August 23, 2006
Newark Bears Baseball Game
There were far fewer people at the game than were in this photo.
So our department was invited out to the Newark Bears baseball game today. The Newark Bears are a professional squad team that is not affiliated with the major leagues. The quality of play is somewhere between AA and AAA, but most of these guys ain't makin' it to the majors. They're good, but most of them have peaked, and this league is as high as they'll ever get.
The one thing that shocked us all--the very low attendance. There looked to be a lot less than 1,000 people in the stands. Maybe it was 500. I've heard that there were attendance problems, but this was much worse than expected.
The other teams in the Atlantic League are doing very well at the gate. The problem here? It's not the stadium, which is new and very attractive, and which is right next to a major NJ Transit line that runs right into Manhattan in one direction, and into the leafy and affluent northern NJ suburbs in the other. The problem is that people from the NJ suburbs are frightened to come to Newark. They think it's dangerous. I can't say that they're all wrong either, though I believe that that the area around the stadium is safe.
I'd like to see this team thrive, but, unless something changes, they'll be playing somewhere else before too long.