It's been a rough 2018 season for Major League Baseball. Clubs are struggling to figure out how to attract more fans to the ballpark. Across its 30 clubs, MLB is down on average 1,209 fans per club. That doesn't bode well for the sustainability of the league.
Publications such as Forbes attribute the dip in attendance to anything including but not limited to weather and team performance. What if the one thing that could save Major League Baseball is nostalgia?
Worldwide brands such as Pepsi, Miller Lite, and others are reverting back to vintage packaging in an effort to attract the coveted dollars of Millennials. MLB seems to be drawing off this idea and will be engaging in a new campaign called the "Summer Series."
Next summer, American League division rivals will meet as the Kansas City Royals face the Detroit Tigers in Omaha, Nebraska.
The game is scheduled to be played on June 13th, 2019 at TD Ameritrade Park ahead of the 2019 NCAA College World Series. This "summer series" previously featured such games like as the Atlanta Braves vs. Miami Marlins in Fort Bragg, North Carolina in 2016, and the Pittsburgh Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals in Williamsport, PA, in 2017.
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred made the announcement last Thursday. "We look forward to partnering with the NCAA and all the various parties who have worked hard to put this game together," Manfred said. "This represents another significant step in our efforts to showcase the solidarity that links each level of our great game."
This is a genius move for Major League Baseball. The thrill of being at the College World Series will both excite players and fans. Many of the foreign born players have never experienced the excitement of the the College World Series and the atmosphere that Omaha provides.
Fans will benefit from this game greatly because it will help them relieve the nostalgia they once felt when they stepped on the diamond.
This could trigger an upswing in attendance as Millennials with growing families may want to share a special afternoon at the ballpark with their son or daughter. This move won't solve all of Major League Baseball's attendance issues, but it certainly is a great first step.