Baseball has struggled to attract new fans and their attentions over the last two decades. The games are the slowest paced and entail way too many unnecessary pauses compared to the other three major professional sports.
Let’s be honest – the NHL is the best, especially in person (I can be funny believe it or not).
While Major League Baseball has made minor adjustments and tried to help speed up the pace of its nine innings – why not play fewer games and on certain days.
I’d like to see baseball consistent a schedule that’s primarily four days a week for all 30 teams, which entails games on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That leaves teams with a minimum of 16 games per month and with room to market other options to fans.
The league currently plays 162 regular-season games.
Baseball players need that many games to decide who clinches a playoff berth or not? They’ve always been pre-madonnas compared to us hockey guys ( Again, I make myself laugh).
Why cut down the games and limit the schedule to Thursday through Sunday?
The sport is accessible every single day from late March until the end of September. Think about it, there’s always an MLB game on TV for someone to watch every day and whether it’s a local game or one on national networks such as ESPN.
More on this take can be heard on my podcast: https://soundcloud.com/nhl_podcast_mckenna
There’s no sense of urgency for fans to attend games anymore with that amount of games spread out over parts of seven months for the regular season. There’s an attitude where’s it’s “Oh, I’ll eventually get to a game…” because there’s so many options and a feeling that its ‘always there.’
Or, there’s the circumstances and perspective which is there’s a group of fans where weekday games just aren’t realistic or worth attending to – also a big reason why these huge baseball cathedrals are half-empty more times than not.
Before fans realize – it’s September and they’ve probably been to one game, or they missed out on attending and purchasing an overpriced hot dog.
If the games were limited to just weekends then there’s a chance more fans would have something to look forward to during the week and more options to attend a better atmosphere at the ballpark.
MLB teams could also utilize those off days to market games and sell more tickets without that quick turnover of “there’s just another game tomorrow, anyway.”
It leaves fans with a sense of urgency to head out to the ballpark and enjoy themselves more.
This weekend plan offers more quality options for fans, while filling stadiums on a more consistent basis. In this case – less is more for the league.
A prime example is football.
Yes, the National Football League’s schedule is only 16 games spread out over 17 weeks, but there’s a reason why fans cherish and ‘look forward’ to watching and attending games on Sunday or Monday nights – they’re not happening four to seven times a week.
Major League Baseball wants answers and the league has its answer right here.
Kyle McKenna is an aspiring author and freelance writer who can be followed on Twitter @KMcKenna_tlt5