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.

Photo Courtesy of Stephanie L. Calvano

Click Here for Complete April 4, 2012 USA Marist Poll Release and Tables

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.

Table: More or Less Games Than Last Year

Table: Ticket Prices Value

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.

Table: Favorite Baseball Team

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.

Table: Team Favored to Win the World Series

Baseball Fans

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.

Table: Baseball Fans

How the Survey was Conducted

Nature of the Sample