Commentary: Should first-place Reds have better crowds?

Economics aside, how many events can you expect a sports fan to attend?

I mean, the other day I’m listening to the radio — or maybe I was watching television — and the announcers were lamenting the low turnout at Great American Ball Park for the first-place Reds.

They understood, of course, school was back in session, so that eliminated most of the kids.

And prime vacation time was over.

But the Reds were not only in first place, they were playing a contender, and half the seats at the ballpark were empty — as they have been for awhile. The last 41,000-plus sellout was 11 games ago, against the Cardinals. The best crowd for the Pirates in their three-game series earlier this week was 21,203.

Well, it’s also football season, both pro and college (and high school, if you want to toss that in), which commands attention as well as dollars. Competition comes from the Cincinnati Bearcats, Ohio State, Miami and, of course, the Bengals. (That doesn’t count nearby Kentucky and Louisville.)

Tennis may be a niche sport, but a week of men’s and women’s play just ended up the road in Mason and the television coverage of the U.S. Open must have taken up the time of some fans who love multiple sports.

Fans also know playoff and World Series tickets are going to be expensive — and take time away from home.

Fans are still fans; they’re still interested. But being in that seat for every game is starting to become problematic, especially in a long, long season by baseball.

It’s just not necessary to be at every game to be a fan, and even if you have the money, almost impossible to do.

I’m good with that.

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