With the economic crisis deepening, commissioner Bud Selig said he is increasingly concerned about how significantly baseball might be affected. "I used to think we were recession-proof," Selig said during the Angels' 6-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs. "This is different. Some economists are saying it's the worst downturn since the Great Depression." The commissioner's office has advised clubs to plan for three scenarios - attendance the same as last season, a 10 per cent drop in attendance or a 20 per cent drop.
The Angels and Cubs played to a sell-out crowd on Saturday. However, Cactus League attendance was down 22 per cent over the first 11 days, USA Today reported. Selig declined to discuss internal attendance projections. Major League Baseball clubs sold 79.5 million tickets in 2007 and 78.6 million in 2008, the two highest totals in league history. "Every other phase of the economy has been touched, including other sports," he said. "I'll just have to watch it."
* With agencies