Monthly Archives: April 2023

We Are Here

Baseball, it seems some believe, is one of the very few businesses in the world where a failure to sell the product is the fault of the consumer. National outlets publish pieces on a regular basis that assail fan support in Oakland and Tampa Bay. 

“Look at all those empty seats!”

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The logic that follows is something akin to “That market just doesn’t care about professional sports.” As if the Tampa Bay Rays novel idea of splitting the season between two cities will resolve the team’s inability to capitalize on a market with more than three million people by giving them two markets with three million people each to blame for their lack of market penetration. 

To their credit, MLB ownership groups far and wide called this canard for what it was. The Tampa Bay Rays are the Tampa Bay Rays for the time being. No Montreal half season experiment for you, Mr. Sternberg. A similar debate, though, is playing out in Oakland and the same logic reigns supreme.

“People in Oakland don’t care about professional sports. If they did, they would be in the stands every night.”

This is a lazy way of looking at things. For example, if a Hollywood studio releases a big budget film that critics love, but audiences don’t show up… How many articles are written that blame the movie going public?

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