Fewer people are watching baseball now, than at any point in the last ten years. That, according to a Marist poll which surveyed fan interest in the game.
According to the poll, a mere 44 percent say they watch the game, while 56 percent said they do not. Those numbers represent the lowest viewership percentages for “America’s Pastime,” since 2009.
As Paul Bedard writes in the Washington Examiner, it’s not just the American public that seems to have lost interest in the game.
“So far, Trump hasn’t joined in the practice of presidents throwing out the first pitch on opening day, started by William Howard Taft in 1912. Only one president since then, Jimmy Carter, didn’t participate.”
While the declining numbers in raw viewership are bad enough for baseball, the problem gets worse when you consider that MLB has taken its biggest fan losses among younger viewers.
According to the poll, “Older Americans (51 percent of those age 45 or older) are more likely than younger Americans (37 percent of those under the age of 45) to say they are baseball fans.”
The problem this poses for baseball in particular, cannot be understated. Unlike more action-packed, less expensive sports like football and basketball, many children get involved in baseball because their fathers and older brothers played, or were fans of the game. If the younger generation isn’t watching, who is going to teach their kids about the game?
In addition, the sport has also become more regional. According to Marist, a small majority of baseball fans live in the Northeast and Midwest. But only 39 percent of those in the South and West called themselves baseball fans.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn