Friday, August 24, 2012

Fine time for an experiment: Cubs vs. White Sox attendance

Posted By on 08.24.12 at 10:59 AM

Will White Sox fans fill the seats this weekend with the Cubs also in town?
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  • Will White Sox fans fill the seats this weekend with the Cubs also in town?
I've recently been doing some writing concerning peer-review medical studies, so I believe I know the suitable conditions for an experiment when I see them.

The Cubs and White Sox are both in town this weekend, and Friday and Saturday are Doubledays—my old Reader pal Dave Jones's label for when one team is playing in the day and the other at night, so one can conceivably see them both.

The Cubs are playing a Friday day game, the Sox at night, seemingly favoring the Sox for when the majority of fans could see them. The same goes for Saturday, which would seemingly favor the Cubs at Wrigley Field in the afternoon, especially for families—all other variables being equal—except that the Sox are playing a 6 PM game with fireworks afterward. The two teams play at virtually the same time Sunday.

Both teams are playing host to also-rans from western time zones: the Cubs the Colorado Rockies, the Sox the Seattle Mariners.

So who draws more fans, the first-place Sox or the fifth-place Cubs, 25 games out of first and, let's see, with a magic number of 11 before they're eliminated from contention and admit it's now been 104 years since their last championship?

The smart money, of course, says the Cubs, with their die-hard fans, but it doesn't have to be that way, and it may not be.

True, the Sox drew only in the 20,000s for the New York Yankees earlier this week, but those were for so-called premier games in ticket prices, and the Sox may have priced themselves out of the market. For the average Sox fan, why pay through the nose to see the Yankees, when you can watch those games on TV and then go out to see the Mariners at so-called prime prices?

As for the Cubs, they sold their tickets a long time ago, and the question is how many people will actually show up to fill the seats, especially as there are precious few Rockies fans in the area to sell their tickets to. Cubs season-ticket holders abandoned their team en masse and sold out to Tigers fans earlier this season—making Wrigley Detroit East—but that won't be an option this weekend.

The other question is who's more stupid: the Cubs fans who go out to see a team 29 games under .500 or the Sox fans who don't go out to patronize a team in first place?

That's a subject for further research.

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