April 4, 2012
4/4: Take Me Out to the Ball Game? Maybe Not
Major League Baseball’s Opening Night is tonight! As teams gear up to take the field, a majority of baseball fans nationally say they, once again, are not planning to attend any games this season. 53% report they did not attend any baseball games last season and do not plan to venture out to the stadium this season. 31% of baseball fans think they will go to about the same number of games as last year, 10% are planning to attend more, and 6% report they will be present for fewer games. Results were similar when the Marist Poll last reported this question in April 2010.
Ticket prices are likely a factor here. Nearly 6 in 10 national baseball fans — 56% — report the cost of a ticket for a major league baseball game is not a good value for the money. 34% disagree and say they get a good bang for their buck. 10% are unsure. These proportions are unchanged from two years ago.
Looking at region, those in the Northeast are most likely to balk about the value received for the cost of a ticket to the game. Nearly three-quarters — 73% — do not think they are getting their money’s worth. Majorities in the Midwest — 55% — and South — 52% — share this view. Baseball fans in the West divide. 47% say the cost of a ticket to a game is not a good value for the money while 46% state it is.
Root, Root, Root for the Home Team?
Who do national baseball fans root for on the diamond? 16% cheer for the New York Yankees, 7% root for the Boston Red Sox, 6% say they support the Atlanta Braves, and the same proportion — 6% — is in the Chicago Cubs’ corner. Five percent are on the side of the St. Louis Cardinals while a majority of baseball fans — 53% — pick another team for which to root. Seven percent are unsure.
Region is a factor. 38% and 24% of fans living in the Northeast, respectively, say they cheer for the Yankees and Red Sox. In the Midwest, 21% are Cubs fans. Those in the South divide with 18% pulling for the Braves and 16% cheering for the Bronx Bombers.
Pre-Season Picks…Yankees are Early Favorite to Win World Series
Baseball fans nationally — 21% –choose the Yankees as the early favorite to take home the title of World Series Champions. Coming in a distant second are the Red Sox — 7% — followed by the Philadelphia Phillies — 7%. Rounding out the top five are the LA Angels of Anaheim — 5% — and the Texas Rangers with the same proportion — 5%. Nearly three in ten fans — 29% — think another team will win it all, and a notable 27% are unsure.
When the Marist Poll reported this question at the beginning of last year’s post-season in September 2011, the New York Yankees — 22% –were at the top of the heap as baseball fans’ favorite. At that time, only 2% picked the 2011 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals to win it all.
Half of adults nationally — 50% — report they follow Major League Baseball at least a little. This includes 10% who watch a great deal of the sport, 10% who take in a good amount, and 30% who watch what happens on the diamond a little. 50% do not follow baseball at all.
These proportions are similar to when Marist last reported this question. 47% of adults in September followed baseball at least a little, while 53% said they didn’t watch at all.