Thursday, January 01, 2009

Will 2009 be the Year of the Sports Fan?

At The New Republic Darren Rovell argues that because of the economic crisis 2009 is likely to be the "Year of the Sports Fan." Hopefully he is right. The trend in recent years has been to take fans for grantes, assuming that we will constantly show up, pay the exhorbitant ticket prices, the absurd concession costs, and leave the stadium with a mexed out credit card and handfuls of jerseys and hats and t-shirts and whatever else we can stuff into a shopping bag.

I would assume that there will be a great deal of regional variation, and that the places with the loyalist fan bases will benefit the least. After all, if fans are flocking to see the games in some cities, those owners are going to see little need to drop prices, add incentives, or provide bargains. In other words, if you're in Boston, don't expect most of these trends to help you more easily and cheaply see the Sox, C's, Pats, or resurgent Bruins. But in somewhat more marginal, or perhaps to be kinder, less entrenched, sports markets, Rovell just might be right.

Meanwhile it continues to be the decade of the Boston Sports Fan. If you need a reminder of the current state of Boston sports, see this Bob Ryan article in The Boston Globe.

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