A new poll conducted by AP/Knowledge Networks has listed the top problems with Major League Baseball according to its fans. The Poll was conducted from June 26th to July 5th of this year and asked 655 adult fans who said they had an interest in the MLB.

By a wide margin the number one problem these fans identified was the steep cost of attending MLB games. 63% of fans answered the cost of attending MLB games is far too high, and that is the number one problem with the MLB. In 2008 the same poll was given and then 45% of those surveyed gave the same response.

According to Team Marketing Report and its annual Fan Cost index the average price of an MLB ticket for 2009 is 26.64. That is 1.21 dollars more than the average ticket from 2008.

TMR gives a Fan Cost index based on the price of 2 adult tickets, 2 child tickets, 2 small bears, 4 small soft drinks, 4 regular size hot dogs, parking for 1 car, 2 game programs, and 2 of the least expensive adult size hats. In 2008 the FCI for MLB was 191.92 dollars, while in 2009 it was 196.85 dollars.

While the year to year numbers are not that far off, the prices increases average out to be 4.1%, the main difference seems to be customer’s attitudes towards large expenditures. Since the economic meltdown in the fall of 2008 the consumer’s attitude about expense has certainly changed.

Cincinnati fan Clarence Eckstein put it this way, "Tickets, gas, food, it's a few hundred dollars, other bills are more of a priority."

So far in 2009 MLB attendance is down 6% and the main reason seems to be the cost involved. Tampa Bay Rays fan Linda Lee-Sigmon had this to say, "I have boys 11 and 12 years old, and as much as I'd love to take them to a game or two _ that's the highlight of the summer _ I can't do it. My business has been severely impacted because of national economics. You go to the ballpark and get a hot dog and a Coke and the tickets and maybe a little souvenir and it's prohibitively expensive. Taking the kids to an old-fashioned ballgame is a major vacation."


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