I’ve been concerned for a while that the Reds, while in the midst of a 17th losing season in 22 years, have lost an entire generation of fans. I tried to put that into words in my latest column for Cincinnati Magazine:

You have to go back five full years since the Reds last played meaningful baseball in September. It’s hard to remember now, since it’s been so long ago, but at this point in 2013 Cincinnati was 80-62 and 2 games back. They ended up flaming out in the Wild Card game, but, hey, they were in the mix. That’s all I ask.

But: Five. Full. Years.

I have spent five full years of my life watching a team that’s been nowhere in the vicinity of competitive baseball. Five years of writing about the Reds and thinking about the Reds and watching the Reds and spending money on the Reds and (ahem) publishing a book about the Reds. Five years of my life that I’ll never get back.

There are 30-year-olds who don’t remember the last time the Reds won a playoff series. To the average twentysomething wearing blue and orange, singing and tossing smoke bombs in The Bailey at FC Cincinnati games, the wire-to-wire 1990 Reds are ancient history. The Big Red Machine is something Grandpa rambles on about during holiday dinners. For the younger fans baseball needs to engage in order to grow, the Reds are just that team down by the river that’s suffered through losing seasons in 17 of the last 22 years.

Please read the entire thing and let me know where I missed the mark.

50 Responses

  1. Alex

    I am the fan you are talking to .I’m 31 and grew up as a Bengals and reds fan as a youth. Growing up that way made me not sentimental at all. I don’t owe teams anything as a fan. Nothing. Not to big Bob, not to Carl, not to POS Mike Brown. Put a good product on the field. I feel like Eddie taubensee was the catcher the last time the reds won a playoff series. One playoff series, I was 8. I’ve watched big Bob accrue over a billion dollars of wealth on our backs while producing 3 winning seasons in 11 years and there is no end in sight. They won’t sign good pitchers and blame the fans cause they didn’t show up in the 2nd half amd rigs will be the manager cause hes cheao and tells them what they want to hear. This is a team completely devoid of a path to a winning season in at least the next 2 years. Boooooooo

    • Ghettotrout1

      Same here I’m 32 and it has been tough to be a Cinci sports fan growing up. See below.

      1) Kenyon Martin’s broken leg
      2) Reds losing to the Mets in the one game playoff
      3) Johnny Cueto’s lat and the 2012 SF debacle
      4) Carson Palmer’s knee injury vs Steelers
      5) Bengals epic meltdown vs Steelers the year AJ McCarron almost had a playoff win
      6) UC losing in the NCAA tourney when they were up by like 25 points just this last winter

      I’m sure I’m missing plenty but those are the main sports moments I can remember off the top of my head growing up a Cinci sports fan. Which is why I will say the greatest sports moment (I was not directly involved in) was watching the Todd Father win the Ding Dong Derby when the Reds hosted the AS game.

      • Jonathon

        Very interesting column. Being a Cincinnati sports fan builds character…or at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

        I’m also among the folks you describe. I’m 33, a Cincinnati native. Picking up with GhettoTrout1’s illustrative and painful list, I’ll never forget (how could you?) listening to the Reds-Giants series in October 2012. Everyone remembers: The Reds went up 2 games to none in SF, and there was reason to hope this would be the breakthrough year. Back at GABP, the Reds proceed to be swept in games 3-5, snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory.

        I used to care about the Bengals. At this point, I’m just over it. It’s very unlikely that I’ll ever care again. The Bengals of my lifetime have been a veritable a soap opera in more ways than one, and I’m simply not interested. On top of that, I’m not a huge fan of the NFL for a variety of reasons.

        But Reds baseball is different. For me, Reds baseball carries more cultural and relational significance, and I think it would be virtually impossible to give up on the team altogether. Anyway, I have no desire to give up. I’m fairly checked out this year, more so than at this point in the season in previous lackluster years. But I do follow RedlegNation for recaps and perspectives, and I’m sure I’ll tune back in to the ball games next spring with fresh interest and hope. I hope that interest and hope will be merited.

      • Aaron Bradley

        Yea I am sorry for ridiculing you about the HR derby in that prior thread… my bad, I know you have suffered with a lot of losing. I was lucky to be 19 when the Reds won the WS in 1990 and it was a glorious fun run to follow the wire-to-wire domination. Still, a home run derby? LOL… I just don’t find it exciting in the least, but I respect that you found it exciting. I hope you get to see meaningful baseball (or football or whatever) soon. I’m too old now to care, I just focus on my own life, its all I can control.

