Empty Seats

I always look forward to Opening Day, the beginning of the baseball season and this year was no different. Usually there is a big crowd and it’s cooler than you thought it would be, but it’s baseball – exactly what you missed all winter.

This year was different.

I expected that the Mets would not draw as much as other teams because of their ‘situation’, and that proved to be true. However, as I have kept on watching all the teams I realized that there were lots of empty seats in almost all of the stadiums.

What was the reason? Is the economy that bad? Not really – just a couple of things came to mind. People have decided that these new stadiums are too expensive – there are actually seats at Yankee Stadium that cost over a thousand dollars for just one game, and for the average fan, the cost of season tickets have simply gone out of reach.

Also there are several new stadiums that have distractions taking the fans out of their seats – food courts all over the place, practice batting cages for kids, and of course the new jersey one must have this year. It seems as though the owners want the customers to use their ‘shopping centers’ as much as they want them to see the game so that they can pay for all these conveniences. However, watching the game on a monitor in one of the bars, or food courts seems ridiculous when you have purchased seats in the stadium.

When did the teams decide that would be a good idea?

Anyway, there is one team that has deviated from all this. Yes, it’s the Boston Red Sox. Fenway is paid for and in fact has been designated as ‘historic’ which means it can’t be tinkered with. Yes, the seats are small and crowded, the facilities are old, and it looks the same as it always has — but guess what? It’s full of paying customers – many who have inherited the precious season tickets and who are there for all the home games.

Yes, Boston is different – the whole town is historic – but the team is up to date.