Dear Mr. Allan H. Selig, Jr.,
It has come to my attention that the baseball fan base amongst those between the ages of 6 and 18 is less then the fan base of that age group for the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, and National Collegiate Athletic Association Football. In my opinion, this is occurring because Major League Baseball (the MLB) isn’t doing enough to get kids excited and/or interested about the product that the MLB offers.
I hold many things responsible for this. One that really sticks out is the very late start times for the World Series:
The fact that the games start after 8 p.m. makes it nearly impossible for a kid to be able to watch a full World Series game!! Now I am well aware of the primary reason the games are played during primetime… GREED.
And I am infuriated by this. This shows that the owners don’t care about their fans, but rather the money. Since ads cost so much more in primetime then they do in daytime, this means that the owners get more money. However, what they don’t realize is that the kids will be the people in ten or fifteen years who will be making the decision of whether to take their children to the ballpark If they didn’t really enjoy baseball when they were young then they probably would not go to the games. That, in turn would result in a greater loss of revenue then losing money from prime-time ads.
Also the commercials confuse me, big name companies run ads. Now we already know about Frito Lay™, Pepsi Cola™ and Anheuser-Busch™ and the products that they offer. If the owners cared about the fans, then the games wouldn’t be on so late.
Now look at the National Football League, their championship, the Super Bowl, airs at primetime but starts at the much more reasonable time of 6:30 p.m., thus the Super Bowl ends between 10-10:30 p.m., which is a much more reasonable end time for a game. And as you know, it draws a much larger audience then any World Series game.
At first, night baseball and the World Series were like cake and ice cream, everybody thought it was a great idea that people wouldn’t have to skip work to watch or attend a World Series game during the weekday. Now the night baseball and the World Series are like orange juice and toothpaste. I know several people who for the first time in many years didn’t watch the World Series. And these are die-hard baseball fans, not casual fans that probably would have no interest what so ever in a game that doesn’t have the Cubs, Dodgers, Yankees, Mets, or Red Sox playing.
Now I have a solution to the problem addressed. For weekday games, first pitch should be at 7:00 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. (much like regular season night games). For Saturday the games should start anywhere from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and on Sunday, I propose a 7:30 p.m. start time, which would insure no interference with the National Football League scheduling.
If all of this were to occur, then I believe that the youth fan base would skyrocket and the next generation of fans, like myself, would once again make baseball America’s Pastime!