Orioles heed the advice of an idiot

September 04, 2012 | Drew Forrester

Orioles heed the advice of an idiot

And this is also the occasion when I’ll remind all of you who have been waiting for this moment to react accordingly and buy tickets to any of the three home games vs. Tampa Bay.  Please don’t use the silly “it’s a weeknight” excuse and tell me how you can’t stay out late on a Tuesday night and have to get up for work early on Wednesday.  Get five hours of sleep for once.  It won’t kill you.  Honestly – and this isn’t a jab, it’s reality – this kind of opportunity to see a critical home series might not come along again for a decade.  Who would have figured way back in 1998 that it would take 14 more seasons to get to this point, right?

There’s no doubt the onus of the marketing burden falls on the Orioles, not the fans.  The team has to do the work.  The fans have to react to the call to action.

I was quite pleased to see that press release from the Orioles today…and not just because I suggested they do something like reduce ticket prices for the Rays series about two weeks ago.

I’m pleased because I think the fans will respond. I’ve said that over and over…if you give the fans a handshake that basically says, “hey, we really need you to come out to the games in September, it’s important” — and if you PROMOTE IT — I think people will take money out of their wallet and support the team.

In all fairness to the Orioles, this a delicate situation they’ve put themselves in.  If, for whatever reason, the community doesn’t respond to the ticket discount offer they’ve made and the 3-game series vs. Tampa Bay draws something in the neighborhood of 45,000 fans, that’s a sure fire indication that something is SERIOUSLY wrong with the team’s connection to the sports fan of Baltimore.

Let’s see how it goes next week, but there’s one thing for sure:  Sometimes even an idiot gets one right.

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13 Comments For This Post

  1. bill Says:

    Drew, you’re the worst. Why do you think anyone cares what you write or say? I don’t care. The Orioles don’t care. Everyone wishes you would just go away. Your golf game sucks. I figured you’d be gone by now. (DF: I agree with you on that. I assumed I’d be retired by now and living in Naples, but it didn’t work out that way.)

  2. BmoreBobRob Says:

    How about if the Orioles gave away free You Pon subscriptions? Sellout? (DF: Speaking of idiots…)

  3. Bruce Says:

    It’s going to take more than just an important weekend series in September to get me back. They’re going to have to show a commitment to winning on a consistent basis, and a commitment to their fans on a consistent basis. They’ve done a lot of damage to the dedicated Baltimore fans over the last 2 decades, and it will take a lot of time to reverse that damage. Discounting tickets for this weekend is merely one step towards achieving that goal. Let’s see how this plays out, going into next year and beyond. I’m not ready to forgive and forget, nor am I ready to start trusting this organization again. If anyone thinks that sounds unfair of me, please remember that the fans are not the bad guys here. This situation was completely the fault of the Orioles. One reaps what one sows.

  4. The Armchair QB Says:

    Sometimes even a blind squirrel discovers an acorn!

  5. matt Says:

    1 series

  6. OVER40DON Says:

    Hey Drew, are U sure the O’s wil let you promote them like this or will they and MLB send out the letters with threat of legal action. Watched the game last night, saw the promotion and immediatelt thought of your previous blog. Good job on that. OBVIOUSLY the O’s agree.

  7. Mike from Carney Says:

    I think we are now officially playing meaningful games. The streak is over !

  8. waspman Says:

    What happens or doesn’t happen for the TB series is somewhat irrelevant. That’s because walk-up ticket sales is the least important factor in attendance. Season ticket sales and advance sales are more important, and in that order.

    That’s not to say it’s a bad idea, whoever wants to pat themselves on the back for it. The good will effect may be more important in 2014 or 2015 depending how things go overall. Let’s face it … if the O’s are 25-35 at the end of next May, 2012 will be long forgotten — unless this season ends with the most unthinkable of endings which will mean 2013 will get an immediate increase in season ticket sales.

    The fact is the Orioles are up 2,877 per game this year over last year. Their attendance average of 24,539 includes lower averages than in home games against the Yankees (22,721) and the Red Sox (23,888) — the longtime excuse for the fans they were drawing. Since a scant few (anyone? anyone?) truly thought the Orioles would be tied for the AL East lead in September before Opening Day, it is safe to assume most of the 2,877 extra fans per game are walk-ups or short order advance sales.

    Sociology 101 states fifteen years makes up a generation. I know. I was awake those ten minutes of that class. The Orioles haven’t had a winning season in 14 years — almost a generation. My college senior was attending Disney on Ice when the O’s last played a home playoff game. It will be her generation who will eventually buy season tickets if the economy ever improves and she has disposbale income.

    Does anyone remember the local reaction when the storied Cleveland Browns was discovered, then announced, they would be moving to Baltimore? There were plenty of folks who didn’t want a team the same way we had lost the Colts. The airwaves were full of complainers that we were going to lose Canadian Football. And when the concept of PSL’s were announced, one would have thought a 100% income tax was being imposed.

    Yet, the Ravens have sold out every single game. Even in Memorial Stadium. Even when the Orioles were World Series contenders. And drawing 3.6 million fans.

    Why?

    Because the Ravens were appealing to a new generation of fans. It had been almost a generation since the Colts’ last home game in Baltimore and the Ravens’ first. If someone could survey this and say 75% of Ravens’ season ticket holders never saw a Baltimore Colt game in person, I would not be surprised.

    Now, will the Orioles ever draw 3.6 million fans again? Doubtful. In fact, I would say no way.

    But 2.6 million fans is an achieveable goal. That was the attendance in 2005. That year was the eighth straight losing season. That year was Camden Yards’ 14th year in existence, and 15 new MLB ballparks came into existence by then. The Ravens would enter their 10th year that fall and had a Super Bowl championship already. And 2005 was also the first year for the Nationals.

    It won’t happen overnight. And 35,000 per night — yes, a weekday night — versus Tampa is highly unlikely. But it could happen. And it will take time.

  9. sal Says:

    john kruk gets it right for a change go os

  10. Mike from Carney Says:

    The over/under is 160,000 fans for the series and I’m taking the over.

  11. BudIce05 Says:

    The 2012 Orioles are as a likable team as the ’79,’82,’83′ and ’89 teams but Baltimore being a glass half empty town won’t throw their undivided attention to them because the owner is an a-hole and they will continue to hold that grudge. Didn’t history teach anything. It was this same apathetic atttitude that got Bourbon Bob to move one of the great NFL Franchises to a you know where.

  12. NC Orioles Fan Says:

    As my user name implies, I live too far away to be bribed for $4 tickets when I can watch the Tampa-Orioles series for FREE in the comfort of my home in NC.

    Go Birds anyway!

  13. Robert Says:

    Drew:

    Definitely a noteworthy step, but to get my fanny in the seats, it will take a public apology, request for forgiveness & a permanent reversal of the same-day surcharge. Until then, I will continue with other outdoor activities. Bravo to you Drew for giving them some free P.R. advice, to the team and its maltreated & deserving fans. Cheers.

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