The Verge Of A New Era
Is Major League Baseball on the verge of a new era of popularity? There’s been plenty of discussion in the last several years suggesting baseball is on decline, particularly among younger fans. But, is their actual cause for concern?
A Washington Post article from 2015, cites the Nielsen rating statistic stating that the average age of MLB fans is 53, 47 for the NFL and 37 for the NBA. This trend suggests baseball fans as an aging demographic, although MLB revenues, player salaries and attendance are not (at least yet) experiencing a decline. There are a few theories about the notion that baseball is a sport in decline among younger Americans.
First, the competition theory. Many sports are competing for the attention of America’s youth. Statistics suggest that basketball, soccer and baseball rank in the top three of organized team sports played by America’s youth. These stats also tell us that enrollment in organized sports are, in general, on the decline. While basketball and football have long been popular American sports, the rise of soccer likely plays the largest role in pull kids away from baseball. There are simply more options for kids and there’s also become a new trend of specialization – pulling more serious young athletes into concentrating on only one sport. Additionally, causal pickup games that took place on the sandlots across America, have become almost non-existent.
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