Says Dave Zirin on the Nation.com:
A recent Gallup poll shows that only 9 percent of people in the United States are listing baseball as their favorite sport. That’s the lowest number since Gallup started asking the question in 1937.
Recent statistics also show that ballpark attendance is down in 19 of the 30 stadiums around the league. Camera shots of games being played in front of near empty crowds are now plentiful. There is also the embarrassing spectacle of the sparsely watched Tampa Bay Rays looking to play half their games in Montreal.
Baseball also has the oldest average fan base of any of the major sports. As Market Watch wrote in 2017, “The average age of a baseball viewer is 57, up from 52 in 2006. There won’t be a youth movement, either, as just 7% of baseball’s audience is below age 18.”
The facts demonstrate that the game is in a humiliating state of decay.
The question is why.
The typical answer given is that young people are just too distracted with their dang smart phones, which have conditioned the kind of short attention span that keeps people from going out to the ball game. This lets the powers that be in baseball—and their inability to proactively make the sport more appealing to a younger audience—off the hook.