The Future of Baseball Hangs in the Balance
With the latest MLB denial it does not look good for a 2020 season once again. This is why it is important for the MLB to do what it takes to find an agreement at get a 2020 season in. The 2019 season had a total of 68.5 million fans attended a game throughout the year which was a 1.7% decrease from the 69.7 million in 2018. Baseball has seen the attendance drop in six of the last seven season including a 14% decline from the 2007 season where it was at an all-time high of 79.5 million. In a situation where the MLB had a chance to regain some of those fans if they were to comeback and were able to have everyone they blew the opportunity and now just look dumb.
The MLB continues to lose fans if they are unable to come back the amount of people that will turn away the game will be great. IF there is no baseball in 2020 with the CBA agreement coming to an end in the near future the MLB will have a lot of work to get done in finding a way to get a deal completed or the 2021 start and season could be in jeopardy as well.
Baseball CAN NOT afford one season let alone possibly two seasons without any games. Baseball is already making the mistake of eliminating a plethora of minor league teams as their attendance was continually on the rise. Baseball keeps making bad decisions that will continue to lose fans if this trend continues.
The last time baseball saw a strike it cancelled the entire 1994 postseason while impacting the 1995 season. Baseball was able to overcome this by the starts of Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, and Sammy Sosa in what people called the steroid era. This was able to rejuvenate the game in a way with the long ball. However, that WILL NOT be here to save the game again as home run are already at an all-time high and the attendance is still being affected. There are current stars in the game the problem is the league does not know how to market them like the used to. Fans want to know these stars and when some of the biggest starts would not even be recognized if they walked by some people that is an issue. For example, go back to 2018 when you had storied history in Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Should have been marketed like crazy and it was not.
The MLB has already fallen behind the NBA, and NFL in recent years. Honestly, without a 2020 season it will in be in jeopardy of allowing the NHL to pass it by 2021. If baseball cannot get going and we are watching the Stanley Cup playoffs into the finals in the deep summer months of August and September, look out MLB. The NHL has been on the rise recent years seeing some of their highest numbers especially playoffs. With that being one of the only things to watch it will spike even more.
Hats off to Adam Silver, and Gary Bettman on finding a common ground to get things done. Baseball is worried about rule after rule trying to speed up the game. It is time for commissioner Rob Manfred to worry about the future of the sport, with getting a deal done for 2020 the sports, fans, and the world needs it, obviously assuming health allows it. Manfred it is your turn to answer the call!