Steve Davis: Orioles’ Attendance Talk
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I think people might need to be prepared for the new reality, which is that packing Camden Yards during the week, which was the norm during the playoff years in 1996 and 1997, might be unrealistic.
We know the obvious reasons: 14 years of losing, difficult economy, etc. But there’s more. Hi-def TV wasn’t around in the 90’s, so the viewing experience wasn’t as good away from the park. Also, the Nationals moving to DC might have cost the Orioles in the neighborhood of 25-33% of their fans. So a night when they once drew 30,000, that might be down to 20,000, even with a good team. Based on studies, the Balt-DC area can only generate up to about 4.5 million fans. So, the days of Camden Yards drawing 3.5 million appear to be over.
Oh yeah, one more thing. Cal doesn’t play anymore, and he was a one-of-a-kind draw.