The next time you check out a ballgame, don’t be surprised to hear fewer fans cheering. That’s because almost all the major league sports are reporting a drop in ticket sales this year.  

  • For example: Major league baseball is on track to have a million fewer fans at games this summer, compared to last summer. 

  • Several professional basketball teams, including the Phoenix Suns and Detroit Pistons, reported their worst season ever for ticket sales. 

  • And the NFL says their ticket sales have dropped four years in a row.

Exactly how empty are sports stadiums these days? Well, the Miami Marlins, who opened a brand new baseball stadium last year, recently announced they’ll close the entire upper bowl for some games because they’re having so much trouble selling tickets. And in April, the Boston Red Sox played their first non-sellout game at Fenway Park, after selling out every seat for more than ten years.

So, where have all the fans gone? As you might expect, experts say most fans are at home, watching games on TV. A lot of people think the home experience beats the huge cost of buying tickets and hotdogs for the whole family. Not to mention the hassle of driving to games, paying for parking, and worrying about the weather. 
But while the attendance trend may be bad news for teams, it’s good news for fans. Because when ticket sales are bad, teams usually do more to entice fans like offering more post-game fireworks and rock concerts or building mini “theme parks” for kids to play in. Teams are also offering healthier food options at the ballpark, including gluten-free, vegetarian menus and gourmet salads. Bottom line: Experts say attending games today is getting more like “a trip to Disneyland.” But is that enough to get you to buy a ticket? Weigh in at Facebook.com/JohnTesh.