Attendance and interest in MLB keeps going down and baseball keeps running headlong to its destruction.  The game is not even affordable to other than the most wealthy with all of the high dollar training and "gurus", showcase after showcase, camp after camp, tournament after tournament.  One recent article noted how few youths can actually afford to play sports anymore.  Travel leagues destroyed Little League and made children's baseball into a money, time and life sucking monster demanding parents drag the other kids on hours long trips to watch one kid all weekend while laying out thousands and thousands of dollars on travel, lodging, food, entertainment and lesson after lesson.

The "everyman" aspect of the game has been removed.   The grittiness of the game has gone away and been replaced with a spectacle. Baseball men are replaced by number crunching nerds and statistics that call for 5 man shifts to overload one side of the field.   And, baseball thinks it should further dehumanize the game with auto-umps?  A game that has sustained itself for 100 years can't get out of its own destructive path.

https://www.usatoday.com/story...ern-game/2047025001/

I am that wretch.

Original Post

Interersting article.  Thanks for sharing.

Baseball will be fine.   If there is one takeaway from the Ken Burns Baseball series it is that baseball endures just about anything.  This era of baseball is no different.

So, I tend to compartmentalize these topics not generalize.   There is the fan in me who loves to watch his Red Sox and Nationals plus any college game you can throw at me.  Which leads me to the business side of baseball.  Baseball content has many, many delivery methods.  I voluntarily pay for them through MLB.TV as well as fees to MASN.   There is an entire channel dedicated to MLB.   If the economics are out of whack then there will be an adjustment and people can decide whether or not they want to watch professional baseball.  I've gone baseball seasons without MLB baseball and I can do it again just as many of you have as well.   As for the style of  today's professional baseball, I try not to get too wrapped up in that because I know it will change over time.   A team like the Yankees is offensively one dimensional.   Yes they are going to clobber some teams in the regular season.  But once you get to the playoffs with dominant swing and miss pitching it becomes a different game all together.  Bunting, contact slash hitters and speed will come back in vogue.  Baseball is very Darwinian.

As for MLB front offices this is the free economy at work.   Everybody is trying to get an edge, but at the end of the day there is talent, talent evaluators and people that make financial decisions about that talent.   Sounds pretty straight forward to me.   The labor pool of baseball talent is pretty deep, so every front office is trying to find that diamond in rough before the other guy.   It seems to me that one MLB front office can separate itself from other MLB front offices through better information, quicker decisions, and intellectual horsepower.    Again, pretty straightforward.   So, hire a guy at the top who knows what he is doing, and let his team make decisions since they are close to the data.   Sounds like any modern successful business.

Travel baseball organizations are going to go the way of travel basketball organizations.   I've seen this over the last 15 years, and it is not going to stop.  College coaches have to rely on field people to be their eyes, ears,  and screening evaluators because they can't be everywhere.   Enter the travel organization that has a relationship with the college coach.  Now multiple that times 10 or 20 or 30.  There have been feeder organizations in the Southeast for years that have put their players in front of college coaches.   I've seen it in SC, NC and VA.  If it hasn't happened in your neck of the woods, it is coming.   So, what does this mean?  It means you are either part of one of these travel organizations or you take your chances on your own.   You can swim with the tide or against the tide.

As always, JMO.

Many good points.  

The stats do tend to show a lessened interest in MLB.  And while this is surely a limited data perspective, it does seem that the more the game changes, the less people seem interested.   I also wonder how much video games have played into the matter.   It is now a badge of honor to be a "gamer."  When I was a kid, the boy down the street who sat inside all day and played his Atari was known as a sissy.   Today, they are getting college scholarships and NCAA recognition.  C'est la vie, I guess.

I can't believe you pay for MLB network LOL.  I refuse to pay for cable, which was supposed to get me things like baseball games, only to be told, "If you want to watch baseball, that will cost you more."

Most humans don't like change. It seems to be part of our DNA. IMO, societal changes (mostly due to tech) are having a much bigger impact on baseball attendance and interest than the shift or high K rates. That device in our hands is changing everything. The NFL and even the NBA are also feeling it. I'm betting on all of them to adapt and survive.

https://twitter.com/jjcoop36/s...486347937669122?s=12

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Teaching Elder posted:

 

I can't believe you pay for MLB network LOL.  I refuse to pay for cable, which was supposed to get me things like baseball games, only to be told, "If you want to watch baseball, that will cost you more."