  2. Bill j

    Chad, been a Reds fan for over 70 years, back to McCormick, Walters and other of the old ones. I wish I was as optimistic as you but without major changes I like others see not hope for at least 2 years. When the pitching is good the hitting is not, when the pitching is bad the hitting is good, but many times not good enough. Fundamentals are poor, which should have been taught in the beginning.

    • Mike Adams

      Bill, I am a 48 year fan.
      The lost generation of fans started about the time free agency and arbitration birthed the beginnings of a constant revolving door of different players for most mlb teams.
      There used to be several guys that would start and finish careers with the same team.
      Now, a career with the same team like the Reds’ Joey Votto is an exception not the rule.
      This isn’t THE factor for the phenomenon Chad writes about, but I think it is definitely a significant contributor.

  3. lost11found

    I don’t think that there is such a thing anymore as generation fans or fandom. The sheer number of choices for your entertainment dollar means that people pick things based on the value at that moment. MLS, NBA, NFL, NHL, regional NCAA, movies/theatrical, etc. There will be a group of fans that really enjoy the nuts-and-bolts part of any of these and will follow whatever that is like we do here.

    The days of inheriting fandom are likely long gone. When the reds are competative again. People of all ages will come because a night at the park will be fun, with a positvie outcome likely.

    • Mike Adams

      I agree that winning will bring more fans to the ballpark but see my comment above to Bill.

  4. WVRedlegs

    But…but…but Big Bob Castellini promised “Winning baseball” in Cincinnati. POBO Dick Williams recently said there was a “winning culture” and “positive momentum” to not interfere with at the trade deadline.
    At least we aren’t in Washington, DC and have the Nationals as our team. They have had the great Max Scherzer and Bryce Harper and they didn’t win any playoff serieses in their window of opportunity, 2012-2018.
    The Reds Walt Jocketty and the Nats Mike Rizzo have to be the MLB Executives of the Decade for 2010-2019.
    You think the Reds have lost a generation of young fans? Probably so. But wait until they hire Jim Riggleman as permanent manager. The Reds will lose more than a generation. They will lose the long time, hard core fans who have stuck around through thick and thin, but mostly a lot of thin lately. I have turned the page and moved on from the Bengals, Mike Brown and Marvin Lewis. I have never looked back.
    After the last 5 years with the Reds, the same thing is going to happen with me and a Riggleman hiring. Move on and no looking back. It takes years for a person to build up a love and a passion for a team. The Reds need to be more concerned with winning back the older, long time fans who have moved on. The younger fans that you referenced will be mostly curious on-lookers, not real fans. They have little to no investment into the Reds. Catering to the Millennials “only” would be a mistake as big as the Reds rebuild has been. When the marketing is aimed at the Millennials only, it just turns off the age 40+ fans. Sitting in front or behind Millennials at a Reds game severely takes away from the game experience if you have to sit near them. The constant foul language and constant know-it-all jibber-jawing takes a toll. I don’t go to a game to hear Millennials let loose with enough f-bombs that it would make Bryan Price blush. Why drive 4 hours, have the expense for tickets and food, expense for gasoline, and expense for a hotel room only to have the game experience ruined by a group of foul mouthed Millennials complaining about a free bobblehead? I, for one, am glad the Millennials are flocking to European football. Good riddance.

    • Eric

      “I have turned the page and moved on from the Bengals, Mike Brown and Marvin Lewis. I have never looked back.”

      That describes me to a T. I’m curious as to who you chose as your next team. For me, it was the Packers, right after the 2010 season. I’d been a long-suffering Bengals fan from roughly age 5 until 40. I watched what I now refer to as The Mike Brown: “I’m Perfectly Happy With Losing As Long As I’m Getting Paid, So I’m Keeping Marvin Lewis And Changing Absolutely Nothing” Press Conference, and decided that 35 years was enough.

    • Aaron Bradley

      One of the biggest indictments against Rigs, is that he was bench coach under Price, so he bears a good amount of responsibility for the product on the field. all the moreso because Price was a pitching coach first and foremost. If Rigs was doing a decent job as bench coach it would have mitigated some of Price’s bad influence. He is just too old school. It’s bad enough Jocketty and Castellini are interfering in fron toffice decision making, but an old school coach would just be so backwards in this age of analytics.

