Monday, October 5, 2009

Playoffs show why the Cactus League needs the Cubs

The Major League Baseball playoffs are just about set, and from looking at the teams, you can see why the Cactus League should be working really hard to keep the Cubs in Arizona. Here are the teams that have made it into the playoffs and where they train:

American League
New York Yankees (Florida)
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Arizona)
Boston Red Sox (Florida)
Detroit Tigers/Minnesota Twins (Florida)

National League
St. Louis Cardinals (Florida)
Philadelphia Phillies (Florida)
Los Angeles Dodgers (Arizona)
Colorado Rockies (Arizona)

Notice anything? Florida is home to 5 out of the 8 teams in the Playoffs and is also home to the teams with the best odds of going deep into the Playoffs. In fact, many experts have all of the teams that train in Arizona falling in the first round. It is also important to note that the Dodgers just moved to Arizona this year, otherwise Florida would have had a 6 to 2 advantage.

Why does this matter? Remember the overflow of attention that the D-Backs received after winning the World Series? How about this year after the Cardinals trip to the Super Bowl? Winners attract spectators. When fans come to Spring Training, they flock in greater numbers to see if their team is going to repeat the success of last year or to see how their favorite team matches up with the "big boys."

Cactus League could very well be short of both of these commodities next year. That is where the Cubs come in. It is true that they did not make the playoffs this year, but for the sixth year in a row, the Cubs attendance topped 3 million. Although the Cubs have not won a World Series in over 100 years, they have a very dedicated fanbase that is willing to travel. Year after year, the Cubs top Cactus League attendance, not only in Mesa, but in every ballpark they visit.

The Cubs are the rare commodity that can attract tourists and fans even when their record is not the best. Renewed fan hope has proven to be great for the local economy, not only for Mesa, but for all of Arizona.

1 comment:

Heath Reed said...

Very intersting take. Cubs no matter what bring a ton of fans, good and bad years. Mesa has to do all it can to keep them, and come up with a plan to build a new stadium