The night before the first game I announced, my dad gave me some advice. Not all of it would wind up being true, including, “nobody comes to hear the announcer”. That’s understandable from the outside, but over the years have found this to be untrue. Here are some of the reasons why this is a
The night before the first game I announced, my dad gave me some advice. Not all of it would wind up being true, including, “nobody comes to hear the announcer”.
That’s understandable from the outside, but over the years have found this to be untrue. Here are some of the reasons why this is a myth.
- If nobody comes to hear the announcer, then why do so many people pay me to announce their game?
- Why have I, on several occasions, had people come to games I was announcing, when they could choose to go elsewhere?
- Why did attendance increase in almost every Minor League Baseball city the year I was the P. A. announcer, several times setting records?
If nobody comes to hear the announcer, then why do the above happen?
In some situations, if an announcer is filling in, he or she could be responsible for selling a few tickets to that night’s game because there are people who are coming to hear the announcer. Yes, they are family and friends, however if the announcer is good, people will come.
Think about the reporters you watch on TV or personalities you listen to on the radio. Now, think about those who you don’t listen to. Why do you listen to the former, and not the latter? It’s probably because the second group does things you find annoying, while the first group does what you expect and more. The same falls true for P. A. announcers. A great announcer can really make an event, while a bad announcer can ruin an event.
Nobody comes to a wedding for the catering, but if the food is slow and undercooked, people will talk about it. The same goes if the food is exceptional beyond expectations. P. A. announcers are similar to wait staff at a restaurant. You have certain waiters you like, maybe you’ll even wait longer to get their section. Same goes for announcers and here’s a situation that came up while I was in high school.
We were playing Lake Braddock in basketball, I believe it was my junior year (second year doing basketball at the school). A parent from Lake Braddock said to me at halftime, “we’re going to miss you next year”. I thought it was because they knew I was graduating, but in the course of conversation the lady informed me that her husband and her would split which games they would attend to support their kids since they both played basketball for the school. There was only one school that they both would go see game together, and that was when they played at W. T. Woodson because they loved hearing me announce.
This was a case of the family of a visiting team coming to hear the announcer, and only in my second year. Over the years I have known people to league professional sports events to hear me announce a college basketball game. Referees have requested games that they thought I would be announcing, and have had some of those referees look at my schedule to put in to get assigned to those games. So, something must be getting done right.
In 1998, I started announcing for the St. Petersburg Devil Rays and would announce in Minor League Baseball for seven of the next nine seasons. Here is a breakdown of the attendances from previous seasons.
A good announcer, and a good game production means something. Fans will come back if it’s good, they won’t if it’s not. It can be quite interesting with you figure out how much teams spend on getting fans to come to games, then how little they spend on all the ancillary reasons someone would want to come back. Beyond the P. A. announcer and music, the scoreboard operator, in-game host, ushers, concession workers, ticket takers, ticket sellers, supervisors, etc., are all responsible for the general enjoyment of fans at the game. Each has their responsibility. However, not all fans visit the concession stand, buy a souvenir, or even need to talk to the ticket takers with eTickets. But attendees at games have to listen to the announcer, the music and organ. You can get by without a video board, but if the scoreboard is wrong, that also affects fan enjoyment.
Next Week: No way you started when you were