TE - We cut the cord a couple years ago when it made financial sense.   We tried all kinds of streaming services (Sling, DirectTV Now, YouTube TV, etc...)  but they kept jacking up the prices and our standalone internet service was getting more expensive.

Well a funny thing happened as we were doing this....we looked at the 2 year contract specials being offered by the two cable companies in our area and it was vastly less expensive for them to provide internet and required household channels (Tennis Channel and HGTV) than the streaming services + internet.  So, a couple months ago we went back.   I suspect we're not alone.

USA Today has of history of 'baseball is dying' articles.  This one is nothing more than the equivalent of an old man yelling at kids to get off his lawn.  The MLB is thriving and is better than it has ever been.  Modern MLB players are far superior to those in the past.  MLB parks are far superior to those in the past.  The MLB is putting a quality product out through numerous mediums and languages.  And there are millions world wide who are still fans and ballpark attendance is not the only measure of how MLB is doing.

And if a robo-ump does a better job why would we not want to use it? 

Believing baseball has never been in better shape is head in the sand. Viewership is in decline. Attendance is in decline. Less kids are playing baseball. It means less fans in the future. 

I’m starting to find MLB unwatchable. Last year the Sox won 108 games and the World Series. Most of the time I only had the game on as background noise.

The ball isn’t being hit a third of the time. I’m just not impressed with all the pitchers with 1+/1 strikeout to inning ratios. Or all the middle infielders who will hit 20+ homers. Or all the hitters getting fooled, on their front foot, swinging one handed hitting backhanded  homers. Between the current launch angle phenomenon and a baseball that flies out of the park too easily MLB ball isn’t all that interesting. 

I would rather watch a high school or college game. 

I'd much rather watch a College Super Regional or World Series than MLB, but unfortunately those two events only last a month.  MLB is what it is.  The biggest problem I see is that there are just too many guys that are hitters....not batters.  By that I mean, they are all after the almighty HR.   Watch Moneyball....then watch it again.  How many guys do you know now that would get picked up because "they get on base".  There just aren't that many.  Proof is the fact that guys just absolutely WON'T use any means necessary to beat the stupid shift.  I mean...it's not hard.  Heck, a guy got a double just by putting a bunt down the 3B line.   Every time I see a guy hit a ground ball to the second baseman playing in shallow right because of the shift....I just laugh.  I'm not sure how managers don't just go ballistic when a guy refuses (or can't) go the other way to beat a shift....he'll just continue to hit into it as his average drops and drops.  

Northland said, "MLB is thriving and is better than it has ever been."

There's really no arguing that the MLB is thriving right now. Revenues are at an all-time high. There are more ways to watch games than ever. TV contracts are still crazy money. The ballparks are better than ever. The sheer number of game makes MLB by far the highest total attendance of any sport/league. 

Whether or not the MLB is better than ever is more subjective. The pitchers, hitters, and fielders are all more skilled than ever, and the players are more athletic than ever. Trust me, as a Phillies fan I don't enjoy watcher my team go hitless for 5-6 innings once a week. But overall, I still love the game. I probably watch 1-2 MLB games per week and attend 5-10 per year.

The future is another story. Baseball has some real challenges, but it still has a great foundation.

Northland posted:

USA Today has of history of 'baseball is dying' articles.  This one is nothing more than the equivalent of an old man yelling at kids to get off his lawn.  The MLB is thriving and is better than it has ever been.  Modern MLB players are far superior to those in the past.  MLB parks are far superior to those in the past.  The MLB is putting a quality product out through numerous mediums and languages.  And there are millions world wide who are still fans and ballpark attendance is not the only measure of how MLB is doing.

And if a robo-ump does a better job why would we not want to use it? 

There are definitely different and viable perspectives from each opposite end on this.  I certainly lean with RJM that the net net is not good for baseball going forward.  Declining kid participation, declining access to middle class and below, the over-compensation to make more HR's happen at the MLB level, excess specialization and analytics that even most of the professional players don't currently understand, a traditionally slower moving game in a present world that demands everything at once, trying to create in-game "experiences" that will have more appeal to the younger crowd but, in turn, just make it like any other form of entertainment, etc. are not working in the favor of the game.  Too many fixes are temporary patches.  I often wonder if the better course would be to celebrate and promote the deep tradition and purity of the game instead of chasing new technology, etc.  I suspect the best direction is to keep the game between the lines pure and traditional and the rest of the experience can be geared toward the modern world. 

