SBD/July 23, 2013/Franchises

Blue Jays See Younger Fans, Particularly Women, Flock To Games

Half of the Blue Jays' '12 attendance came from the 18-34 age group
MLB is "becoming cool again in Toronto, no matter that the Blue Jays are performing below expectations," and "more specifically attending a baseball game is becoming the thing to do," according to Tom Maloney of the GLOBE & MAIL. An Ipsos-Reid in-stadium survey shows that the 18-to-34 age group "comprised 50 per cent of Blue Jays attendance" in '12, compared with 37% in '10. The percentage of "women within the Gen-Y group at Rogers Centre jumped to an astounding 50 per cent from 30 per cent over a two-year span." While '13 data "aren’t yet available," Blue Jays execs "believe anecdotal evidence shows a continuing trend toward more youthful/female attendance this season, remarkable for a sport reputed ruefully in many markets as 'dad’s game.'" The younger demo that is "spilling from the surrounding condominiums" brings "boisterous energy" to the stadium. Blue Jays Senior VP/Business Operations Stephen Brooks said that "social-media campaigns, in-stadium promotions such as Tweeting Tuesdays, this summer’s rollout of Friday night fanfests, and an edgier feel to advertising have complemented fans’ optimistic attitude about the team’s prospects in the American League East division." The team's "go-forward challenge is to convert fans attending the game for the fun of it into regular baseball fans." Brooks: "I think the Blue Jays have become relevant again" (GLOBE & MAIL, 7/20).

: In Montreal, Jack Todd noted those watching the Rays-Blue Jays game on Saturday "probably saw the ExposNation crew in left field, a thousand Expos fans" making MLB "sit up and take notice." ExposNation Committee Chair Matthew Ross said, "Today was a clear demonstration that Expos fans are still passionate about their team and want baseball back in Montreal." Todd wrote a "cynic might say the Expos had a stronger presence in Toronto this weekend than they had at the Big O during the last years of their existence -- but this isn’t a time to be cynical." There is "plenty of goodwill toward an Expos revival waiting to be tapped." It is a "very long way from there to a reborn franchise -- but a deep-pockets investor with a bunch of zeros after his name could close that gap in a hurry" (Montreal GAZETTE, 7/21).
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