From Cincinnati.com: Wrigley has Reds green with ivy
Going to Wrigley is about seeing your Cubbies win, but only tangentially. It’s more about the neighborhood, the Old Style, the ivy, the bleachers, Waveland, Sheffield, celebs singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” day games, sunshine, the lake, Harry Caray’s ghost, memories of Sammy and The Hawk and Ernie Banks. Let’s drink two. At least.
This is exactly the atmosphere the Reds have to cultivate to succeed. Because here is a hard truth in Baseball Town: The game’s not enough anymore.
I don’t think I’ve disagreed with a Paul Daugherty column more.
If you look at things statistically, winning is by far the biggest factor in attendance.
Year Attendance Attendance/Game Wins/Losses
1998 1,793,649 22,144 77-85
1999 2,061,324 25,292 96-67
2000 2,577,371 31,624 85-77
2001 1,879,757 23,794 66-96
You can see how the attendance grew in 1999 when the Reds had a winning team. The next year’s attendance is higher because people were excited about the Reds again. But, when the Reds started losing again in 2001, attendance dropped.
It’s like that for all teams. You can see the pattern with the White Sox and even the Cubs. Right now Cubs attendance is strong because of their playoff run in 2003. The atmosphere may slow attrition due to losing, but it still happens. In their really bad years in the 1990’s, the Cubs drew less than 2 million people.
Daugherty compares the Reds with the Bengals, but the Bengals have gone to the playoffs in recently. That’s why attendance is strong. But if the Bengals lose for a couple of more seasons, I expect sell-outs to end there too.
The basic thing is- winning cures everything!