I do have a question for you though, Northland... (this also came up in another thread here recently...)  you said ...

"And if a robo-ump does a better job why would we not want to use it?".  

So, then, if robo-players would do a better job too, would you also want to use them?

While some of the young talent in the MLB does remind me of Drago from Rocky IV, I would not want robo players.  Ha! 

Robo-ump to me is the future.  Much like instant replay, there will be some bumps along the road of progress.   Maybe it will allow catchers to play better defense instead of worrying about pitch framing.

Don’t forget robo-fans. Then behavior in the stands would be exemplary and there wouldn’t be any more ignorant baseball observations. Somehow I’m thinking the beer companies wouldn’t be for this.

How about robo-announcers? Imagine there would be no Joe Buck. It’s easy if you try. No more hell in listening ...

........................

If the attendance and viewership numbers continue to decline the next tv contract won’t be as lucrative.

RJM posted:

Believing baseball has never been in better shape is head in the sand. Viewership is in decline. Attendance is in decline. Less kids are playing baseball. It means less fans in the future. 

I’m starting to find MLB unwatchable. Last year the Sox won 108 games and the World Series. Most of the time I only had the game on as background noise.

The ball isn’t being hit a third of the time. I’m just not impressed with all the pitchers with 1+/1 strikeout to inning ratios. Or all the middle infielders who will hit 20+ homers. Or all the hitters getting fooled, on their front foot, swinging one handed hitting backhanded  homers. Between the current launch angle phenomenon and a baseball that flies out of the park too easily MLB ball isn’t all that interesting. 

I would rather watch a high school or college game. 

I'm in this pool. I think the lack of action (obscene K rates and mile high popouts) are what is killing it for me. I could watch college and HS games all day, especially when I am familiar with players. 

That being said - is attendance really a problem? I haven't taken look at the numbers but I have been to three different stadiums this year (all were day games). Looking around I see nobody in the stands and entire sections empty. Then the attendance gets announced at 38k, 46k, and 31k. Nobody is in the stands because of everything else going on at the stadium. Food, games, restaurants, casinos even. Either I caught three games with high attendance or the PA announcer and MLB reported an inaccurate attendance. When I watched highlights the place was empty. When I sat in traffic and waited at the security checkpoint it seemed mobbed. I think it's embarrassing when a HR gets clobbered and the entire section is empty. But there are apparently 28k people at the game. I really can't tell. 

This is just my opinion, because I see it at my local MLB park, but a lot of the at-the-ballpark experience is geared away from actually viewing the game and more toward separating fans money from their wallets. Restaurants and bars are now dominant features at the new parks, and with beers averaging $12-15 a pop, it’s the revenue stream that is getting the attention. Those empty sections don’t require vendors to traverse the aisles to sell beers and nuts. They are all in the themed restaurant now...watching the game on TVs

I think it is symbolic to going to TopGolf.  MLB has become TopGolf of major sports.  You go and it really has very little to do with golf or golfers.  The last several times I have gone I was surrounded by families that didn't know how to hold, much less swing, a golf club.  They were there for a good time and to have a few laughs and drinks.  The worst one was when we had a bridal party beside us.  These girls were in high heels and had no clue but TopGolf was happy because they had to spend $1,000 on cute little drinks.  I bet they did not hit 100 golf balls in the four hours they were there but they spent a lot of money and seemed to have a great time.  MLB as a whole has become about atmosphere and not baseball at the games.  The owners really don't care what the fans do at a game as long as they are coming and spending money.  My son went to a Braves game a few weeks ago on a Friday night.  He bought nose bleed seats and slowly moved down.  By the end he was sitting right behind dugout.  He said it was packed at the first pitch then slowly the crowd left the seats.  They didn't leave the stadium just the seats.  They were still spending money so MLB loved it.  He got a great seat so he loved it. 

I agree with Pitchingfan. The last few times I’ve gone to a game I asked my friend how many people attending he thought we legit fans. How many could name the starting lineup and pitching rotation. We figured easily less than half. The number of  ignorant, uninformed comments and questions is mind boggling. The more expensive the seat typically the less informed the fan.

