Shifting sports: America focuses on a new pastime

Noah Cary

American sports culture is starting to slide. The American pastime is declining in popularity nationwide. As baseball fades, soccer is gaining popularity nationwide. During the 2014 World Series, 15.8 million people tuned in on average per game. This number was boosted in a big way by an unbelievable game seven. While 26.5 million people in the U.S. tuned in to watch the U.S. play in the World Cup. The U.S. was also the second leading country in World Cup ticket purchase, second only to Brazil, the host country.

The average age of a soccer fan is 37 years of age, while the average baseball fan is 53 years. This can prove to be optimistic for young soccer fans that are spurring the growth of soccer nationwide. Can the U.S. keep up the soccer craze since the World Cup is over? Yes it can. Average MLS (Major League Soccer) attendance reached 19,149 in 2014 far surpassing NBA and NHL attendance.

These trends are not just reaching to professional sports. College soccer attendance is up as well. Colleges nationwide are seeing growth in attendance of their soccer team’s matches. Over 35 teams nationwide average 1000 attendees at their schools soccer matches.

There are many reasons why baseball is fading including constant allegations of performance enhancing drug infractions, or nearly the same teams making the post season and even the World Series year in and year out. Does this mean that baseball has no hope of maintaining its claim as the American Pastime? No it does not. With a team nobody expected in the World Series in 2014, the Kansas City Royals, matching up against the San Francisco Giants, it drew in crowds of people wanting to watch the underdogs make history. With some simple rule changes and enforcements baseball can hold its spot as the American Pastime.