  5. Tom

    Cincinnati’s fan base is a huge reason for the lack of success. St Louis, almost an exactly sized marker, draws over a million more fans than the Reds a season. That goes for times when the Reds have been to the playoffs. In fact, the Reds have poor attendance in a very small market. This causes tremdous pressure on revenues. We can talk about much the team is valued at – maybe near $1B – but that value isn’t liquid.

    A few years back, the Reds had about $175m in revenue, $125 in player salaries, and it took $50m to run the club. The club has done an amazing job of making GABP a great place to enjoy a game. But it’s not translating to attendance. It’s becoming a catch-22 – the Reds can’t win without the revenue from fans and the fans won’t attend games unless the Reds are up to par with the Big Red Machine or are leading the league Wire-to-Wire.

    Sure, the Reds front office can do a bit better in some trades. But they’ve done very well in some trades and not great in others. It hurts when we don’t have leverage.

    • lost11found

      St. Louis isn’t as good of a Comp as population would suggest. The cards are pretty much the only game in town. The NFL has had two teams there and but for a brief window of success withe Rams, neither team has been successful on the field or putting fans in the seats. A similar story exists on the NHL side but for the Brett hull years. And while they are tangential to quality NCAA sports (KU, UI, Mizzou, Nebraska, they are not in the core areas of those teams and need to travel to support them.

      Compared with Cincy, a short drive gets you to NHL in Columbus. You have UC, Xavier, UK, UL, OSU, even IU all very nearby, and while the Bengals usually disappoint but are good enough to hold interest. For NBA you have Cleveland or Pacers. Add in the freshness of MLS and you have lots of competition for a familty sports entertainment budget (on yearly level).

      • Jeff Reed

        And don’t forget the school just up the road, Miami University, who is no longer a football power since Ben Rothlisberger left, but they do have an outstanding hockey program.

    • Jeff Reed

      The city populations of Cincinnati and St. Louis are about the same, but metro St. Louis has a population of 600,000 more than metro Cincinnati. That, plus the fact the Cardinals are a much better run franchise than the Reds, makes a big difference.

      • Jim Walker

        Without looking to be sure, I’m doubting the 90 minute in StLouis is as big as the 90 minute market in Cincinnati (or even 60 minute market) because Cincy’s 90 minute market includes the entire Dayton area, most of Columbus and most of Indy. I’m not as familiar with KY but I’m guessing down to Lexington and just about to Louisville fall in there too. Time was that on Reds game, traffic on I75 from the north end of Dayton to the ballpark was dominated by folks bound for the game. Not so much anymore.

      • Phil

        I live north of Dayton and attended 20 games per year in the 70s and 80s. I’ve not been to the new park and have no intention to do so.

      • Jim Walker

        How much of this change do you think is due to life changes in your life and aging versus the quality of the team on the field? Age has certainly become a factor with me as I don’t like to drive unfamiliar roads after dark (eye issues) plus my wife who I met in the early 1990s is a non-fan (to put it politely).

    • doofus

      So it’s the fans fault that the Reds cannot develop pitchers; traded Chapman, Bruce for nothing; do nothing at the trade deadline to improve the roster?

      The Astros attendance was abysmal, but their ownership allowed the front office to build a championship roster. Look what happened.

      The same can be said for Atlanta and Philly. I live outside Philly. Ownership did not blame the fans for poor attendance the last few years, they just worked at building a roster.

      • Tom

        Houston and Philly are huge metropolitan areas. The TV contracts are huge. Attendance in Philly is quite strong.

        The best thing to happen to the Reds would be if the Bengals left town.

      • doofus

        When the Astros and Phillies were recent bottom dwellers their attendance fell off. Population had nothing to do with it. However, their ownership did not blame their fans, they got out of the way and let their front office people put together a more talented roster.

        Please, there was an influx of new TV money for the Reds. Where did it go?

        P.S. the Phillies did not waste millions on new beer bars in their ballpark either.

      • lwblogger2

        Odd that the Reds are the only team in MLB to have kept the TV revenue numbers completely private. There was no formal release or leak of the numbers by either party. Makes me think it’s either a windfall or not as much money as we think.

      • doofus

        Bengals regular season is from September to January; Reds from April to September. They overlap for only 5 weeks.

    • doofus

      It’s simple: BUILD A WINNING TEAM AND THEY WILL COME!

      It doesn’t seem that Reds fans attendance at games can be used as an excuse for the teams poor record. 2015 (2.4M+) attendance is only 8% less than 1976 (2.6M+). record in 2015: 64-98; 1976: 102-60.