I usually go at least once a month. I haven’t been this year. The Red Sox have t done a thing all year to even make me pay attention on tv. But the other day I said we should go to a game just to go. But we observe and analyze the game. 

PitchingFan posted:

I think it is symbolic to going to TopGolf.  MLB has become TopGolf of major sports.  You go and it really has very little to do with golf or golfers.  The last several times I have gone I was surrounded by families that didn't know how to hold, much less swing, a golf club.  They were there for a good time and to have a few laughs and drinks.  The worst one was when we had a bridal party beside us.  These girls were in high heels and had no clue but TopGolf was happy because they had to spend $1,000 on cute little drinks.  I bet they did not hit 100 golf balls in the four hours they were there but they spent a lot of money and seemed to have a great time.  MLB as a whole has become about atmosphere and not baseball at the games.  The owners really don't care what the fans do at a game as long as they are coming and spending money.  My son went to a Braves game a few weeks ago on a Friday night.  He bought nose bleed seats and slowly moved down.  By the end he was sitting right behind dugout.  He said it was packed at the first pitch then slowly the crowd left the seats.  They didn't leave the stadium just the seats.  They were still spending money so MLB loved it.  He got a great seat so he loved it. 

This looks to be by design but only time will tell how it works out.

https://www.usatoday.com/story...s-future/1941614001/

"The A’s are aiming for distinct in their desired home, hiring a Danish firm to design a stadium that would include a rooftop park that encircles the stadium. A panoramic view of the bay – not visible from stadium seats for myriad reasons – would be the catnip to encourage fans to circulate throughout the game.

For now, they’re using antiquated Oakland Coliseum as a petri dish for that concept, selling monthly passes to “The Treehouse,” an area above left field with 1,500 seats and nearly as many libation options. The idea is to roam during the ballpark and enjoy “multiple experiences,” Kaval says, during each game."

2019Dad posted:

Youth baseball participation up:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/i...-sports-11550613795?

 

At the high school level, baseball participation is also up:

https://www.statista.com/stati...igh-school-baseball/

The discussion is about MLB. These numbers have absolutely nothing to do with MLB. If they did attendance and viewership would be increasing, not in decline. 

RJM posted:

I agree with Pitchingfan. The last few times I’ve gone to a game I asked my friend how many people attending he thought we legit fans. How many could name the starting lineup and pitching rotation. We figured easily less than half. The number of  ignorant, uninformed comments and questions is mind boggling. The more expensive the seat typically the less informed the fan.

I don't see your problem with this.  I knew nothing about baseball when my sons were young.  We went to MLB games as a family, because we had a son who really wanted to go, and it was a pleasant family experience for everyone.  The boys didn't all love it in the same way at every age, the sno-cones and cotton candy, and the game area, were a big part of it at various ages.  Now I have three almost-adults, we still go to games as a family outing; I know more about baseball now, the beer is noticeably better now, too.  Are you saying I should not have gone when I wasn't a "legit fan"?  How would I have raised 3 fans, then?

Everybody is making more money these days.  The teams especially with TV deals, the MLB players, the travel ball industry, the college coaches, the Little League World Series/ESPN... The business of Baseball is booming

Anyone who claims that the game is broken isn't following the money...

RJM posted:
2019Dad posted:

Youth baseball participation up:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/i...-sports-11550613795?

 

At the high school level, baseball participation is also up:

https://www.statista.com/stati...igh-school-baseball/

The discussion is about MLB. These numbers have absolutely nothing to do with MLB. If they did attendance and viewership would be increasing, not in decline. 

Well I thought it was relevant because in the thread above were the following comments:

  • "Less kids are playing baseball. It means less fans in the future." 
  • "Declining kid participation"
  • "Travel leagues destroyed Little League and made children's baseball into a money, time and life sucking monster"

MLB has had declines in attendance the last few years (it was 4% last year). Of course, average ticket prices are up over 15% in the last five years: https://www.statista.com/stati...-the-mlb-since-2006/ Strange that there is less demand at a higher price, right?

2019Dad posted:
RJM posted:
2019Dad posted:

Youth baseball participation up:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/i...-sports-11550613795?

 

At the high school level, baseball participation is also up:

https://www.statista.com/stati...igh-school-baseball/

The discussion is about MLB. These numbers have absolutely nothing to do with MLB. If they did attendance and viewership would be increasing, not in decline. 

