Baseball may be thriving on the field with superstars like Mike Trout, Nolan Arenado, Clayton Kershaw entertaining fans with stellar hits, defense and pitching. But in the seats, there’s a disturbing decline of attendance for 2018 and many wonder why.

League-wide attendance in the MLB (27,328 per game) entering Friday is down 6.6% from this time last year and 8.6% overall, according to Stats LLC. Baseball is on the verge of it’s first year since 2003 where league-wide attendance is lower than 30,000 fans a game.

The last time baseball saw a 6.7% drop in a single season was 1995, when the average attendance fell nearly 20% following the player strike that canceled the 1994 World Series.

The Colorado Rockies do buck this trend, averaging just over 35,000 in attendance at Coors Field per game in 2018, slotting them eighth in attendance in the MLB.

To discuss the numbers and declining fans attendance with Gil Whiteley and Mark Jackson of Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 is Kevin Corke, previously a play-by-play broadcaster for ESPN. Corke says that while baseball is indeed a great game a lot of fun to experience in person, it’s simply too expensive.

“We’re all working stiffs here…When you look at a working family and you’re trying to get out to a ballpark. Between the money for parking, the [hot] dogs, and the popcorn, and the peanuts, and the cold beverage. It’s expensive,” Corke said.

“As much as the economy might be humming along, wages really haven’t kept pace. So it’s harder for families to afford it.”

Corke does however have an idea to inject a new feel into baseball that may be tough to convince owners of, but certainly it’s an idea.

“If baseball really wants to invigorate the sport, they should do what they do in the lower levels of baseball, make it really cheap, because the product is better,” Corke said, referencing the double-AA and triple-AAA levels of baseball. “You grow legions of fans by doing that, I think they have the wrong idea.”

Corke also brings up the home experience that has amplified the ‘stay at home’ experience when watching baseball, over going to the ballpark.

“The picture is amazing [on television], you can walk to your fridge, and it’s cheap. I can go to my basement and watch a game on my favorite big screen and I’m good.”

“If I ran baseball…You wanna do something special for one year, make all the tickets five bucks, except for the high class seats…I’d make all the tickets five bucks for a year, just to see. You couldn’t get a seat, it would be great.”

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