In what is a daily occurrence the Pirates Front Office talked to the local media and immediately outrage ensued. The quote?
“It won’t be this offseason, but, PNC Park and our fans deserve to have a scoreboard that is one of the best in the industry, and we’re working on a plan to provide that.”
That was in hacktastic Trib writer Rob Biertempfel’s blog post.
Here is the link, but I wouldn’t recommend clicking on it as there is little good that can ever come from reading his writing.
To be fair, Biertempfel didn’t express outrage in his blog post, but the intention was there.
So what’s the problem with the possibility of adding a new scoreboard in the future?
I have no idea.
I think people need to realize that the Pirates, and MLB teams in general, are more than just sports franchises anymore. They are entertainment brands. The Pirates don’t need to attract the diehards, you are buying tickets and watching the games now. What the Pirates need to appeal to is fairweather and non-baseball fans in general. Those are the ones that will boost attendance. The hardcore fans are already there.
Maybe a “state of the art” scoreboard would attract lukewarm to cold baseball fans to the park. Maybe it would be another in a list of reasons people take their kids to the game.
I don’t think Frank Coonelly is dumb enough to think just a scoreboard will do anything. They are selling an experience, and like it or not, non-baseball expenditures will be made to get people into the ballpark.
Face it, if you want payroll to rise you’re going to have to attract people to the park, and good baseball may do that for now, while it’s new. I’m not going to question the intensity of the current Pirates fan base because they are generally the hardcores. The hardcores weren’t the reason the Pirates broke two million this year, it was the people coming to see something different, this time decent baseball.
The Pirates could rest on their laurels in regards to the entertainment value of their product, but if winning becomes regular that would probably be a huge mistake.