Well, in light of the record low attendance last night at Oriole Park, the Baltimore Sun asked the honest opinion some of the players & the Oriole brass...
Here's what the players said:
"You notice it, but it's early in the season, it's cold, it's the middle of the week. Hopefully it'll go up by the weekend. I think it all depends on how good we're playing. If we start winning games, I think people will come out."Here's what the team said, if you believe this:
Said first baseman Kevin Millar: "The bottom line is you have to win. They want a good product on the field. Also, you don't want to sit in the stands at 34 degrees. If it's 80 on Friday night or Saturday, it would be something to worry about. Plus, I've guaranteed a World Series this year. They'll be there for that."
Team spokesman Greg Bader noted that April is historically the lowest attendance month across the majors, "and games the week after Opening Day are traditionally among the lowest of the season for all teams," he said.I see the what the Orioles are trying to say for public relations purposes, but the fact of the matter, the attendance has sunk because the team has not been competitive at all. It seems that the fans have given up on the team with exception of the hardcore fans.
"The club's fan-friendly policy of permitting our season-plan holders to exchange tickets for almost any game, combined with school being in session, poor weather, and other factors, all played a role. This is part of the rebuilding process, and we believe our fans are supportive of the new direction [team president] Andy MacPhail and [manager] Dave Trembley are leading us. By the end of the season, we fully expect our attendance numbers to be similar to what they have been in the recent past."
The park has gone from 90% full, to 80%, to 40%, to 20% full at times and it seems that fans have stopped spending their dollars and coming out. Fans still care to an extent, as evidenced by chatter online, and on sports talk radio.
Like Kevin Millar said, the team just has to win and put out a viable product.