With the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox adding young, fun, explosive talent in recent years, it should reignite interest in the suddenly lacking Crosstown Classic.
The Crosstown Classic used to drum up trash talk around neighborhoods, as well as plenty of rowdy situations in the bleachers at Wrigley Field and upper deck at U.S. Cellular Field. Recently, however, it seems that neither side wanted to be associated.
Steep Decline in Attendance
When interleague play in the MLB began in 1997, the White Sox managed to draw a larger crowd. For the first few years, the Sox averaged 44,000 fans, while the Cubs generally drew 39,000 fans into Wrigley Field.
Around 2003, the Cubs took a slight lead, averaging 41,000 fans to the White Sox 39,000. In 2008, they played each other for the first time while both leading their divisions at the same time. For whatever reason, attendance stayed basically the same as the 3-4 years prior.
In 2010, 39,508 fans showed up on average to see the White Sox host the Cubbies. In 2014, a measly 23,703 made it out to 35th and Shields. Attendance for the Crosstown Classic also has dropped by 8,000 in just three years at Wrigley.
Since 2011, numbers have dropped each year at U.S. Cellular Field. The same can be said for Wrigley Field, despite a 2,000 fan increase during this season’s 2-game series. So, if it isn’t a winning team people are paying to go see, it must be the players then.
Players You Pay To See
The additions of Gillaspie, Abreu, and Garcia will be giving the Chicago White Sox power, and Baez, Bryant, and Castro will help bolster the Cubs’ potential lineup in 2015.
If the Cubs can add an ace (or two), they should go head-to-head with the White Sox ace, Chris Sale.
Attendance should go up, and the high demand for tickets should return. The buzz will be back in the air in Wrigleyville and Bridgeport, which is always best for business.
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