Jimmy Rollins Wants to Know Why There are Empty Seats at Citizens Bank Park

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

J Roll checking in after a huge Phillies win on Wednesday night:

Fair tweet. He’s not ripping anyone, just asking a legit question.

The Phillies are good. Best team we’ve seen in ten years. The ballpark should be rocking, and I think it will be in September once it cools off and we hit the home stretch. It’s August 11th, it’s still hot as balls for the most part, and with kids out of school you’ve got family vacation season, with people going to the shore, the Poconos, etc. There’s too much other stuff going on right now.

The other thing is this, as Jamie Lynch at 97.5 the Fanatic points out:

average price for a family of four to take in a game is $204. lack of attendance doesn’t mean lack of caring or passion

It can certainly be cost-prohibitive to go to a game, especially with the economy being pretty meh right now. Obviously not everybody is part of a family of four, and if you’re 25 years old and single, grab some buddies and go down to Citizens Bank Park. CBP was THE PLACE to be from 2009 to 2012, like the de facto thing everybody did all the time.

~$204 dollars hits hard when you’re a parent with a couple of kids. You’re already paying out the ass for childcare, food, gas, etc, so the thought of dropping a few more hundo to schlep a couple of kids down to South Philly feels like an insurmountable task, or one that is much less palatable, especially when you can go down to your basement and watch on the 85 inch TV in the air conditioning. I don’t think the allure of live sports is the same because the at-home conditions have improved drastically over the years. We’ve got better TVs, DVR, killer soundbars, etc. I can multi-screen on the Samsung and live bet from my phone. I can lay a tablet on the coffee table and watch another game at the same time. There’s just so much more comfort and flexibility from home. Long gone are the days of your dad and uncles watching the shitty box TV from the recliner.

Plus, the generation of young adults with disposable income right now grew up watching shitty Phillies teams.

Think about it –

If you were 13 years old in 2012, when the slide began, you’re now 23 and can probably afford to go to a few games here and there. No kids, no mortgage. Problem is, you spent your formative years knowing the Phillies to be horrendous, so that’s another thing to consider. Most of the people who were in their 20s and single during the golden years are now married with kids and not in a position to rage like they once did. We need the Gen X and Boomer empty nesters to fill CBP and get rowdy.

Ultimately, attendance is probably a combination of things. The team stunk for years. I think people were wary about jumping back on the bandwagon too soon. It’s hot. It’s expensive. The economy blows. It’s still summer vacation season, etc. But I’ve got no doubt in my mind that the stadium is gonna be rocking in September.


EDIT – I do think there are some people who used to go to the city, but avoid it now. They see crime reports on the news, read about gun violence etc. I don’t have any data to back this up, but I’m sure you’ve heard people give you some version of the “Philly is a shithole, I’m never going back” take. I can’t imagine it’s a large portion of people, but I do hear this every so often.