Major League Baseball has seen a resurgence in fan engagement and attendance in 2023, reaching levels not seen since 2017. Average game attendance across the league increased by 5% compared to 2022, the largest year-over-year jump in over a decade.
This reversal of a years-long downward trend in attendance is a welcome sign for MLB, and the resurgent interest from sports fans could open the door for teams to capitalize using the existing MLB and Team Marketplaces.
Younger fans entering the sport
Baseball’s growth is being driven by younger demographics engaging with the game through new channels. While the baby boomer generation still makes up a substantial portion of ticket-buying fans, millennials and Generation Z are increasingly watching, betting on, and purchasing MLB products online and via mobile apps.
Additionally, the league’s investment in building out their digital footprint with partnerships with sports betting and daily fantasy sports companies are paying dividends in fan growth.
The on-field product in 2023 has also been more exciting for fans. One factor contributing to recent growth is the faster pace of play. The average time of a nine-inning game in 2023 dipped under 2 hours and 40 minutes, the quickest since 1984. By tightening up the tempo and limiting down time, MLB has made the game more appealing to modern audiences with shorter attention spans.
(“…during the game, they put those used balls, bases, bats up for auction”)
Home runs, runs scored, and other measures of action on the field have increased compared to recent seasons. More balls in play and high-scoring affairs have brought energy and entertainment value back to MLB ballparks. From a marketplace standpoint, each team has authentication specialists at each game. Literally during the game they put those used balls, bases, bats up for auction on the official team Marketplace. Young fans can then get their piece of authentic memorabilia as they walk out of the ballpark.
An opportunity for brands to capitalize?
As younger generations seem to be embracing baseball more and more, the league appears poised for a new golden era. Ongoing efforts to enhance the fan experience and build accessible digital Marketplaces will be key to sustaining this momentum.
Don’t miss your moment to capitalize. Boost fan engagement and revenue with Commerce Dynamics’ diverse Marketplace solutions.