Interest, Viewership, & Participation in Youth Baseball Are Up

We’ve heard it all before:

 

 

 

“Baseball is boring!”

 

 

 

 

 

“The game is too slow…”

 

 

 

 

 

“No one likes baseball.”

 

 

 

 

 

“Football is America’s new pastime.”

 

 

 

 

 

“There’s not enough action.”

 

“Baseball is Dying!”

 

The demise of America’s Pastime has been greatly exaggerated in recent years. In fact, baseball – youth baseball in particular – is actually THRIVING.

 

Youth Baseball Participation

 

Interest, Viewership, & Participation in Youth Baseball Are Up

 

Interest in Youth Baseball

 

“We’re losing the casual baseball player, the sandlot player,” said Tom Cove, Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association vice president of government relations.

 

While the days of pick-up games on the sandlot (or in the street) may be behind us, interest in youth baseball is still very much alive. According Little League baseball officials, there are approximately 2 million kids currently playing youth baseball. These numbers have remained fairly steady over the past five years, while Pop Warner football participation has been on the decline. Even at its height Pop Warner had just 248,899 youth players, nowhere near the numbers of youth baseball.

 

Little League World Series Viewership

 

If you want an indication of the popularity of youth baseball in America, just take a look at the Little League World Series, which consists of 54 games aired across ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2. Viewership is up 71% from 2013, bringing in an average of 1,724,000 viewers for each game. In fact, ESPN aired its two most-watched Little League games ever in 2014:

 

    1. Las Vegas vs. Philadelphia: 5.3 million viewers. More than any other baseball game – youth or Major League Baseball (MLB) – since 2007.

 

    1. Chicago vs. Philadelphia: 3.8 million viewers.

 

So who said interest in youth baseball was on the decline?

 

Major League Baseball’s Youth Viewership

 

More than one-third of MLB teams had the highest-rated, most-watched local programming in prime time in their area. 17 MLB teams – over half the league – rank in the top 3 in local prime time TV ratings, to watch them and fully enjoy the comfort with 55 inch tv wall mount expert reviewed and proven. And postseason ratings (in a year without Boston or New York in the playoffs) are already up 9% over 2013.

 

“The engagement and passion the fans have for their local team is clearly unmatched in their markets,” said Eric Shanks, Fox Sports President.

 

And then there is game attendance. In 2014, MLB saw 73,739,622 attend its regular season games. That’s an average of 30,437 fans per game. While smaller per game than the NFL, which comes in at an impressive 68,339 fans per game, MLB’s overall attendance dwarfs the NFL, which came in at 17,304,523 for the 2013-14 season. We know, we know…it’s just a 16 game season, so it’s not really a fair comparison. Still, MLB’s attendance numbers are impressive, which has led to record revenues.

 

Last season MLB saw gross revenues of over $8 billion. These figures are expected to balloon to $10 billion within the next two years. Wow! Dying sports don’t achieve those kinds of numbers, now do they?

 

Sandlot Swag

 

While you are here, please also take a moment to browse our entire line of Baseball Shorts. And don’t forget, we also offer custom baseball shorts, perfect for travel teams, slow pitch softball teams, flag football teams, and more!

 

You can also follow us on Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest for more great youth baseball news, tips & tricks, and the newest designs from Sandlot Swag!

 

Sources:

 

Baseball Is Dying? Don’t Be Stupid,” Forbes
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