The Significance of a Sports Team to the Fans

fans-cheering_645x400Sports are one of life’s stress-relievers (that is, if you’re not playing), and going out to see your team play in person (if they’re in the same city as you, and you’re hopefully not a bandwagoner), or simply just watching on TV can really make you feel better (if they’re not too sucky). No matter if it’s an MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, or whatever, depending on how much you’ve watched the team, you can get simply attached, and that’s the goal really. You want to see them win and succeed, and possibly win a championship. They become a part of your life, and you really root for them, especially if they’ve been a part of your whole life! Your grandfather was a _______ fan, and your dad was too, and now you! You love them tremendously. Having your favorite sports team to talk to everybody about, you make friends that enjoy the team like you, a person that quite possibly really feels you! You can sit down and have a drink with them and together enjoy the game. It’s a very amazing thing.

With all of that though, sometimes success is hard to find. The team may start sucking really bad (cough, cough 2011-2014 Astros) and they start to drive the fans away. I know about this because attendance was horrific when I kept going! I was loyal because I knew the future was bright. Thankfully they recovered, and what do you know! In 2015, the Astros resurged and magically made the playoffs, while also magically bringing back the fans who were ashamed to be Astros fans (shame on you, but it’s all good guys, I love ya’ll very much). But that’s not really what I want to focus on. That type of stuff happens with many franchises, but sometimes the real problem is the owner of the team. I’m calling them out.

In my opinion, when you buy a franchise, your main goal is to hopefully: a) win some championships, and b) keep the fans attracted to the team. Be a good owner! Let the fans know that you care. But for some unfortunately, they just want to talk money, and all that revenue BS. Are they necessarily bad owners? No, I understand that money is necessary because how else are you gonna maintain and make the product better? There are still problems though. One of the main problems I see with these owners is that they want new stadiums to “enhance the fan experience” by replacing old, rusty ones, which most of time nowadays, the new stadiums are built for an obscene amount. With that, there are more suites, and the better seats can be unaffordable, and maybe are only really for business people. They really now put true fans more away from the action. You see very little overhang throughout the place. Regular people get priced out, “moats” really limit ballhawking in the MLB, and in overall it just sucks. (Talking to you Yankee Stadium, Citi Field, Cowboys Stadium, Marlins Park, and the future stadiums for the Vikings, Falcons, and Braves.)

Now, I greatly believe that anything can be done, and that anytime an owner/team wants a new stadium, they should really, really think about it and make sure it gets done, and that everybody is happy! (Better designs though!) But, one of the problems that surface a lot is that if the city, county, and team don’t work it out, the team can sometimes threaten to leave, and the professional sports league has to make things really, really complicated. Some instances of this type of things happening in my recollection are: 1996, the owner of the Astros threatening to leave if a replacement for the Astrodome wasn’t built (thank god they did in 2000, if not, the Astros maybe wouldn’t be here in Houston), 2002: The MLB was thinking about kicking out the Montreal Expos (along with their poor owner at the time) and the Minnesota Twins because of their “weak” markets and their poor stadiums. Owners of those teams really wanted a new stadium, but in the end, it resulted in one move, (the Twins stayed thankfully and got a new stadium in 2010) the Montreal Expos became the Washington Nationals in 2005. (I feel for Montreal fans, I would like to see baseball back there). The last instance, is actually happening RIGHT NOW. The NFL has received 3 relocation applications from the St. Louis Rams, Oakland Raiders, and the San Diego Chargers to move to the Los Angeles market (which has been without a franchise since 1995.) Their current stadium problems are resulting in this, as they can’t build new stadiums in their current location, so they want to go elsewhere, where they can, and in the LA market? I guess you really can’t blame them.

For all of the fans of this team, I couldn’t imagine how they felt. Betrayed, because their team wanted to leave and perhaps they had created so many memories watching them. All of this, is just all too much. It’s weird honestly. I can imagine anything like that happening here. Personally, I believe a sports team creates a really big bond between people, and to have that ripped out of you is tough. No ones really to blame, but most of it goes on the owners. Enough said, I choose to stop here, and tell me what you think, and comment below this! Just don’t rip me too hard, I’m only 15 years old and probably have no clue about what in the absolute hell I’m talking about. I just felt the need to write so why not? Enjoy, and as always, have a great day! (Hah, Go Astros!)

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One comment

  1. Pingback: Discover: Wednesday Wonderings « MLB.com Blogs

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