In the 1994-1995 MLB players’ strike, the impact of angry fans was definitely felt on attendance numbers and TV ratings, both of which decreased considerably in the following season.
It’s a natural response by someone who has been disappointed for a long time to just back off for a while.
Steroids were starting to become popular in the late-nineties, though, so there is a narrative that makes a lot of sense: they helped save the league’s ratings and attendance numbers post-strike.
San Francisco Giants outfielder Austin Slater, talking to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale today in Mesa, Arizona, where players are training, said something along those lines.
“SFGiants OF Austin Slater worries about the impact of the lockout and potentially shortened season: ‘I don’t know if we’re going to have another steroid era to save the game,'” was Nightengale’s tweet.
SFGiants OF Austin Slater worries about the impact of the lockout and potentially shortened season: ‘I don’t know if we’re going to have another steroid era to save the game.’’
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) March 8, 2022
The Lockout Definitely Affects The League’s Popularity
Slater is talking about the current MLB lockout preventing any games from taking place.
In December, the league decided to lock players out until a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) was reached.
It’s March 8, and a deal doesn’t seem close.
The league has already cancelled two series, and there could be more on the way.
Slater is worried about the fans’ response to potentially diminished interest in the league.
That’s why he said he didn’t know if we are going to have another steroid era to save the game, because people might lose interest in the game.
Some fans aren’t even paying attention at this point, given all the empty talks between the league and the Players Association.
Will they return to watch games and go to the stadiums with the same enthusiasm knowing that owners showed they don’t care about them?
We will see when the time comes.