Is Baseball Still America's Favorite Pastime?

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Bill Edson

Compare/Contrast Essay


Is Baseball Still America’s Favorite Pastime?

It has been tradition in American sports that baseball is accepted as the nation’s favorite pastime. Recent historical trends now point to football as the new favorite of American sports fans. Comparing each sport as represented at the professional level, the National Football League (NFL) has grown in popularity over Major League Baseball (MLB). This notion can be supported with the analysis and comparison of three relevant statistical categories being fan popularity, television ratings, and generated income revenue. The results of the statistical facts now point to football as the most favorite pastime of American sports fans.

It is difficult to directly compare the popularity of each sport based strictly on fan attendance as each league does not exactly duplicate the other. For example, neither league has the same amount of teams, length of season and schedules differ, and their stadiums represent a wide variance in fan capacities. Specifically, Major League Baseball has 30 teams while the National Football League has 32 teams. Major League Baseball teams play a 162-game season where National Football League teams play a 16-game season. Generally, MLB stadiums are smaller and seat fewer fans when compared to their NFL counterparts. In a season, MLB teams attract over 30,000 fans on average per game where NFL teams attract over 65,000 fans. Mathematically, based on annual attendance raw statistics and the total amount of games attended, the MLB has more fans attend games than the NFL annually with 146 million fans in comparison to 33.2 million fans respectively. However, it should be emphasized that a comparison study using only season attendance statistics cannot be considered valid given the uncommon resources. However, a scientific study utilizing a uniform Gallup poll system measured the popularity of each sport utilizing...
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