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Boswell on Attendance


brachd

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Pretty grim look on the O's attendance problems this season (surprising from a guy like Boswell right?) Overall in the short term I think it's a real cause for concern, especially since this team is playing pretty well right now. In the long run, if and when the team decides that they're ready to contend and spend I think the attendance will come back. It might not be while Angelos is still at the helm though. All in all, this is going to give Angelos another excuse why he can't spend money in the offseason.

Baltimore's average attendance has plummeted to 26,238. For perspective, that would drop the Orioles from the ranks of prosperous teams like the Braves, Phillies and Mariners back to around 20th in attendance, close to payroll-pinched teams such as the Diamondbacks, Twins and Athletics.

In Baltimore, Crowds Are Going Mild

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Pretty grim look on the O's attendance problems this season (surprising from a guy like Boswell right?) Overall in the short term I think it's a real cause for concern, especially since this team is playing pretty well right now. In the long run, if and when the team decides that they're ready to contend and spend I think the attendance will come back. It might not be while Angelos is still at the helm though. All in all, this is going to give Angelos another excuse why he can't spend money in the offseason.

In Baltimore, Crowds Are Going Mild

Its a tough situation. We have had 8 losing seasons, which has led to the dismal attendance. A lot of people didn't renew thier season tickets and there is a lot of cautious optimism when it comes to a team playing well in April/May. We will see a mini spike in attendace if by the AS break, we are in contention. That will not give us a huge spike in attendance, but will help a little.

As for Boswell, what else is he going to write about? The 5-10 Gnats?! :002_stongue:

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No doubt Orioles attendance is down, which we all discussed pretty well in this thread.

What I think is bogus is his assertion that "only a sight weakness has shown up in Washington attendance". First, as he mentions, they've only had 3 home game thus far. Obviously the home opener was packed. Game 2 dropped to about 66.6% of capacity, and game 3 was down to 56.6%. 25,465 paid attendance, on an 79 degree evening in the capital.

Personally, I'd think that'd be more troubling for a team in only it's second season of a new home. I guess they'll just coast for a few years until they get into their new stadium. But then what? if attendance dips after that, it's not like DC can go build another new stadium.

It seems the bottom line is that Boswell used this poor O's attendance to pontificate about the travails of the O's front office and the always evil Angelos. He's got no agenda there, right?

Regarding the attendance, you can only cut a pie so many ways. MLB chose this situation with Baltimore and DC. I really don't feel like hearing any complaints about it - especially (all together now.... ) 'it is early in the season'. 12 games or 3 games aren't especially large sample sizes in my eyes. :)

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Boswell could save a lot of time, and save The Washington Post a lot of space and ink, if he would write only one sentence in every one of his columns about the Orioles:

I hate Angelos.

I'm not saying his column this morning was wrong. He makes some logical, but very obvious, points.

But his only real reason for writing is that he gets to rub Angelos' nose in yet another problem.

And by the way, don't you love the way he trots out every possible excuse for his beloved Nationals' failure to draw big crowds?

Oh boo-hoo, the ownership this, the TV contract that, the politicians are dopes, sob-sob-sob.

D.C. is a city, Boswell assured us for years, that was so starved for baseball, it would shower any major-league team with unbridled love from now until the end of time.

Hmmmmmmm, we must be rapidly approaching the end of time.

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Can anyone find attendance figures for the league? Is the whole league down or just the O's? ESPN has a dropdown titled 2006 attendance but I don't have ESPNplus.

I can not see what you are talking about, I have insider and can get the info for you. Just give me a better idea on where to look...

Nevermind, I found it, When I click on it, it just gives me common ESPN insider info about trade rumors.

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I have to run along but I found some nice team by team comparison figures (2005 averages vs. 2006 figures) on The Sports Network site/Ballparks of America.

Link: http://www.ballparksofbaseball.com/2006attendance.htm

Again, after some VERY quick looks at a couple clubs - some are up, some are down. Orioles seem to be down more than other clubs. Sorry I don't have time to post more details.

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I have to run along but I found some nice team by team comparison figures (2005 averages vs. 2006 figures) on The Sports Network site/Ballparks of America.

Link: http://www.ballparksofbaseball.com/2006attendance.htm

Again, after some VERY quick looks at a couple clubs - some are up, some are down. Orioles seem to be down more than other clubs. Sorry I don't have time to post more details.

Its still a little early in the season, but if you take games 4-5-6 this year and replace them with 4-5-6 last year. (yankees in town rather than redsox), our attendance would be on average 4 grand less a night. Right now, it is around 6 grand under.

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Is my memory off or am I correct in thinking that growing up as a kid, getting the copy of the Washington Post from my Dad as he came home from work each day, it was not unheard of to read a good Boswell piece on the O's.

My how times have changed. Not just for the O's but TBos has really become a huge stick in the mud!

