Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Why Chase Away the Blue Collars?
Old frames of homeruns hit into the stands show the clapping hands of workers who chose to take the day off. Dare we ask why those people are missing in the latest shots of baseball games?
As more stadia erect plush boxes replete with hotel-sized rooms and catering staffs, the costs weed out those average fans in favor of the corporate clients. Rising prices have made the game a business, but that was also true in the 1920s. The Babe came to New York because the Boston owner lost money on a Broadway show. Money has always been a factor for trying to grab an audience. But the audiences have changed.
Now giant boxes are aimed to give smiles to CEOs and board chairs. The number of seats has dropped to make room for those stretch limo rooms. Regular fans can watch the game on their FIOS or Cable. Maybe the front office thinks the corporate people are more consistent in terms of paying for seats. Maybe the aim is to fill in the seats before the season starts. Whatever the reason, the seats are being held for upper and middle management people. After all, clients come to town and the office has to show off the team.
But the blue collars were also consistent. Despite the Depression, those workers filled the stands even in day games. The worker returned in more of a pattern when the price was right and almost guaranteed the same support for the team. Those people would also act as the advertising arm as they hovered around the water cooler the following day. So they helped the sales in a number of ways.
So why then does the current mentality aim for the big bucks over the constant flow? Those workers kept the game alive for more than a century. The new guys are up and down with the Dow. Who’s more reliable — the homerun hitter, or the guy for average?