Memes and Lack of Fans Creates Issues for the Chicago White Sox.
Memes nowadays are jokes communicated to different parties through text messaging and social media. For the Chicago White Sox, it has propelled them into an embarrassing conversation about fan loyalty as memes across social media point out the numerous amount of empty seats at several homes with in the past few years.
The Chicago Cubs are the other Major League Baseball team in Chicago and fans from both side have always tried one up the other by providing a fact that would insult the other. For years, both the Cubs and White Sox had been on a championship drought so when the White Sox won in 2005, the Cubs were approaching 100 years since last winning the World Series. White Sox fans let them have it in almost all social arguments between rivals. The years since 2005, the White Sox fan base seemed to disappear as home game got noticeably emptier, even through the TV broadcast. The lack of fans came around the same time the Cubs were becoming a playoff team and winning the World Series in 2016. White Sox memes started to trend across social media, even way past the conversation of a couple local rivals. But is the attendance really that bad?
Guaranteed Rate Field’s capacity is 40,615 as of 2021 and the average number of tickets close to that number hasn’t been seen for almost 14 years. Based off of the attendance reported by Baseball Reference, the average number of tickets sold for each home game per season is around 20,000 attendees, that’s half of the ballpark’s capacity. If you have half of the stadium spread across the entire ballparks, sitting in different sections, half of the park is going to look empty no matter where the fans are placed. The highest attendance average comes one year after the White Sox won the World Series. The attendance has steadily decreased every year since then. The data under the year 2020 is black due to no fans being allowed into the ballpark due to Covid-19 restrictions in place in Illinois and Chicago.
The fan base may not be where the White Sox want to be at yet. But many of those factors correlate to an unsuccessful and rebuilding team that hasn’t been able to attract fans in the building in the first place. Only attendance data in the future compared with a future successful White Sox team can prove a fan base that are only present when the team is at their best, explaining why they weren’t present at their worst.