt, a lousy baseball town. Phoenix has lousy owners, peddling a crummy - at times even dehumanizing - entertainment. People here respond to the same basic stimuli they do in New York or Boston - quality play, a baseball first ballpark experience, and prices to suit the market. Red Sox or Met fans crowing it aint so, should take note that Colangelo consistently outdrew their not so humble, drunken asses as well.

Doesnt mean Phoenix is the world's sports mecca by any stretch. But like anyone else, we tire of being condescended to, and being told what we're watching, and being told what we like, and being told we're having fun when we're not. It just wears on people, antagonizes them and eventually pushes them away. Normal, reasonably discerning people, anyway.

Those fans have left the Sedona Red Diamondbacks in droves. That's why attendance is down in Phoenix since 2005. Not because Phoenix has bad fans. Because the new front office oozes contempt for those fans, and the public has returned the favor. Manic clown Sutton, who has now curiously presided over uninspired attendance in two baseball burgs, might want to rethink his circus act, or even "challenge up" his hee hawing ringleader on that.


Caroline said...

We have to be outdoing the Mets this year, too.
Citi Field is the most horrible ballpark I have ever been to in my short life.
And the Mets have finally realized this, so they're slashing the prices of tickets. And still nobody wants to go to anything except Hispanic Heritage Night.

Diamondhacks said...

The Metros outdraw us quite a bit, w/ that horrible new stadium of theirs. What's so bad about it, beside the prices? I heard it was pretty nice, good food, etc.

Caroline said...

Baseball stadium seats are supposed to be uncomfortable, just not this uncomfortable. In some of the left field seats you can't see the left fielder (if that is Gary Sheffield, though, you aren't missing much). It's got a million tributes to the Sith Lords of Los Angeles in it. There are all these ads for Pepsi Max, which Citi Field does not sell anywhere. And the Jumbotron...with the amount of money they used, the Mets could have done so much better with it.
And of course, it's not Shea. Shea had character. Citi is just tacky in that pretending-to-be-classy way that really irks me.

Diamondhacks said...

Interesting how those intent on tearing down the past, for their own short term benefit, are often the most eager to exploit it. The Ebbets Club and Jackie Robinson rotunda sound hilarious.

At least prices are coming down. Maybe they should ring a little bell, if and when a black fan ever comes through the turnstile.

Russell said...

Interesting that Sutton has presided over 2 attendance drops. I'm sure he's not the major reason in any way, but if I was a casual fan I would be really put off by his over promotion of the franchise.

Diamondhacks said...

Sutton's first yr in Milwaukee, attendance dropped by ten thousand. The year after he left, it went up almost seven.

I doubt he was a major factor either, but those are gigantic numbers that I find pretty damn amusing.

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