Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Your Attendance Is Appreciated


Attendance at college baseball games this past weekend was up considerably over last year as NCAA Division I teams opened up their season from coast to coast. As we reported, last week, the reason is partially based upon the economy, but thank ESPN , CBS Gametracker, Rivals and their new radio broadcasts and the internet in general for the increased popularity of the game.

We at Rounding Third think attendance will continue to increase, based on the ever growing access to the sport at the college level. The emergence of webcasts like CBS GT and the dozens of other such sites make it possible for university students, parents, and fans alike to follow teams more closely. The way we see it, if there is more access, more interest and attachment to the teams goes up exponentially. When exposure is increased, the desire to go see a team in person goes up and so on.

As far as the economy goes and relation to attendance, students are the ones rotating the turnstiles…even more so than alumni and local working adults. Many students that still rely on their parents for funds while in school but are hearing about that money running low, a night at the ball park is generally much cheaper than running up a bar-tab. It’s also becoming a great place to meet girls too we are told.

But, don’t take our word for it…a few posters at RivalsBaseball.com reported a few fun facts that verifies our claim that the game is getting more and more popular.
For instance, the Oregon State Beavers will play six games at pro ballparks this year, Missouri State at PGE Park 3/13, 3/14,3/15; Oregon at PGE Park 3/28, 3/29; and Washington at Safeco Field 5/8. In 2007 they played the Huskies at Safeco in front of 10,421 fans, a Pac-10 single-game record for a league game. Last year the Beavers played Georgia at PGE Park, drawing 29,332 fans over the three-game series (an average of 9777). For the third game, 11,166 fans came to PGE Park.

The University of Georgia broke their opening weekend attendance record, and against Youngstown State….not Mississippi, not LSU…but Youngstown State!

Long Beach had a record setting crowd for season opener at Blair Field on Saturday night when the Dirtbags hosted the Trojans (The Friday and Sunday games were at USC). With at least a few regionals being played there, the crowd of 3,442 was Blair Field record for a CSULB baseball game.

We understand that the Big East/Big Ten challenge was a success and the new Alex Box stadium at LSU is going to set all sorts of collegiate attendance records this year as well. Folks…don’t miss out. The college game is exciting, pure and full of future stars. It’s the real deal and will someday approach the popularity of NCAA basketball. Be a trendsetter…go to a college game in your area this year.

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