The Baltimore Orioles and the rest of the sports world actually has an amicable relationship with Hollywood for the most part. Sports movies get made all the time. In fact, baseball movies as we know are probably some of the best. Personally, I know that my favorite movie is Field of Dreams.
But should sports be so chummy with the rest of the entertainment world? We hear the term sports & entertainment all the time; the two are often lumped together. Many people argue that sports IS entertainment, or at least a part of it. But does that utimately hurt the sports world?
I ask this question because I had some free time yesterday and like any good Italian kid I went to see the latest movie in the Rocky franchise, which is currently in theaters – Creed II, to be specific. First off I do recommend it and I thought it was a great movie. But take my view with a grain of salt, because I’m going to always tell you that any film involving Rocky Balboa is worth my time and money!
That aside, the “movie experience” is much different today than it was when I was a kid. I went on a special discount day, so my ticket was only $6. But the normal ticket price is $15. Then you saunter up to the concession stand and purchase designer popcorn for $8, high end candy for $5, all among other selections. Nowadays theaters serve hot dogs, nachos, icees – heck, and some even have a full bar.
I never thought I’d see the day where you could get a glass of the local craft swill or a mixed drink during a feature picture. Incidentally, many theaters now even have arcades or virtual reality centers. Now while it may sound like I saw my first movie since 1988 yesterday, I can guarantee you that’s not the case! However I suppose I never left the mindset where the movies are all about the movie, and perhaps a popcorn and soda.
Like the movie experience, the sports experience has changed also. Now it’s all about which designer foods you have in your park, and the game day experience. And it’s that word which draws all of this together – “experience,” Nowadays everything’s an experience.
What I’m saying is this; perhaps the Orioles compete lightly with the Ravens, University of Maryland, and to a lesser degree Washington’s teams for people’s money. There are people out there who do have to sit down and decide if they want to invest in an Orioles’ ticket plan, Ravens’ etc. Heck, sometimes the Orioles even have to compete against their own minor league affiliates for ticket sales.
But the Orioles, and sports in general also have to compete with the entertainment industry. Everyone’s stepping up their game, because sports & entertainment are lumped into one category. now. It’s probably cheaper for a family of four to go to the movies as opposed to a night at the ballpark. And it’s a shorter day, which is now taken into account as well.
And in this region there’s also more to it than just that. We have shows, concerts, and museums which compete with the sports industry for money as well. This is not to say that it’s either or, because for the most part I don’t think that’s the case. However as a society we’re billing sports and entertainment as one. So people perhaps are being conditioned to think it’s either or.
In my view if you have a Saturday with your family, perhaps you take them to a museum, head to the movies, and then perhaps an evening at the ballpark sucking down hot dogs. Nowadays however, people’s attitudes are that they have $150-$200 to spend on their family of four. What’s the best bang for their buck in terms of entertainment? And it’s up to each individual sport or team to ensure that the money comes their way. Not only that, but they’re competing against every other entertainment outlet in the region.