The Mobile BayBears have always been one of the top teams in Southern League standings, but not when it comes to attendance numbers.
The number of people going to catch a BayBears games has been on the decline. According to the Southern League data, in 2014 it was 106,297 in 2015 it was 96,260. About a 10 percent decrease.
However, the BayBears have been a dominant force; they’ve opened the door for some of Major League Baseball’s biggest stars, Jake Peavy, and Paul Goldschmidt to name a few.
“We do this 70 times a year it’s adrenaline it’s just getting ready even yesterday before we had to postpone the game we were excited we were in that game prep mode,” said Chris Morgan, General Manager.
The Club’s GM says he heard it before, and he wants to focus on the positives because that’s ultimately what fans care about.
“Fans want to bring their families out and just have a good time and if the team wins that’s great, if they lose you’re going to find the majority of people still walk out of here with a smile on their face and that’s our goal,” said Morgan.
Now, in the past new stadiums have helped draw in crowds. Hank Aaron Stadium built in 1997 is about 20 years old. Birmingham opened a new field downtown, and their attendance doubled. Is it time for the same here? Well, that’s up to the city.
“If the right entrepreneur came along or right developer and he said I want to build a stadium we’d probably figure out a place for him to put it,” said Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson.
“Bay Bear Stadium is a quality venue, it’s one where thousands of kids have watched future All-Stars play the great game of baseball,” said John C. Williams, Councilmember.
And currently, the Mayor also said they city doesn’t have the kind of money to develop a new stadium, but in the meantime, the city has a new initiative called “Play Ball” to help kids become more interested in baseball. So, potentially until more is done to upgrade the stadium, management says they will hope for good weather, and for crowds to keep coming back.
The BayBears are affiliated with the Arizona Diamondbacks.