The Cleveland Indians are dead last in MLB attendance. It’s really not even close. Taking a break from the much discussed factors (weather, economy, lousy team, ownership), I’d like to delve into the deeper issues causing Tribe fans to stay away from the ballpark.
- The in-game host. If you’ve been down to a game in the past couple years, you know who I’m talking about. I’m speaking of the red-haired gentleman who frequents the jumbotron in between innings while we scarf down our dollar dogs. Now, I’m sure he’s a fine fellow with a lot to offer the human race, but when you’re inebriated on a Friday night at a ball game, you’d prefer to see an attractive female hosting the trivia contest and singing the seventh inning stretch. All things considered, this is a very poor choice to keep the testosterone flowing after a rally. If anything, it makes me want to watch Ubaldo warm up on the mound for the next inning. No one wants to watch that.
- Progressive Field. I’m just gonna go ahead and say it. Change the name of the stadium. No one wants to go down to a place called Progressive Field. It just sounds expensive. I haven’t even seen Flo down there one time. After all, isn’t she the only reason Progressive is still in business? No one likes the name of the stadium. It doesn’t even have to go back to Jacobs Field. The simplest solution? Call it Cleveland Browns Stadium. That’ll fill it up quick.
- SportsTime Ohio. It’s really good. STO’s coverage of the game is fantastic. Add that to the convenience factor of my recliner with holes in the arm for my beer and Bugles, and I never have to leave my seat. I say switch the broadcasting back from high definition to standard and fire Manning and Underwood. Try to pull Hawk Harrelson and Shaq away from their current TV contracts and fans will flock to the stadium. Easy.
- The Thirsty Parrot. Hundreds of people get too drunk here before the game and can’t find the stadium or forget to buy tickets. Close the Thirsty Parrot. Simple.
- Ice Cream Helmets. Why aren’t these bigger? Five year old kids should not be your only target audience for the ice cream helmets. Is it too much to ask for a regular sized helmet that I can wear to batting practice after I ingest 13 pounds of ice cream? I really don’t think so. These were cool in the ’90s, but Americans are way fatter now. Terms like “one scoop” and “two scoops” just don’t provide accurate measurements anymore. Isn’t it time we, as Americans, start measuring ice cream by the helmets? You tell me.
These are just a handful of reasons why attendance has declined in recent years. Sure, you could blame the front office for not spending money in the past, or the economy, or the weather. However, I think these are the deep seeded issues fans REALLY care about. These are the true elephants in the room. Fix these issues and we won’t have to watch the frat boys miserable attempt to start the wave with 10,000 people scattered in the lower deck.