      Cards drew 1.2M in 1976, that’s 1.4M less than the Reds in same year. Cards 1976 record: 72-90.

      http://www.baseball-almanac.com/teams/redsatte.shtml

      Look at any team. There IS a correlation to increased attendance and a winning team and decreased attendance and a losing team. A city’s population doesn’t seem to be a factor.

    • doofus

      If the Reds lack a fan base, how do you explain the domination of the Big Red Machine?

      It seems that the “Fan base” argument is just an excuse to cover the ineptness of ownership/FO to build a talented/winning roster.

  6. Jeff Reed

    Quite a feat for a city that’s lost 40% of it’s population in the past 60 years and most of the new ML soccer team’s fans are from the suburbs. Just the fans that the Castellini Group ownership has to get back to the ballpark if the Reds are going to draw more than a few 25,000 plus crowds, including opening day, in 2019. If the front office puts a competitive team on the field, the fans will come back. The Reds hierarchy has a lot of work to do in the next six months. Let’s hope it gets done for the 150th. anniversary of ML baseball’s first professional franchise in 1869.

  7. Scott C

    Yes us old guys are fortunate to have been around during the early 70’s and 1990. That was great baseball. Still wonder what might have been if Cueto hadn’t gotten hurt in 2012. Do kind of resent you talking about us grandpas rambling. Or maybe I just resemble that remark.

  8. ClayMC

    I’ve been a Reds fan the entirety of my 31 year old life because my dad’s been a life-long Reds fan. But while he got to experience the Big Red Machine, I’ve gotten years and years and years of playoff-less baseball.

    Nostalgia and loyalty are important to me, which is why I’m still a Reds fan in 2018, but I’ve never been less enthused about being a Reds fan. Watching the front office continue to lag behind other teams in what I perceive as “smart baseball” really takes the wind out of my proverbial sails.

  9. Sliotar

    @Jeff Reed…

    Funny you mention Miami hockey. I just got my Redhawks hockey season tickets today. Goggin Ice Arena is a great place to watch a live sporting event.

    Small (less than 5,000), collegiate atmosphere with students bringing engagement and noise. And, playing in the best hockey conference in the nation…has produced the last 3 NCAA Division I champions.

    And lots of action…plus, always in my car and on the road after a game in under 3 hours.

    For the first time in years, did not buy a Reds flex plan..and haven’t missed going one bit.

    • Jeff Reed

      @Sliotar: As a Miami grad I think back fondly to my days in Oxford. Many exciting football games with coaches Ari Parseghian and Johnny Pont, but no hockey at that time. Enjoy the Redhawk hockey season.

  10. Sliotar

    Also, without getting into climate change/politics/solar cyclles/new mini ice age coming….whatever…

    Large parts of GABP is not fun to sit in for 3+ hours with the sun beating down on you.

    My small business involves a lot of outside work, and the sun is much worse now than it was 10 years ago…I feel it firsthand. For whatever reason.

    I won’t take my girlfriend or a client to a MLB game now unless we are in shade or have access to a club section to cool off for a bit.

    Suffering weather while attending was expected when I was little….but, not so much now.

    You can make a case that sooner rather than later…GABP needs replaced with a Miller Park setup. But, ownership has given the community and politicians no reason to help them out.

    • Jim Walker

      I was fringing on the new park idea a couple of weeks ago. I think Seattle is the better model for the Reds to target. It is covered but not enclosed. So you get the shade, protection from moisture and a wind breaker on cold days without the full cost of indoor HVAC in the both the building and operations end.

  11. David

    Having been a fan for many years, and having seen a lot of really good teams and players, i have to say that this version of the Reds is not only “losing fans”, but it is “losing baseball”.

    The present Reds have some very good players, in Votto, Suarez, Gennett (yes, I know that some people dislike him). But there is frankly no player that is what I would call “electrifying”, an exciting player to watch. Somebody who might do just about anything.
    Eric Davis, Barry Larkin, Pete Rose, Joe Morgan to name a few of the memorable players I have seen. The last really electrifying player the Reds had was probably Josh Hamilton (and only for a year). Yes, Joey is an elite hitter and player, and will likely go to the Hall of Fame, but half the time he will get a walk
    How, Exciting.
    I do expect much of the same losing baseball next year, unless somehow the starting pitching gets miraculously better.
    Bob Castellini is following the Mike Brown model of making the team just good enough not to lose every game.
    I am not demanding championship baseball, but just winning more than losing, and playing the game with better execution. The poor fundamentals are painful to watch.
    And yes, I expect them to hire Riggleman as Field Manager after the season is over, which will be more of the same.
    After following the Reds since 1961 when I was a child, they have just about killed my interest.

