LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Where is Kirk Gibson when you need him?

A repeat of the ninth-inning heroics of the former Los Angeles Dodgers great may be the only hope to stop plunging attendance at Dodger Stadium amid a downward spiral for the organization.

Attendance at Chavez Ravine is down by an estimated 200,000 people heading into the summer stretch, with a host of factors being blamed for the drop-off, including frustration over the team’s performance, lingering management concerns, and fan safety both inside and outside Dodger Stadium.

Los Angeles Times sports columnist Chris Erskine told KNX 1070 the Dodgers’ attendance woes are not atypical among other Major League Baseball teams in this economy, but it could hint at bigger issues within the organization.

“Half the teams have seen declines in attendance, but the average is about 300 fans [per game] the Dodgers are down 7,000 fans,” said Erskine. “So it’s pretty alarming.”

In addition to the slump in attendance, a 10 percent drop in TV ratings for the team may indicate fans are growing weary of a brand that seems to be stumbling both on and off the field.

Even as owner Frank McCourt battles increasing criticism for his handling of the team’s finances and personnel decisions, Erskine remains wary of any change in ownership reviving public interest in the team.

“The disenchantment with the owners is huge,” said Erskine. “I think [a change in ownership] gives them a sense of hope, it depends a little bit on who that is.”

“Every time a new owner comes in, everybody gets optimistic that things will be better than they were before, and then it doesn’t always pan out,” he added.

Comments (13)
  1. eric says:

    Used to have season tickets. Didn’t renew. Dodger prices go up and up and up and concessions are even worse. McCourt is a pig, sucking the fans dry. Now it’s $15 just to park your car!

    I’m out of there.

  2. ES says:

    I wouldn’t set foot in that hoodrat infested $h1t hole they call a stadium if they gave out free tixs. Its like being in Tijuana with a bunch of prison felons.

    1. cloudnine says:

      SO TRUE!!!!! For years we have been complaining about the security. They basically ignored their true fans. Now they should feel the PAIN!
      ES you got it so right.

  3. kirk menne says:

    I always would take my son to a few games every season, but at these prices, the two of us would spend couple hundred bucks to go to a game, I am so glad he took up surfing, Frank and his wife can go sit in an empty stadium with their team of divorce lawyers by themselves. EX-LA-BBALL FAN, in Woodland Hills

  4. alan hart says:

    Maybe MLB could move them to another city.so we won’t be attracting thugs to stadiums?

  5. Tiger says:

    We want McCourt out that’s why we don’t attend Dodger games!

  6. Michael Laskin says:

    It’s McCourt, it’s a mediocre team, it’s fan safety – and I think most of all it’s simply too expensive. For the kind of money they charge, it should be a superior experience. And it’s not m- on any level. Taking a family to a game is almost out of the question for many. A sad state of affairs for one of the premiere franchises in sports. I Hope any new owners can rebuild this greatly devalued brand.

  7. Doug says:

    I’m voting with my wallet. I’m ashamed of what my team has become and how my city is being represented under current ownership. I’ll be back when there’s something to come back to but not before. Change will start with new owners.

  8. me says:

    He doesnt get it. That’s only part of the problem. HE needs to get out, and someone who cares about how Dodger baseball USED to be can make some changes. Hopefully they will stop catering to the gang-banger hoods. I wont go back until that happens, and I know alot of people that feel the same way.

  9. MD says:

    Was so excited about baseball this season this year. I even went to my first preseason game. I brought my step-daugther and we were both so excited. She’s 11 and she heard all kinds of profanity yelled out from a drunken fan. I understand this will happen on occasion, but the Brian Stow beating just stopped all enthusiasm. Soon they will need the national guard to keep us safe at baseball game. Feel bad for the players, but no more.

    1. Michael says:

      I think we are all asking too much of Mr. McCourt. I mean he doesn’t live at the stadium and his experience and safety is not threatened. In other words its not like he is trying to protect someone he cares about. Were only pawns in his game for more personal wealth.

      Here are some of my personal observations.

      Noted Increases:
      Ticket prices
      Parking prices
      Stadium security
      Average age of Dodger players given contracts
      Blue fans leaving to become Angel fans
      Oh, and Mr. McCourt’s lifestyle

      Noted Decreases:
      Talent on the field and future prospects
      Team performance
      Quality of the stadium
      Number of years expected from newly contracted players
      Fans interested in the Dodgers

      Oh. And if the financial status of the team doesn’t improve soon, we say goodbye to Either, Kemp, Billingsley, Kershaw, and others.

      I am interested if others agree with me.

      A die hard Dodger fan who will not return to the stadium any time soon.

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