Well I thought it was relevant because in the thread above were the following comments:

  • "Less kids are playing baseball. It means less fans in the future." 
  • "Declining kid participation"
  • "Travel leagues destroyed Little League and made children's baseball into a money, time and life sucking monster"

MLB has had declines in attendance the last few years (it was 4% last year). Of course, average ticket prices are up over 15% in the last five years: https://www.statista.com/stati...-the-mlb-since-2006/ Strange that there is less demand at a higher price, right?

Higher ticket prices should increase tv viewership if interest in MLB isn’t diminishing. Tv viewership is also down. This issue, and even the conversation has nothing to do with youth baseball. The quality of MLB is down and getting more unwatchable by the year. A game that has been called boring by average sports fans for years is now getting boring to many baseball purists. Too many games are a bunch of strikeouts while waiting for a home run to happen. Home runs are exciting. But it’s boring if nothing happens for innings between home runs. 

Rob Deer was just ahead of his time. He would fit right in to today’s game. 

https://www.baseball-reference...ers/d/deerro01.shtml

fenwaysouth posted:
Teaching Elder posted:

 

I can't believe you pay for MLB network LOL.  I refuse to pay for cable, which was supposed to get me things like baseball games, only to be told, "If you want to watch baseball, that will cost you more."

TE - We cut the cord a couple years ago when it made financial sense.   We tried all kinds of streaming services (Sling, DirectTV Now, YouTube TV, etc...)  but they kept jacking up the prices and our standalone internet service was getting more expensive.

Well a funny thing happened as we were doing this....we looked at the 2 year contract specials being offered by the two cable companies in our area and it was vastly less expensive for them to provide internet and required household channels (Tennis Channel and HGTV) than the streaming services + internet.  So, a couple months ago we went back.   I suspect we're not alone.

Just did the same.

fenwaysouth posted:
Teaching Elder posted:

 

I can't believe you pay for MLB network LOL.  I refuse to pay for cable, which was supposed to get me things like baseball games, only to be told, "If you want to watch baseball, that will cost you more."

TE - We cut the cord a couple years ago when it made financial sense.   We tried all kinds of streaming services (Sling, DirectTV Now, YouTube TV, etc...)  but they kept jacking up the prices and our standalone internet service was getting more expensive.

Well a funny thing happened as we were doing this....we looked at the 2 year contract specials being offered by the two cable companies in our area and it was vastly less expensive for them to provide internet and required household channels (Tennis Channel and HGTV) than the streaming services + internet.  So, a couple months ago we went back.   I suspect we're not alone.

Cord cutting is increasing. Cable subscriptions are in decline. Cord cutting is definitely less expensive. The double play offer in my area is advertised at $79. However, once they add on all their fees for doing nothing it’s $146. After two years it’s $168. If I want Showtime for a month there’s a monthly fee, an install fee for doing nothing and a deinstall fee for doing nothing. 

I have 100 Mbps internet service for $65 and You Tube TV for $50. When Billions ends I pay for one month of Showtime without any on/off fees. I watch Berlin Station and Deep State on Epix whenever one of their three or four times a year free trail weeks are available. Otherwise it would be $6 for one month.

Other than sports there are only four shows (two are 10 episode seasons) on tv/cable. Six short season shows I watch are on NetFlix. The other two are on Epix. I had NetFlix when I had cable. So I don’t see it as an extra cost.

When I had cable I had fifteen stations I watched and 150 I didn’t. Now I have the same 15 stations and only 55 I don’t watch. 

The best part of You Tube TV versus cable is when I have a problem. If cable can’t fix it over the phone after they blame your tv, any of your equipment attached to their equipment and you they come to your house next week. If a streaming app has a problem you uninstall it and reinstall it. I’ve had three problems in three years with steaming tv. Cable was a monthly issue with three or four on site visits per year.

Northland posted:

USA Today has of history of 'baseball is dying' articles.  This one is nothing more than the equivalent of an old man yelling at kids to get off his lawn.  The MLB is thriving and is better than it has ever been.  Modern MLB players are far superior to those in the past.  MLB parks are far superior to those in the past.  The MLB is putting a quality product out through numerous mediums and languages.  And there are millions world wide who are still fans and ballpark attendance is not the only measure of how MLB is doing.

And if a robo-ump does a better job why would we not want to use it? 

