Kids Cheer Free: A History of Putting Kids in the Cheap Seats


Fans watching a MLB game in Cleveland

From Sport in American History by Seth Tannenbaum:

A new Major League Baseball season is about to get underway and, as it has for years, the game continues to struggle to pull in younger fans. Since 2006, the average age of baseball fans has gone up from 52 to 57. To counter this and hopefully attract new fans, this season the Baltimore Orioles are offering a Kids Cheer Free program in which an adult who purchases an upper-deck ticket—where empty seats frequently go unsold—will be able to bring up to two children under the age of ten to the park for free. (There are some limitations to this program—it is not available on Opening Day and is subject to availability for other games.)

The Orioles’ new program is attempting to strike a balance between short-term revenue and the long-term health of the game. Despite peddling nostalgic memories of fathers and sons attending games together, Major League Baseball has long struggled with how to attract young fans to the game and where to seat them. Teams have tried to sequester their youngest fans to the far reaches of the park so they would not bother paying fans. The location of the seats the Orioles are giving away to children fits squarely within that history.

Read the rest of the article at Sport in American History


Categories: Sports History

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