percentage of the fan base.
I traveled to 30 ballparks in 30 days in 2015 on my WNST 30-30 #GiveASpit tour for leukemia awareness and swabbing for the bone marrow registry – and the narrow audience of live baseball is true throughout the continent. I saw it with my eyes in black and white. People of color and young people are spending their energy elsewhere. They’re not collecting baseball cards. They’re not playing stickball on the stoops of Highlandtown. They’re not hopping on a bus to the stadium from Dundalk with the dad or buds like I did. They’re not spending four hours a day, every day for six months engaged in the soap opera of baseball.
The. Game. Of. Baseball. Moves. Very. Very. Very. S-l-o-w-l-y for the modern human being attached to his or her mobile device with life moving very quickly in many ways.
And it’s clear many of the people who do love the Orioles are not all that interested in coming to the ballpark regularly to watch baseball games that they’re already paying for in their living room via their cable television bill that has made Angelos wealthier than he ever could’ve imagined when he bought the team in 1993.
I love the Orioles. I watch them every night. I never give Angelos money and don’t feel that I have any reason to go to the games. And I live two blocks from the front door. The soap opera plays out just fine in my condo.
When I married my wife 15 years ago, we purposely bought a condo downtown so we could go to Orioles games regularly and easily. Now, even when I get offered a ticket – and that’s kinda rare – it’s really not all that appealing.
These past few years – even in the aftermath of a few years of nice success – have illustrated one thing: Baltimore sports fans aren’t spending their hard-earned money lining up to buy Orioles tickets.
Many have said “I dunno” or written various schmuckery or fanery about the bad weather and kids being in school and the local riot and folks on the farm not wanting to visit downtown Baltimore because of the “unrest.”
I have reported freely, honestly and accurately on every awful aspect of the Angelos operation for a quarter of a century. It appears that the mismanagement of virtually every public aspect of the operation – despite making revenues that were truly unthinkable at the time of his purchase of the team at a public auction in the summer of 1993 – has finally caught up with him in the most apparent, visible way.
He went “all in” on getting even with his partners after the birth of the Washington Nationals and it’s enriched him even more than chasing the dead bodies of asbestos and mesothelioma cases who were my Pop’s contemporaries at places like Bethlehem Steel.
He’s rich. Good for him!
Now, about the baseball team…
And what happens next? And what people or person is strategizing and making key decisions to make people like me want to come back to Orioles games?
I have been documenting all aspects of the MASN money war. It cost this city an All Star Game in 2016 that would’ve been a nice marketing piece for the franchise for several years. It also could’ve really helped the city after the 2015 violence that spilled into the shadows of Camden Yards.
Instead, the All Star Game will be in Washington, D.C. this month. We’ll watch here with our noses pressed up the glass. Given the state of the team on the field, it’s a Godsend the game isn’t in