Baltimore Orioles: Manny Machado and attendance

What happens to Baltimore Orioles’ attendance if they fail to re-sign Manny Machado? I can tell you what happens, but it won’t be pretty. Perhaps unfortunately, sports fans now need a reason to go to the games other than just seeing the team.

I say perhaps unfortunately because in fairness nobody can tell someone how to spend their money. The Orioles trotted no-name teams out for years. Not only did they lose, but they were devoid of any star power. Sure they had fan favorites such as Markakis, Roberts, and Mora, but none of those are Machado, Jones, Schoop, or Davis.

Incidentally, this is also a different era from even that not-so-distant past. The world moves at a much quicker pace now, and yes people need an incentive to come out to the ballpark. The best incentive you can give them is a winning team, and the best way to create a winning team is to have great players. That’s another reason why Manny Machado should remain and Oriole.

Look down the pike if you want further confirmation regarding attendance. When I was a kid the Washington Bullets had no stars. And I mean none. They had journeyman players who played hard and fought to win games, but they were devoid of star power – until they ended up with Chris Webber and Juwan Howard.

Nevertheless the Bullets’ marketing department knew they were going to struggle to sell tickets. So they’d take out full page ads in the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun to the effect of “come see the Bullets take on Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics, Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, or Patrick Ewing and the New York Knicks!” Basically, come see the stars of the NBA right here at the Capital Centre! And it worked…

…when those teams would come to town the arena would be packed – with those teams’ fans. Believe me, I was at some of those games…I know! Do the Orioles really want to have to resort to that?

I’m not going to suggest that $400 million (just to throw a number out there for Manny Machado) isn’t a lot of money. However Machado’s body of work on the field speaks for itself. Furthermore he’ll generate more ticket sales in theory, along with merchandise. But if he goes elsewhere, do the Orioles really want to risk having to see the machine that is Manny Machado turned against them?

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