Summertime is here, and it’s the perfect time of year to take in a live baseball game in Toronto, enjoy some peanuts, crackerjacks, and cheer on the Blue Jays. However, with the current state of the Blue Jays’ season, many fans may not be too eager to spend their hard-earned money on attending a live game. This situation, coupled with the fact that Major League Baseball (MLB) isn’t doing enough to bolster the game’s entertainment value, is a concern for the sport’s future. In this blog post, we’ll discuss why MLB needs to focus on enhancing the entertainment value rather than relying heavily on nostalgia to keep fans engaged.
For starters, despite the addition of pitch clocks and other like-minded changes introduced into the game, it hasn’t resulted in a significant uptick in interest levels for MLB. The pace of the game might otherwise be okay, but that doesn’t mean that fans will automatically show up at the games. This lack of engagement highlights that MLB’s current strategy is somewhat flawed.
Furthermore, MLB is not embracing the on-demand world, which we all currently inhabit. The younger audience demographic, in particular, has a shorter attention span and isn’t necessarily drawn to the nostalgic aspects of the game. MLB needs to adapt and create a more contemporary environment that caters to the modern needs of younger fans. The current pricing of tickets, parking, and concessions is also prohibitive to many visitors. When these costs add up, most fans would rather spend their money elsewhere, and this is something that MLB needs to recognize and address.
At NBA games, the experience is the main draw, and the game is just a bonus. MLB needs to adopt this model and focus more on enhancing the entertainment value of live games. Fans need to be invested in the atmosphere and entertainment, as well as the gameplay, and it’s here where MLB could do with a refocus.
The Blue Jays are still in the hunt for a Wildcard spot, but fan engagement levels are low despite this. This is another key indicator that MLB needs to focus on the entertainment value rather than just the gameplay. A significant part of the current problem is that the sport has become somewhat complacent, and it’s apparent that the league will need to adapt to stay relevant.
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