It's an issue covered at length in this blog, but Bob Nightengale had some grafs worth reading:
Really? Carl Crawford, of all people, is surprised?
Nightengale chalks the Rays' and A's attendance issues up to stadiums and locations, while chalking the Indians' issues up to the economy. But like in Tampa Bay, Cleveland's TV ratings are thriving:
The fans are watching and listening, but only from their living rooms, and not making the trek from the suburbs to downtown. They drew just 9,794 fans for a key game against the Kansas City Royals last week, a record low for a September or October game since the opening of their new ballpark in 1994.While Nightengale was probably writing the story, Rays' pitcher David Price was tweeting:
Certainly the players notice, but largely remain mum. You can complain all you want, but the fans don't want to hear millionaire ballplayers telling families how they should spend their disposable income.
There's a positive to everything (at least that's the way I view things)...no trafficBut I digress.
— David Price (@DAVIDprice14) September 18, 2013
Many sports fans and owners alike look at half-empty stadiums as "depressing," or "puzzling." But many also look at them as business opportunities. After all, you don't become one of Forbes' 400 richest billionares by not asking for public subsidies!
A closing thought from Buster Posey:
It's always a bad idea for players/media to criticize fans for not going to games. It's the fans' money;they can spend it the way they want.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) September 18, 2013