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Boswell's column is spot-on as it pertains to the O's attendance. Here is my bottom line: if the O's fall out of the race and play sub-.500 ball rather early, they are going to have a precipitous drop in attendance such as you would projected from the first two weeks. On the other hand, if they play solid baseball, fan interest will pick up and attendance could equal last year's or at least come close. It's all about winning.

As to the Nats, I work in DC and most of my Nat-fan friends are bracing for a last-place finish. Not to put too fine a point on it, but they stink. And the lack of ownership really has hurt them. The Nats just aren't promoted in the way you expect a major sports franchise to be. I think they will face a precipitous attendance drop, and will draw less than the Orioles. But they will bounce back next year when they have an owner who will (1) promote the team, and (2) spend some money on players and get the fans excited.

The O's have a chance to be a decent team this year, but the Nats really don't.

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Can anyone find attendance figures for the league? Is the whole league down or just the O's? ESPN has a dropdown titled 2006 attendance but I don't have ESPNplus.

Here you go...

(Numbers will be change in average attendance at the same game last year from '05-'06)

AL East

Orioles -- <-6067>

Red Sox -- +1,205

Yankees -- <-4,715> -- only 3 home games

Devil Rays -- +4,297

Blue Jays -- +1,770

AL Central

White Sox -- +9,866

Indians -- +4,235

Tigers -- +141

Royals -- <-1,306>

Twins -- +1,745

AL West

Angels -- +2,919

A's -- <-293>

Mariners -- <-4,601>

Rangers -- +857

NL East

Braves -- +4,092

Marlins -- <-14,102>

Mets -- +1,497

Phillies -- <-2,506>

Gnats -- <-6,674> Only 3 games

NL Central

Cubs -- +718

Reds -- <-3,880>

Astors -- <-2,472>

Brew Crew -- +3,348

Pirates -- +20

Cardinals -- +1,660

NL West

D-Backs -- <-3,804>

Rockies -- <1,653>

Dodgers -- <-5,606>

Padres -- <-4,875>

Giants -- <-7,655>

AL total - +10,053 per game

NL Total - <-41,892>

MLB Total - <-31,839>

Interesting, the NL is down (Bonds factor?) and the AL is up (White Sox champs?)

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I think the bottom line on attendance is 8 losing seasons. As gas prices continue to go up and entertainment options increase along with a more tansient population in the Baltimore area you have to win to get people to come out. This article is just a way for boswell to get some attention and gives the alarmists something to talk about.

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Boswell could save a lot of time, and save The Washington Post a lot of space and ink, if he would write only one sentence in every one of his columns about the Orioles:

I hate Angelos.

In the old days, a lot of columnists named their columns. "This Morning...with Shirley Povich" is the one I remember from the Post's sports page. Maybe Boswell could just name his column "I Hate Angelos".

The attendance problem is mainly because the team has been stinky for years and, after the hope-raising-then-dashing 2005 season, people have now officially given up. The Nats presence simply makes the fall farther, faster, and much harder to recover from.

The Orioles aren't going to get the same surge from a good start they got last year because people are going to take a more cynical "SHOW ME" attitude this time around. A good 2006 season will only make 2007 attendance better, in all likelihood.

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Is my memory off or am I correct in thinking that growing up as a kid, getting the copy of the Washington Post from my Dad as he came home from work each day, it was not unheard of to read a good Boswell piece on the O's.

My how times have changed. Not just for the O's but TBos has really become a huge stick in the mud!

Yes, your memory is excellent. When the Orioles were good, he would heap praise on them, but like a lot of writers who fancy themselves national experts, he has reverted to the same lame "Angelos is a fool" refrain for every column about the Orioles.

The problem is, his hatred of Angelos doesn't allow him to see nuances. I haven't yet seen him write about the improvement in our minor leagues. I haven't yet seen him write that Ramon Hernandez may turn out to be the steal of the free-agent class.

When the probability of the Expos' move out of Montreal emerged, Boswell got an extraordinary case of tunnel vision: All of his baseball writing focused on the cause of getting the Expos to Washington, D.C.

I admire a guy with strong convictions, even when I disagree with him.

But Boswell went way, way too far. The basis of his argument, which is patently ludicrous, is that Washington, D.C., deserved a team because Peter Angelos was such an awful owner of the Orioles. Then he compounded his irrationality by completely distorting the issue of how taxes would pay for the ballpark.

If he had looked at the issue honestly, I wouldn't have squawked. But he whined, distorted facts and pretended that he knew an enormous amount of insider information, all of which turned out to be false. His two favorite insider scoops were: (1) Peter Angelos was on the verge of selling the Orioles. (2) Peter Angelos was deliberately sabotaging the Orioles so that fellow owners would say, "Geez, poor old Pete has such a bad team in Baltimore, we better not move the Expos to D.C., or he will be hurting."

He floated those scoops for a year or so, then quietly dropped them (without explanation or apology) when no one else took them seriously.

Perversely, however, Boswell's approach is working. Whenever he writes about the Orioles, I read it, just to get my blood boiling. Better to be read and despised, the columnist says, than ignored.

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