Good morning, baseball fans!
We’re two games into the 2023 San Francisco Giants season at Oracle Park and there is already hand-wringing about the attendance numbers. Because of course there is.
Friday’s home opener was a sellout, with the final attendance listed as 40,711. However, Saturday was not (35,126). And the attendance police are already on patrol, pointing that out at every opportunity to shame Giants fans for not selling out every game.
First of all, I have found that any hand-wringing about attendance since 2020 is willfully ignoring the fact that a lot of people still don’t want to or literally cannot be in a crowded place, since the pandemic is still a thing. The economy is also a factor to be considered. The cost of living is skyrocketing and many people probably don’t have the same amount of disposable income it takes for a family to attend a baseball game.
But that’s the practical life stuff. There’s also the team to be considered.
There’s no Buster Posey on this team. There’s no Barry Bonds. There’s no Tim Lincecum or Madison Bumgarner. And that’s no knock against any player currently on the team. They seem like genuinely likeable dudes who are easy to root for. But those were marquee players, the kind of stars that put butts in seats, and smiles on faces even in the most forgettable games.
The Giants fell short this offseason in terms of bringing in a superstar fans could get excited about. And the results of the team that exists so far are...unpredictable. So you add that to the life factors and it’s not exactly a shock that they aren’t going to sell out every game this year.
And that’s fine. That’s how most teams are. I don’t particularly understand the hand-wringing. I’m not losing money. And neither are the owners. The Giants are a massively profitable franchise that doesn’t spend very much (read: enough) on payroll.
But if they want more butts in seats, jerseys on backs, and beers in hand, well, maybe they should look at the product they’re selling instead of shaming the fans for not wanting to pay for it.