  12. hokiebo

    I am 34 years old, and it feels like I’ve only known losing baseball. The few years of decent ball have been marred by being the second team to have a postseason No Hitter tossed against them, the Rolen bobble in the 10th inning to give SF the lead, and eventually blowing a 2-0 series start. (too young at the time to really appreciate the 1990 team)

  13. jreis

    the Reds have ALWAYS been more of a regional team than a city team like the Chicago white sox or ny mets. it is unusual to find a fan at the game that lives within the city limits. most people at the ballpark are from kentucky, tennessee, west virginia or other parts of southern ohio.I am hoping with the economy doing better and gas prices hopefully dropping attendance should pick up.

    I hate that they are starting the games earlier. I live in Indiana, get off work at 5. SO It is really hard for me to get to the park before 7 o clock.

    also I am hoping the reds youth academy in roselwan will start to pay divedends in the next 5 years or so. fans love seeing the local heroes play like Rose, Larkin, Parker, Griffey JR.

  14. roger garrett

    I am a die hard Red fan from the early 60’s.I listened on radio with Jim and Joe.When we got a TV all you could see was Kubek and Dean on Saturday afternoon baseball,I lived in Logan West Virginia until 1980 and been in North Carolina ever since.I was a fan because of where I was raised and today I doubt that has anything to do with it.I would expect if I lived in Logan today the Reds would not be a team I would follow.Too many other ways to follow a team and a winning team.I would venture to say we have lost more then a generation of fans for a variety of reasons but winning changes everything.Win and folks will show up because they like a winner and it doesn’t go over well to say show up and we will build a winner.To me its like opening a restaurant and tell people to come and then I will work on serving better food.Just don’t work that way primarily because that’s just dumb and there are other place to eat.

  15. Jim Walker

    I agree pretty much down the line with Chad. I am also very much on board with the folks pointing out that the Reds need to see themselves more as a regional team because that’s been where the difference was made in the times when they had a good team and drew better.

    Where I’m sitting right now I am about equal distance and driving time from NationWide Arena in Columbus and GABP (nominally ~60 minutes/~60 miles) . Five minutes to the freeway and five minutes off for either venue. From some social media site, the Blue Jackets have mined my email and regularly send me solicitations for season ticket packages and individual game tickets. They are trying to entice me to drive for an hour each way in darkness and possible winter weather to attend their games. On the other hand, I’ve yet to ever receive any such solicitation from the Reds to make the same trip during the summer.

    • Mike Adams

      See my reply to Bill J above at 9:23am.
      Used to drive 5 hours from the coal fields of WV to Reds games (now it is 4 hours from where I live).
      Why did I and a lot of regional WV fans do that? Partly because there was winning every now and then but also because I could count on seeing favorite players like Rose, Bench, Perez, Eric Davis, Tom Seaver, etc.

    • redfan4life

      During the heyday they were a regional team. IN,KY,TN,VA.WV. The Cubs have probably taken over Indiana. Nationals have taken over VA. The Indians has taken over Columbus. It was always a Reds area.
      Losing takes it’s toll on the causal fan. They jump on a winners bandwagon.
      I always thought Bob Howman got it when it came to promoting the Reds.
      This current front office seems to be about promoting the next great addition to GABP.
      Riverfront was bland. But nobody cared because the team won.
      The Brewers get it, They built a ball park with a retractable roof. Fans don’t wanna drive 3 plus hours to see a losing Reds team and either have to sit in 95 degree weather or even worse sit though 3 hour rain delays or rain outs.
      I always thought they missed the boat on a retractable roof. I know very few games are rained out, but there is a bunch of humid games and rain delays. Probably 60 or so games out of 81. That wouldn’t matter near as much to a fan of a winning team.
      I know a retractable roof wouldn’t fix this team but it would go a long way to drawing more out of town fans.

    • lwblogger2

      I get regular calls and emails from the Jackets’ sales and marketing people. They also call after I’ve been to a game to ask how the experience was and ask if there is anything they can do for me. The Cyclones bend over backward at every turn to keep me a season ticket holder (12 game package, 3 tickets). The Reds act like they are doing me a favor and seemed personally insulted when I went from a 20-game package to a flex-plan (20 total vouchers) this year. Probably not getting tickets at all next year.

