“It’s a great day for a ballgame … let’s play two!” – Ernie Banks
Unfortunately, there aren’t many days a baseball fan can watch two games. Sure, there’s the doubleheaders scheduled after a rainout, but even those are mostly day/night where fans have to buy two tickets to see both games.
I remember getting the 1996 Twins schedule and seeing a scheduled doubleheader against the A’s and knowing immediately I would go to those games. Why wouldn’t I? It was two games for the price of one.
Without scheduled doubleheaders, a long spring training and three rounds of playoffs, the seventh game of the World Series can be in early November. This can be avoided, but the owners would have to cater to the fans instead of their pocketbooks. I know, I know; not likely.
By playing doubleheaders on major holidays and opening day, Major League Baseball could shave a full week off its schedule. This would make sure the World Series is over by November 1, could increase profits if done properly and give fans a reason to sit in the sun, drink beer, eat bratwurst and watch baseball all day. Does it get any better?
The entire nation is baseball crazy on opening day. Even the casual fan can’t wait to see baseball highlights on Sportscenter. Ballparks across the country sell out even if the team has no chance of a .500 season. Opening day is an event and owners could be making even more money off of it and fans could be getting twice the baseball fix in early April.
Ball clubs could also schedule a day at the ballpark on Easter (if it falls in season), Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. Combined with opening day, that’s seven days of doubleheaders and one less week in the season.
Owners may look at this proposal and think, That’s seven days with half the profits. What am I saying? Owners probably wouldn’t say this as they’d be looking for the best way to increase profits as they are businessmen. They wouldn’t want to sell one ticket to two games and selling two would defeat the purpose. Why not sell one ticket at 150% the price? Don’t want to sell two games for the price of one? Let’s compromise. Instead of selling a $20 seat at face value, up the price to $30. It’s not double the price and it’s still a bargain to watch two games. Sure, that’s $10 in lost revenue, but it’s a guarantee concession dollars will increase as fans won’t have anywhere else to turn for lunch and dinner; not to mention that overpriced beer. Give fans twice the baseball, lose revenue in ticket sales but gain in concessions. The fans’ morale increases at such a fun day under the sun watching baseball and drinking beer that they’re sure to come back for more.