Radical Ideas Series: What if MLB teams could bid for more home games? – ESPN

One last radical idea: No more empty parks hurting small-market clubs. Let the rich fill their own seats more often — and pay for the privilege. 

10:30 AM ET

Welcome to the third and final installment of the Radical Ideas Series, in which we “fix” baseball not merely by limiting mound visits or even instituting pitch clocks but by revolutionizing the game’s competitive structure with way-out-there — yet at least vaguely plausible — changes.

Our goal isn’t (necessarily) for these ideas to land on MLB commissioner Rob Manfred’s desk. Instead, they’re intended to stir conversation about the state of the sport — and what would happen if …

In late August, the A’s flew 400 miles south to play three midweek games against the Angels. The set drew some of the smallest home crowds in Anaheim last season, but still, it was a pretty good haul: More than 100,000 paying customers saw the Angels sweep the A’s.

A week later, the Angels flew to Oakland. That midweek set drew crowds of 14,571, 11,110 and 10,544 — four fewer fans combined than the Angels had drawn the previous Tuesday night. There are plenty of reasons for the difference: The hosting A’s were out of postseason contention, while the hosting Angels were in a race for the wild card; the Angels draw from more than double the metropolitan area the A’s do; the Angels had a more famous roster, including the best player in baseball; the Angels were more likely to win; the Angels have a more comfortable ballpark; and the Angels hadn’t alienated their fans by trading many of their stars away. Lots of good reasons why three late-season games would be worth more to a huge group of Angels fans than to a smaller group of A’s fans.

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