Over the past few years the Mets and MLB in general have seen a decline in attendance. Most have theorized that the Mets is simply a case of apathetic fan base, and when the pendulum shifts it will change. Considering how devoted a great majority of the fan base is during this difficult time, I expect it to be so…….to an extent.
The MLB attendance issues is more alarming. There are new comfortable parks throughout baseball, with great sight lines, comfortable seating even in the cheap seats, and shops, museums, and attractions throughout MLB ballparks. There are a lot of theories why attendance is down, from bad weather to HD television giving a more clear and comfortable experience, to high prices of tickets and concessions.
Perhaps though it is time to examine how the game is presented at the parks. I do not go to many games a year, and there are two major changes that need to be made to make the ballpark experience better.
First, every stadium has a giant screen at the ballpark. It’s always a major part of every presentation when a new park is opened. Yet most teams waste the use of this screen. When I go to a basketball or football game, during game play they are showing a close up angle of the action. This is so you can see the nuances that you can’t see up close. Why does baseball not do this? Especially considering most of the action is watching the strikezone, a tiny box that most cannot see from the seat? Even if you’re close to see it, unless you’re directly you’re going to be blocked by a batter from opposite sides during the game. If the fear is that the hitter can watch the pitch, how about at least show the replay?
That is not my main issue though. My primary issue, and one that Citifield can rectify today if they chose to, is the noise.
Oh the noise, noise, noise, noise, noise. There’s one thing I hate, all the noise, noise, noise, noise!
I had seats in the upper deck last night. Section 502, row 3. There are speaker all behind me, blaring as loud as they can to be heard from the other side of the Citifield parking lot. They blared music during at bats. They bellowed Mets giveaways and announcements. Music in between innings at decibels high enough to pierce ear drums. You try to talk to your friend about the great inning Matt Harvey said and you CAN’T FINISH A SENTENCE WITHOUT SCREAMING LIKE AN ANIMAL TO BE HEARD.
It doesn’t stop. Citifield rarely lets the game breathe. I get the need to announce the giveaways and contests and promotions. I get the desire to air music. Citifield is trying to create a family-friendly atmosphere and keeping everyone, especially kids, in attention. But you got to let it breathe. You can let the fans talk among themselves for a little bit. You don’t need to tell us to charge or have Chris Rock scream at me to chant LET’S GO METS with nobody on in the 5th inning. We don’t need a charge sound effect every few seconds. And I don’t want EVERYBODY CLAP THEIR HANDS every twenty seconds.
It just kept going, and going, and going. Combine that with the loud Yankee fans surrounding me screaming all night, I tapped in the sixth. My headache was so great that as much as I was enjoying the ballgame itself, despite the 1-0 deficit at the time, I had to bail. The head was pounding so badly I could no longer see straight. My brother, who was kind enough to get me the tickets last winter as a gift, was ready to go to, and he was psyched to go to this game. I was up at least until 3:00am last night lying in bed with a ringing in my ears and a knife in my skull that would not go away.
Unless I have the opportunity to sit down at field level again, where the sound is loud but not migraine-enduing, I am going to have to strongly consider against going to Citifield anytime soon. I love the ballpark, and I love seeing a ballgame live, but I love being able to hear and think more.
Arnold, do you have anything to add?
Posted by Robert Z