Thursday, July 4, 2013

Attendance and TV Ratings Bombing for the Bronx Bombers

Lyle Overbay. Vernon Wells. Travis Hafner. Chris Stewart. Jayson Nix. Alberto Gonzalez.

No, those guys are not the 2013 Miami Marlins. They are actually the 2013 New York Yankees.

Yes, the George Steinbrenner, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, multi-billion dollar Yankees.

However, due to a rash of injuries to familiar faces such as Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Curtis Granderson, the Bronx Bombers are lacking in name power on the diamond (they are currently in fourth place in the AL East, six games behind the first place Boston Red Sox) and off the diamond as well as attendance is way down and television ratings on the YES Network are not much better.

According to the NY Times, “Through 41 home games this season, the Yankees have drawn nearly 106,000 fewer fans than at this point a year ago, a 6.1 percent drop that is almost twice as large as the overall decline in baseball” Those numbers have to be scaring Yankee majority owner Hal Steinbrenner and his family as their billion-dollar stadium looks emptier and emptier, even when playing big time rivals such as the Red Sox or Mets.

The logical reason one would come up with is that many fans would prefer to save a couple hundred bucks (according to numerous conversations with fans that regularly attend games in the Bronx, feeding a family of four will run you in the $200-$300 when adding the price of admission) and stay home and watch the game in HD in their comfy chair with their son or daughter. However, that may not even be true either as the NY Times also tells us that “Even more sobering for the team: the television ratings for their games have plummeted. Through June 25, the ratings on their YES Network were down 40 percent to 2.52 from 4.17 at this point last season, and from 4.08, 4.50 and 4.72 in the three previous seasons, with each rating point this year representing 73,843 households” Yeah, Hal Steinbrenner may need an Advil or two.

As a devoted (and displaced) Yankee fan, I see the main culprit as the putrid offense that the team trots out every game, which is admittedly not really their fault. Not only is the team made up of scrubs, but also the offense is near the bottom of nearly every major offensive category. I used to watch Yankee games and never count them out even if they were down by 5+ runs. Now once the opposing squad has plated two, I’m ready to give up. Now, I’ll never cut a game off because I’m just that kind of fan but 95% of fans are not. For more casual fans, there are more important things to do than watch Jayson Nix invent ways to play like JV freshman.

For the Yankees, I believe that things will even out when Jeter steps into the box and gets into his famous stance.

But for the MLB as a whole, that is a tough fix in my opinion. 


Aaron J. Coleman is currently a sport management major at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA minoring in Communication (with a focus in Public Relations). He was born and raised in Upper Marlboro, MD, a suburb outside of Washington, DC. He is currently a supervisor for Drexel’s Intramural Sports program and also an intern for the Arena Football Legaue’s Philadelphia Soul franchise. He covers the Chicago Bulls, New York Yankees, and Washington Redskins (his favorite squads along with the Washington Capitals and Drexel Dragons) for Follow Aaron on Twitter @shutupCole

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