At least that is the theme of this article from the Atlantic.
Even as a male fan, with no kids, I found myself nodding along as I read it.
- The no bag policy is ill conceived. If it truly is about security, why only limit bags? I’ve been to a December game in Cleveland during a snowstorm. I was wearing so many layers with so many pockets and other places to store various items that I carried in way more than any normal purse would hold. Should these coats be transparent too?
- Unruly fan behavior is a problem with any sport, but professional football seems to have a much larger problem than any others. (Though I am aware that MLS is struggling now as well with “supporter groups” and their R rated chants.)
- Player safety is going to be a huge problem fort the NFL. I don’t believe the game we see today is going to be around in this form for that much longer.
On top of those issues, when you throw in the cost, in terms of both dollars and time, involved in going to a game, eating and drinking at the game, etc. and the fact that watching from home opens up the possibilities of eating/drinking inexpensively, choosing who to watch the game with, switching over to the Red Zone channel when my game is dull or at the half, being warm, and already being home when it’s done, why would I bother with going to the stadium?
The same holds true for every sport. The in stadium experience just isn’t as good as staying home and watching the game on TV. There are a few exceptions, and there are things I miss by not being at a stadium, hence the reason I still try and go to a few games here and there, but I can’t see having season tickets or anything like that. I don’t want to spend that kind of money or make that kind of time commitment.
Let me give you an example of how the experience doesn’t really compare. A couple of weeks ago, the wife and I took a drive down to Atlanta and decided to take in a Braves game while we were in town. She’s a big Braves fan, and I always enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of a baseball game, along with a hot dog or two. Turner Field has a giant HD screen in the outfield, where you got a super sized video of each batter as they came to the plate. Do you think we got even a single replay on that screen? No. Not one, for the entire game. It drove me nuts. A nice fielding play leading to a close play at first? No good look at it for those of us in the stadium. If I was at home watching the game, I’m going to get that play broken down in slow motion so I can see exactly what happened and how the play came about. At the game, if you blinked, you missed it. Sorry. Now here’s a commercial for the Braves museum while we wait for the next batter.