Both tv ratings and ballpark attendance are down a lot  compared to 20 years ago.

I also agree that mlb is still a great product but they are mostly doing well financially because they are being able to squeeze more money out of their shrinking and aging audience. 

I don't think that this has to do with the style or quality of play which I think is great but this development imo is worrysome at least to a degree.

Imo mlb will have a tough time when TV is dead and completely replaced by streaming because the young people don't like to pay as much for streaming as the old folks do for cable. This problem means no more multi billion dollar cable deals.

Mlb definitely isn't dying but they definitely need find ways to attract more young people, they can't rely too much on the still good financial numbers because the demographics aren't so favorable. 

Almost on cue, article on ESPN today on youth baseball participation:

 https://www.espn.com/mlb/story...l-participation-rise

"The increase in baseball participation is real, there's no question about it, and it's substantial. It's statistically significant without a doubt," said Tom Cove, president and CEO of the SFIA."

Yes, it doesn't immediately solve MLB attendance declines from the last few years, but rising youth participation is a good thing for the future.

MLB is constantly analyzing its economics. It employs an entire department just to maximize profits. Lots of variables are identified, analyzed, and weighed. The guys who work there are dedicated baseball fanatics (which is why pay can be less yet quality remain unsurpassed) and the top product of their schools. That's one reason every year brings more revenue and profit. 

(I dont enjoy the current product. But, in the end MLB is simply a biz with a lot of zeros after the first number.)

 

2019Dad posted:

Almost on cue, article on ESPN today on youth baseball participation:

 https://www.espn.com/mlb/story...l-participation-rise

"The increase in baseball participation is real, there's no question about it, and it's substantial. It's statistically significant without a doubt," said Tom Cove, president and CEO of the SFIA."

Yes, it doesn't immediately solve MLB attendance declines from the last few years, but rising youth participation is a good thing for the future.

Yes it is.  Would be great to see more kids love to play the game as well as watch. 

Many kids have trouble with the pace of baseball in both playing and watching. I doubt anything can be done to change it. Hopefully, it will be trendy again to play a sport that has such complexity (rules, pace of play), a rich history and tradition. Maybe it needs to accept it is a niche activity for youth like chess, make wiffleball the game for the general masses since it can be playes with 4 to 6 players. and baseball for those who want to graduate to team play.

atlnon posted:

Or change baseball here to be more like the baseball they play in Finland...    Apparently, it's a lot more fast paced and exciting.

And like so many US kids with baseball in recent decades, he (Tuukka Rusk, Boston Bruins) soon opted for other sports with more action, namely soccer and hockey.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/sp...TJAjrLKkN/story.html

But ...  “It’s fast to play, more entertaining than baseball,’’ noted Rask, a frequent visitor to Fenway Park over his eight years in Boston. “I mean, it’s not like you go to a game and have 10 Bud Lites with friends; a lot is happening.’’

I suppose I have a hard time relating to that.  Every pitch is an event, to me, in Baseball.  The strategy of what pitch to throw in what count, where the umpire sets up, the adjustments the batter makes, the hitter's swing mechanics, and stance, where he sets up in the box, heck even where the umpire sets up, there is a ton of action in every pitch.   The remarkable ability to make contact with a ball moving 95+ mph with movement only adds to the fun...

 

For people saying when attending an MLB game, the game is not the main attraction, well, that's true for virtually every sport except maybe the NFL (don't attend many NFL games). They all have a million side attractions for the kids, bars and restaurants for the adults, blaring music, scoreboard cams, etc. People aren't in their seats. It's just the way sports are now, probably to justify the cost of the tickets. It doesn't mean baseball is failing.

I think attendance dropping is more a function of more teams than ever tanking. It's not new to baseball but it's more widespread than usual. Hard to motivate people to attend when the team isn't trying. The other sport with a lot of tanking, the NBA, is much more individual-star driven, so even if your local team sucks you can go see the Warriors, Rockets, Sixers, Lakers, etc. and see one of the other heavily hyped superstars play. Baseball, the way it works, you can go see Trout and he could easily go 0 for 4. It's unlikely you'll go see the Warriors and Curry will score 6 points (now he might rest that night, but that's another story). And even with all of that said, plenty of NBA games it looks like the first level is half-empty and they announce a sellout, or close to it...but those seats are owned by companies that only use them half the time.

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