Here are a few of the more interesting comments on yesterday’s rant on the absence of White Sox fans at the games. Your comments are always welcome.
You and I have had the pleasure over the years of attending several games together. I have always maintained that the Sox are an entertaining (and talented) team to watch. They certainly make the Cubs look like a high school team so it makes you wonder why is there such an attendance difference. I postulate the following:
1. While Cellular Field is certainly a great place to watch a game and as a facility is far superior to Wrigley, I feel (and have told you so) it is one of the most unpleasant places to be at during a game. One is constantly bombarded by the worst PA system in the world, to the extent that between innings (or between batters) a normal conversation cannot be had because of the noise level. By the way, the Bulls game is similar in that regard to I think it is because of the Owner's desire to be constantly selling as the 1st priority and NOT the game.
2. Reinsdorf made a terrible mistake when he left a superstation to go to a relatively small radio station and a limited following TV station. The Cubs in the 50's and 60's were able to build up a nationwide fandom and the SOX could not. Therefore, when visitors come to Chicago, they have a known destination and don't even think about the Sox.
3. Outside of Steve Stone who is (in my opinion) intelligent, brilliant, and entertaining as a color guy, but he is teamed up with one of the worst in Ken Harrelson. Harrelson's time is passed. While he is probably as knowledgeable as any baseball man or long time fan, his delivery is cornball and many times incomprehensible to the casual baseball fan. I still don't know what he means when he says the count is 21 when the scoreboard shows 1 & 1. He is truly a bag of corn. "He gone" should be his future situation with the Sox.
4. On the radio side, Ed Farmer is the next best thing to watching paint dry. I think that the Sox could hit 10 home runs in a row and you would think the man has just witnessed grass growing or an autopsy. No excitement whatever at any stage of the game. His broadcast partner whose name escapes me but I think is Darren Johnson (is that right?) . How did he rate such a key position in the development of fan interest and therefore fans in the Sox?
5. As I said before, the facility is terrific and the women are as attractive as those at the Cubs games, and they all drink very well. I dont' think the drinkers and drunks at Sox Park, excuse me US Cellular Field don't take a backseat to anyone regarding alcohol consumption. I don't drink, the price of beer to me is ridiculous but I do believe that some fans on the North AND South sides come to the games as an excuse to drink and text on their phones. I don't buy the location of the park as a deterrent to attendance. I therefore think that the over riding problem is the lack of a developed fandom.
6. In concluding my rant, it is my opinion that the SOX have a product on the field that has been consistently far superior to the Cubs for the past several years, but they have been poorly marketed AND that includes not developing a Fandom and a real interest in the team. Mr. Reinsdorf should take a serious look in the mirror as to what he has created and what he has allowed to continue for many years. The face of the franchise, I think, is not the team but the broadcasters and those that are in ongoing contact with the fans. Very few fans will go to 10 games a year. Those rabid fans, the seasons ticket holders etc., those that sit around you, will be there anyhow. Therefore the difference must be in developing an interest by the casual fan that causes them to think of the Sox as a play or event they want to see when they decide to go to a game. In that regard they have failed miserably.
7. In concluding, my opinion is that the Sox and their facility are both far superior to the Cubs and Wrigley Field. So why are the crowds so pathetic? It can only be that the interest level and the awareness of the team is so pathetic. I suggest starting out by getting a new, exciting face to the franchise, new broadcasters that relate to today's intelligent fans, tone down the noise at the park, and make it a more welcoming and relaxing place to be in, and less of a constant end to end selling machine.
The ticket prices are too high. Nobody is including that in their discussions. Wrigley is in Partyville, Chicago and a good percentage of the fans there come from out of town as a tourist destination. Sox Park doesn't have anything going on around it and a really expensive ticket still gets you a lousy seat really high up. That's why we don't go. It just costs too much.
I vote for . . .The better-looking chickee babes in their skimpy outfits?
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