Angry Ward Wednesday: Yanks Attendance Tanks, NFL, NBA, NHL On Ropes; Great Fan Revolt is Upon Us

Sports personality Diletta Leotta.

BRONX, NY –┬áThese days, stupid phrases like “They are coming for your guns!” and “They are taking all of your jobs!” are not only taken as gospel, they get you elected President. But we’re not here to drop petulant hashtags like #fakenews or #sad, or make anything great again. Today, let’s just talk some common sense about the precarious state of The Business of Sports.

Sports personality Diletta Leotta.

Last week the New York Times ran a piece about how the venerable New York Yankees are struggling with their attendance, despite the fact that they have an exciting young team and sit in first place in the AL East. And all I could think is, “It’s about time.” I’ve been talking about the “Great Fan Revolt” for the past few years, and we’re finally starting to see some signs. The Yanks are the perfect target for fan disgust. For starters, they tore down old Yankee Stadium and built their shiny, exclusive Whore Emporium. Then they set ticket prices so high that no one wanted to buy box seats anymore. Then they raised their concession and parking prices even higher. Then they told ticket buyers that they couldn’t sell their tickets on Stub Hub. They finally woke up and rescinded the latter, striking a deal with Stub Hub, but you get the picture.

It’s not just the Yankees. Sports, both professional and collegiate, have been treating their fans like dirt for years. The prevailing thought among the powers that be seemed to be, “Keep charging them more. They’ll keep coming back.” Pro football teams like the NY Giants used to have waiting lists that were well over a decade long. Now they have no waiting list, and the Jets can’t even give their tickets away. The NBA (by the way, f**k the NBA for starting the Finals so late) and NHL are no different. Many of their die-hards have been priced out, and the corporate ticket holders use their great seats to “entertain clients” and write off on their taxes. This overall business model of not caring about the wants and needs of “real” fans is not a sustainable one.

Hi-Def TV, DVR, sports bars with drink specials aplenty, as well as things like NFL RedZone and instant smartphone scoring updates, are giving fans lots of options other than ponying up a crapload of dough to see a game live, buying $11 beers, and waiting in line to take a leak. Worse yet for big-time sports honchos, while aging demographics such as my own Gen-Xers become less inclined to get off our fat asses and travel to see a game, the new generation, Millennials, couldn’t give two sh!ts about anything that isn’t all about them and happens instantaneously. Commissioners, Owners, and other men of power are just now starting to read the writing on the wall. But too f**king late.

Roger Goodell says it’s okay to have fun celebrating touchdowns now! Adam Silver thinks that NBA teams shouldn’t rest their superstars during road games. The New York Yankees are offering cheaper tickets with refreshment specials and exploiting their young star Aaron Judge ASAP by creating a cheeky (and completely transparent) “Judges Chambers section at the Whore Emporium, even outfitting fans with judges robes. To these moves, and all of those to follow, I say, “Don’t fall for it!” Make them come crawling on their bellies begging for forgiveness. It won’t be easy, they have huge TV deals propping them up, but if you’re strong it can happen. The owners can only whistle through the graveyard so long┬ábefore they hear a dead sport like boxing whistling right back at them.

In the meantime, go out and play sports, watch your kids play sports, check out minor league games and even go to a regular game every now and then… but on YOUR budget. The Great Fan Revolt is here. Be a part of it.

Come back tomorrow for Buddy Diaz, who is a fan of the positively revolting Philadelphia Eagles and New York Yankees, but somehow a nice guy anyway.

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About Angry Ward 749 Articles
Angry Ward, who has admirers at the New York Times, is the quintessential angry sports fan but for one exception... he's flat-out funny. And the angrier he gets, the more amusing his work becomes. Psychiatrists say, "Angry Ward's 'anger' is a direct result of "Bronx/Mets syndrome: growing up in the Bronx as a Mets fan." As if that weren't enough, his Minnesota North Stars abandoned him for Dallas, forcing him to embrace The Wild the way Nancy Pelosi embraces Mitch McConnell at charity events. And while his Vikings only tease him with success, his Golden State Warriors actually win these days. A-Dubya is MTM's longest-tenured indentured servant, its Larry David and quite simply, "The Franchise." (Junoir Blaber disputes this). Vent, curse and giggle with him on Angry Ward Wednesdays.