You’ve heard it before, “America’s Favorite Pastime,” when talking about the beautiful game of baseball. Since its inception, baseball has captured the hearts of millions of Americans and many more from outside the United States. The game has a storied tradition that draws the attention of many historians, as it follows the ever-changing landscape of America.
But why has Major League Baseball seen a drastic drop in attendance since 2007? And what is Major League Baseball doing to combat it? MLB must test out potential changes at the minor league level to determine what can be done to improve the major league experience. We’ll explore how MiLB can help restore the popularity of the MLB and how FanFood affects the baseball experience.
Game Day Changes
These rule changes aren’t the only ones happening at the minor leagues. Minor League Baseball has always been unique when it comes to the gameday experience. Notable game day experiences in the minor leagues include: the Bowling Green Hot Rods “Sinkholes” jerseys commemorating the fifth anniversary of the time a giant sinkhole opened under Bowling Green National Corvette Museum, Star Wars themed nights across the minor leagues always drive their local Star Wars fans into the stadiums, the Memphis Redbirds hosted Nate’s Spectacular Fresno Grizzlies Taco Truck Throwdown where local taco food trucks draw massive crowds and have now grown in popularity that the Grizzlies change their team name to the Tacos on a weekly basis for “Taco Tuesday.” These experiences and thousands of more are being implemented across the minor leagues on a nightly basis in-season.
One of the more important experiences when it comes to watching a baseball game is the food & beverage experience. There’s nothing more frustrating than standing in line at a game and missing a big at-bat or spectacular defensive play. Fans come to watch the game, not stand in line for 20+ minutes. Thankfully the minor leagues are changing the way fans order food & beverages at the game. The FanFood mobile ordering platform has been a constant across minor league baseball stadiums over the years. The FanFood app allows fans to order concessions while in-stadium from the comfort of their own seats.
Game Play Changes
The growing perception of MLB is that it is too slow, too old-school, not exciting, as other leagues like the NFL and NBA continue to expand its viewership. The MLB has heard these criticisms, but typically has been slow to adopt changes due to the tradition and history of the game, largely driven by the old-school baseball media. Major League Baseball average attendance per game peaked in 2007 at 32,785 and has slowly decreased since dropping to an average of 26,854 in 2019, according to AP national sports columnist Tim Dahlberg. These are troubling numbers, and MLB understands the urgency of the issue. With attendance dropping, Major League Baseball has taken to the Minor Leagues to experiment with the game of baseball and the experience that goes into watching a game.
📸: Emily Shappley/Greg Rakozy via Unsplash
While MLB has been slow to adapt to rule changes, it is encouraging to see how “experimental,” they’ve been in the process when it comes to enacting rule changes at the minor league level. The noteworthy rule changes include: larger bases with a less slippery surface across the AAA-leagues, two pickoff attempts per plate appearance in the low-A leagues, a 15-second pitch clock in the Low-A West, and an automatic ball-strike system in the Low-A Southwest league. The rules are scattered throughout the various levels and leagues, as well as many other Independent leagues to help clarify the effects of each one. These experimental changes were chosen after thorough fan research and analysis from on-field and front office personnel.
Major Draws to FanFood
FanFood has helped eliminate long-wait times in line and has created an overall better game day experience. Order on your phone and get a notification when your food is ready to be picked up at a convenient pickup window. At certain venues across the minor leagues, fans can even have their concessions delivered to their seats by a dedicated member of the concessions team, providing fans with a more convenient ordering experience.
The game day experience is unique to every fan. If you’re out in the bleachers and don’t want to maneuver your way in and out of other fans, get your beers and hot dogs delivered to your seats with FanFood. When you are with your wife and three kids and don’t want to wait in-line, order for pickup with FanFood. One of the newest features of FanFood, In-Suite Ordering, has also been a huge hit. FanFood provides your suite with the option to order ahead of gameday and make sure you never run out of beer with easy to order QR codes to request more food or drinks right to the suite. No matter where you’re at or who you’re with, FanFood has the opportunity to make your ordering experience a pleasure.
FanFood continues to enhance the fan experience all across the country throughout the minor leagues and you can expect FanFood a Major League stadium near you as the MLB looks to the minors for ways to improve the game of baseball for the fans.
If you’re wondering about whether FanFood could be the right platform for your operations, let’s find out over a quick chat!