Since the first day of Spring Training I’ve been talking about how the 2014 Astros team would lose more than 100 games. This team has shown a tremendous amount of improvement and I’ll be the first to admit I was wrong. They are actually a lot of fun to watch. But, if like most fans, you don’t have CSN Houston, I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it. That’s where my challenge to Jim Crane and the Astros comes in.
For nearly two years now, the majority of Astros fans living within 700 miles of Minute Maid Park have been blacked out from watching their favorite team’s games on television — even if they are willing to pay for it! A failed Regional Sports Network and antiquated MLB blackout regulations have taken away a privilege that millions of Astros fans had grown accustomed to. With only seven home games remaining on the schedule, it’s time for Crane and company to make a small concession to those loyal fans that remain.
Fans who live in the blackout area should be able to purchase tickets to any or all of the remaining games at a drastically reduced price.
I’m not talking about half price — or a two for one deal. I’m calling on the Astros to make a real gesture of appreciation to those who have stuck with the team during the difficult times. I’m talking about prices ranging from one to five dollars.
This is absolutely a win-win proposition for the Astros. Just imagine how much cash they could rake in on parking, concessions, and souvenirs. It’s also a good way to measure just how many fans are still out there. My theory is, the fan base has been dwindling steadily for the last two years. If no one shows up — that’s a sign that the team has some serious public relations work to do.
Crane has failed miserably after repeatedly promising to get the games on TV “within the next 30 days” or “before the season is over”. Obviously there are other players and factors involved. But, at this point, that’s all water under the bridge. Crane needs to show the fans that he really does care.
Make it happen, Jim. And you can thank me later.