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BASEBALL'S BACK: HEY, WHERE'D ALL THE FANS GO?
Published April 28, 1995
The reluctance of baseball fans to return to MLB stadiums in droves this Opening Week is the focus of much media attention. ABC's Armen Keteyian: "Baseball may be back but its vital signs are decidedly mixed." Rangers President Tom Schieffer: "There's going to be a period of time here that's going to be pretty hard" ("World News Tonight," 4/27). In this morning's WALL STREET JOURNAL, Frederick Klein notes the fans' threats to get "revenge by staying home," and writes, "Sure, we nodded, we've heard that before. But maybe more attention should have been paid to them" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/28). ESPN's Keith Olbermann: "It is far too early to suggest that the near- boycott conditions will continue in whole or in part, but if they do, the decline from '94-95 might be the steepest attendance drop since the Players League War of 1890" ("SportsCenter," 4/27). ESPN's Peter Gammons: "I'd really like to thank the players union for threatening to strike the All-Star game. I mean, let's try to keep the fans away and turned off as much as possible. That's just ridiculous" ("Baseball Tonight," 4/27). NEWSDAY's Steve Zipay notes that ratings were up in New York for both the Yankees' home opener on MSG and the Mets road opener on SportsChannel (N.Y. NEWSDAY, 4/28). Tonight's "Nightly Business Report" will report on the business of baseball (PBS, 4/27). AROUND THE LEAGUE: In Toronto, Jim Proudfoot calls yesterday's 31,073 crowd -- the smallest ever at SkyDome -- "downright worrisome" (TORONTO STAR, 4/28). Although the official count for yesterday's Braves game was 26,120, I.J. Rosenberg reports an actual crowd of 10,000-16,000 and cites "obvious distaste for major league baseball" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 4/28). The Giants expect 30,000 for today's home opener, around half of what they drew last season (SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 4/28). Finally, the Mets have only sold 20,000 for tonight's opener (N.Y. POST, 4/28).