  16. sezwhom

    Thankfully, this so-called Grandpa got to enjoy the Big Red Machine plus success in the early 90s so my loyalty goes back a long time and I continue to support and watch this team. Unfortunately, I’m a firm believer it starts with the owner and right now, we have a nice one but not one who wants to win. The last five years is inexcusable.

  17. Reds Fan In FL

    I was a kid growing up in southwest Ohio in the 70s and became a baseball fan because of the Big Red Machine. I went to college in northeast Ohio in the mid-80s. I used to have great joy knowing my baseball team was the superior franchise in Ohio. I also enjoyed the playful ribbing I would give my northeast Ohio college friends who backed the Indians. They had only known a completely inept franchise since the 1960s. Boy how the tables have turned. Since 1995, the Indians have been a far superior franchise. Even though they have not won a WS, they are now on their 2nd run of sustained winning. In the last 23 years, the Indians have made the playoffs 11 times. Yes it is a lot easier to make the playoffs with a 3rd division and now 2 wide card teams but that is still an impressive run. I happen to be up in Cleveland this past weekend for a reunion and we all went to a game at Progressive Field. The ballpark and downtown were electrifying. I was happy for my friends as they got to see “their Indians” clinch the AL central for the 3rd straight year but it did make me a little sad to realize my Reds are now the Indians of the 70s and 80s.

    • David

      Too True. Having been to Indians games in the 1970’s in cavernous Municipal Stadium was something else. Chilly in the spring, and sometimes in the summer, being next to Lake Erie.
      The new stadium is nice in Cleveland, and they have had some very good teams since the 1990’s.

      The Reds have become inept, mismanaged losers. You have to think very hard about why Jocketty was fired in St. Louis and Castellini was so quick to hire him.

      But with the apparent paper value of the Reds as they are, it would be very hard to muster a new ownership group, even if the present owners were willing to sell.
      We are in a death grip of losing, unless by some miraculous change, the pitching gets a lot better.

      • doofus

        “You have to think very hard about why Jocketty was fired in St. Louis and Castellini was so quick to hire him.”

        Exactly! St. Louis gets rid of the dirty bath water. And, I’m being kind.

  18. Cary Mcmillan

    Family from Mt Washington but grew up in Indy. First reds game in 1969. Listened to Jim and Joe on the radio when Pete won 1969 batting title Love affair with Reds began.

    Lived in Chicago since 1980. Bought season tics just to see the reds.

    Still have them.

    Friends tried to buy Cubs. Smarter people prevailed

    If we want success get new owners. Period. It’s not the market. It’s the owners.

  19. Old-school

    Cincinnati is
    #1 a small market.
    #2 no public transportation
    #3 mostly suburban / regional draw
    #4 lots of families with weekday school commitments and weekend sports commitments.

    Soccer is 3 -4 home games a month .NFL is 8 home games a year. Of course they draw well. Apples and oranges. MLB should contract the schedule to 144 games April 15- mid September with World Series finishing by early October.

    If there were a regional transit rail system with spokes going east and west and north and south- that would be huge for the Reds but also the city. If the city was more of a destination to live …that would drive attendance. I attended a Rockies game this summer on a weeknight- it was impressive.

    Attendance is complicated but winning certainly is the #1 driver.

  20. seanuc

    Over the last five years, combined, the Reds have finished 133 games out of first place. Their record over that time is 360-458. Attendance has gone from 2.4 million in 2014 and 2015, to 1.8 million in 2016 and 2017, to 1.5 million this year.

    I don’t think this is particularly difficult to understand.

    • Michael E

      Bingo! A lot of hemming and hawing on regional or small market or younger fans and their admittedly short attentions span (Internet of things/social media will do that), but the Reds suck and have sucked for a while. If they lose 90 next year, expect another 100,000 or 200,000 decline down to 1.3 million.

      If they suddenly win 90 and contend, expect an steady rise in attendance during the second half of that winning season. They’d draw 3 million fans IF they get on a 100 win pace for more than one season. Fix the pitching, find a shrewd buy-low FA/trade pitcher and then make a big splash trading 3 or 4 top 10 prospects for a GOOD mid 20s or late 20s SP1 type and watch attendance spike almost immediatly by 10,000 per game.

      Gut the coaching and current rotation, pay up for BETTER coaches from OUTSIDE the organization, especially for those from pitching rich systems. Grab a top Braves scout that keeps finding good SPs and latin players.