Last year was the sixth consecutive season that fewer people had attended MLB games than they had before, but the first two months were a steep drop even from the nadir: A whopping 10 percent drop from the same time period last year. But it is worth noting that Manfred, while concerned, was not appreciably alarmed. And part of this is because attendance like TV ratings, for that matter is down for most sports, from the NFL to the NHL to, in particular, major college athletics.
Share to twitter Share to linkedin More Americans than ever love watching soccer, and that surely includes watching Lionel Messi While that may not sound like much, the figure represents a significant, three-percentage-point gain from just four years ago.
Soccer is the only sport to post such a large increase. The arrows are clearly pointing in definitive directions, and it is very likely that soccer will surpass baseball in this survey the next time such a poll is taken.
Self-defined liberals also showed a greater preference for soccer. Among that political group, the gap between football and soccer was just 15 points. These positive results for soccer are even more impressive because they came in a non-World Cup year when the U.
Even without momentum and a daily presence, the sport persists.
Not all is cut-and-dried. There are several important caveats that should be mentioned regarding these numbers. For one thing, Gallup did not ask participants to list their favorite sports in descending order.
Perhaps few respondents who chose football as their No. And none of the top three sports appear on their death bed.
Major League Baseball, in particular, has made strides in attendance and TV ratings recently, demonstrating some zip in the old pastime after all. Soccer faces some very real, existing barriers in America.
Many older media gatekeepers remain resistant to the sport and are more likely to highlight baseball and hockey on their talk shows and news broadcasts.
This snub can create a public perception that soccer is merely a minor, niche sport. Perhaps most damaging, soccer is the only major sport in America that does not draw the very best athletes in the world to its own pro league — at least, not yet.
Yet as Toronto defeated Seattle in the recent Major League Soccer Cup, it might have been argued that the rd-best club in the world had just defeated the th-best — or something like that.
In part because of this, television and streaming viewership of soccer matches is scattered in the U.
In any case, this latest Gallup survey appears to be a harbinger of things to come. The spectator landscape is changing, just as surely as the internet altered the delivery and form of journalism in this country. Three generations ago, sportswriters and newspaper sports sections focused on horse racing, boxing and baseball.
Of those three pastimes, only baseball remains part of the mainstream discussion anymore. Now, here comes soccer, the sport of the future.
The very near future. Maybe even the present. I have been a sports writer in New York City for nearly four decades. During that span, I've covered events for the Daily News and the Times on six continents -- includi Read More.