Rob Manfred could use some help as commissioner, Joe Davis and Orel Hershiser know that much. The Dodgers’ broadcast duo asked manager Dave Roberts what he would do if he were commissioner for a day on their podcast this week.
As it turns out, Dave Roberts has one way to make sure that baseball doesn’t lose its popularity. Dodgers fans in particular are going to love this.
I think first thing I would do is I would lower ticket prices. I think that getting fans – and understanding that the Dodgers and Yankees and other markets still do really well- but I think that lowering the ticket prices will get people in there. And you’ll make up for it with concessions and parking and just the environment to have 7, 10, 15 thousand fans in a ballpark just makes no sense. And even in some markets you can’t lower ticket prices enough to get them in there and that’s fair…I would start games at 6:30…I think the early starts makes a parent feel like I can get there, watch the end of the game, still get home, get my kids to bed to get ready for school…
Now, changing the start time for games in Los Angeles to 6:30 is a little bit difficult. Any Dodgers fan who has ever got off of work and rushed to the stadium knows that the extra 30 minutes is essential to get to games on time. But changing up ticket prices might just work out in favor of baseball.
The Dodger led all of baseball in 2019, averaging over 49,000 fans per game. Los Angeles isn’t really where the league has a problem generating popularity though. Miami averaged just over 10,000 fans while Baltimore averaged just over 16,000. Major League Baseball teams that cannot even manage to break the 2 million mark in annual attendance is worrisome.
Maybe cutting ticket prices would draw fans back to games, but it’s certainly not a guarantee. The Diamondbacks are known for offering rock bottom ticket prices during the week, and they still finished just 19th in average attendance.