So What Happens to the Astros if They Lose Their Fans?

Categories: Baseball, Sports

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Does anyone still give a damn about these guys?
So I wonder if the fans will return in 2022 when maybe the Astros are once again competitive. I wonder if they'll come back despite being called idiots for questioning the excessive defensive shifts, or being derided for thinking management and the fanboys might believe having the best farm system is more important than winning the World Series. And combine that with the ticket prices and the belief that they can't watch Rockets games because the Astros vetoed CSN Houston carriage deals, and I begin to believe the Astros will never recover those disaffected bandwagon fans.

The Astros still have fans, though that dwindling number appears to be just diehard baseball fans, and the science experiment fanboys who seem to prefer discussing the success or lack thereof of the tandem rotation while belittling anyone they feel isn't properly deferential to the team's front office. But the rest of the city's angrily tuning out the club, and with CSN Houston crashing and burning, the lack of TV money means the Astros are in real trouble with nobody attending the team's games and paying lots of dollars for concessions and merchandise.

Yes, the Rockets had a playoff game Wednesday. Yes, there were two other NBA playoff games, and there were three NHL game sevens being played (game sevens in the Stanley Cup playoffs are the most intense games played in any North American sport). But the Astros, and baseball fans, should be very troubled that a packed sports bar could not find one screen to display the home team playing a baseball game hours before the basketball game begins.

Maybe it's nothing. Maybe things will return to normal when/if CSN Houston pops up everywhere and/or the team ever starts to win again. But as a baseball fan, I'm worried about the health of the Houston Astros. It's nice the minors are so good and that there's a plan in place. Let's just hope that enough people who actually give a damn are left when the team starts winning again. If the team ever starts winning again, that is.


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11 comments
stugregory
stugregory

Contrary to Mr. Royal's assertion, I would contend that, relatively speaking, there is almost NONE of the "diehard" fans left. The Astros' diehards... and I was one for 40+ years, even before I ever moved to Southeast Texas as an adult... understand all that's happened and are repulsed by it. They are staying away because they simply cannot stomach the thought of Jim Crane or his investors making money off of them. So, they're either choosing completely different entertainment choices or are finding other teams... National League teams... to support instead.


What's left are those showing up for games simply for the pleasure of watching a baseball game... casual fans, many of whom are oblivious that there's a difference between American and National League baseball.


And perhaps what I'm wondering most at this stage is... what are the marketing execs thinking at Methodist Hospital, United Airlines, etc.?... why pour big dollars down the drain doing promotions with the Houston Astros under such dire circumstances in terms of exposure and attendance? 

This is a franchise so disrespected by its own owner that he thought its National League heritage was practically meaningless in comparison to $65 million. 

There is no value in supporting such a franchise... particularly in this day of MLB.TV when it's so easy to follow a team from outside your region, and even so much more convenient due to blackout rules.

Gaspar_Ramsey
Gaspar_Ramsey

In the '90s, my wife and I attended a hundred or more games. The slide began, and after 2004 we quit going as much, but sometimes watched them on television. We refuse to be ripped off by the Comcast deal, however, so the number of games we go to has been 0 for the last several years. And, unless they start fielding something better than a T-Ball team, we won't go back. It's hard to believe that their business model is to put out as bad a product as possible and restrict access even to that, but it is what it is. Ta' hell wid' 'em.

realist
realist

Give up on the Astros?  That is so 2012. 

orangehoof
orangehoof

When I lived in Houston back in 2011, I was amazed how much the sports bars had already tuned out the Astros but, where I live now in Central Texas, the Astros are largely dead, dead, dead because the games are unavailable on tv at any price and the Round Rock team is a Rangers farm club now, not an Astros farm club. I still see some Astros caps but not nearly as many as the mid-00s when there was something to cheer for and you could find the game on most of the time.

Dolosus
Dolosus

I think that you're reading too much into it.  More than other major cities, most people in Houston fundamentally understand that professional sports are businesses competing for their entertainment dollar.  Watching a team lose is not entertaining and will just not be supported.  I have more fun in the more cozy setting in Sugar Land watching the Skeeters, and spending a lot less $.

DeathBreath
DeathBreath

Re-brand them & then sell them to another city, like the Oilers.  They started winning after they left Houston. 

Jrflanne
Jrflanne

Crane holds the fans in contempt. Baseball holds the fans in contempt. I cannot stand the Asstro's and will not go to a game. Hell, I may never go to another one. Crane, you will not get one dime of mine. Besides, the Juicebox is stupid.

Puller58
Puller58

Jim Crane's bumbling has cost him credibility.  Bringing in Nolan Ryan means nothing since we see or hear nothing from him.  Look for Crane to scream he'll move the team.

big.red.guy
big.red.guy

Do not underestimate how pissed off many baseball fans are that the team was moved to the American League. Now that was a poor decision.

stugregory
stugregory

@Puller58 Would love to hear that scream. Or, better, find an NL owner who will trade franchises and restore the Astros to their National League heritage and real baseball.

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