Golf is the Only Thing That Can Fix Baseball Now

Engaging in things that are not baseball will help baseball, you see

Recently, the Milwaukee Brewers opened a state-of-the-art 11,000 square foot indoor golf simulator at American Family Field. I’ve heard all the jokes, that it’s “silly,” “perplexing,” or that “nobody asked for this.”

With all due respect, please shut your mouth. You don’t know what you’re talking about because you’re not a true titan of industry like our baseball barons.

Baseball is in trouble, with ratings consistently on a downward trend, decreasing attendance, and the ever-increasing average age of fans of the sport. For too long, fans and baseball media alike have lamented skyrocketing prices of attending games, hurdles to watching local games on tv, and even shortened American attention spans on the decline of baseball’s popularity. Again, I say this with all due respect, but you are complete fools.

Baseball fans aren’t getting any younger, I’ll grant you that. But why on earth would MLB lean into making games more appealing, affordable, or accessible to younger people? Fact: most young people are kids, and kids don’t have jobs and therefore can’t buy a ticket! Checkmate, but I’ll continue. Instead, the Brewers are wisely at the cutting edge of a strategy to lean into increasing their base of older fans by bringing one of the few sports with an older average viewer than baseball! It’s genius!

Let’s say for argument’s sake that you did want to appeal to a broader swath of the overall population and build long-term support for baseball, for whatever stupid reason. Virtual golf at the ballpark will do just that! You don’t have to take my word for it. The NBA is more popular than ever, and they have batting cages at all of their arenas (I assume). Where would the NFL be without its arcade basketball pop-a-shots that are set up throughout the concourses and in the stadiums’ luxury suites?

Imagine taking a kid to their first game at the ballpark. The green of the grass in the (virtual) fairway, the sound of the seven-iron club on the ball — I’m getting nostalgic for um, baseball, just thinking about it.

“Won’t that take away from the experience or enjoyment of the actual baseball game,” you ask like just a complete baby that doesn’t understand economics. No! If you read the press release, you’d see that a full THREE of the seven virtual golf bays at American Family Field have views of the baseball field!

The attendance and engagement problems in baseball can only be solved with not baseball.

Furthermore, the golf simulator area is not just for baseball season. It’s available year-round, giving baseball fans a chance to enjoy their favorite sport of golf even through the winter. That’s sure to create more golf fans, who will then return to the baseball field to get their golf fix in the years to come. Really, this couldn’t be any simpler.

This initiative will surely become a license to print money for the Brewers. I would never presume to be an ad wizard, but consider all the things Milwaukee could do with that extra revenue to create lifelong baseball fans. For instance, soccer is the most popular sport in the world. What if each seat came with a monitor so baseball fans could watch their favorite soccer teams? The possibilities aren’t just limited to sports, either.

People love music. Perhaps baseball stadiums could instead reconfigure into concert venues. Then you’d have to play the baseball games somewhere else, but if that’s what will draw baseball fans to the park (year-round!), owners are definitely going to have to at least consider it.

Milwaukee has figured out that golf will save baseball, and nothing makes more sense.


Feature image by Michael Packard (@CollectingPack on Twitter) 

Sean Roberts

Sean Roberts is a baseball columnist for Pitcher List. His work has been featured on Baseball Prospectus, the Hardball Times, and October. He's still getting used to the DH in the national league. @seanroberts.bsky.social

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