Poll: Fans Would Watch Replacement Players

From Associated Press

Scrap the strikers, more than half of baseball fans say. Bush leaguers would be just as entertaining as Clemens and Canseco.

Fifty-one percent of fans say they would attend the same number of games next season even if replacement players are used, according to a national poll released Thursday by the Associated Press.

If Griffey and Glavine won’t play, fans say they would still pay to watch unknowns in big league ballparks. And 63% say they’d watch just as many games on television next year if replacements take the field.


The percentage of Americans identifying themselves as baseball fans dropped to 26% from 33% in July, according to the survey. While 33% of Americans age 65 and over identified themselves as fans now, only 22% of the population from 18-34 consider themselves to be fans.

“It strikes me that you’re asking a lot of questions that are hypothetical,” union head Donald Fehr said. “I don’t give the questions or answers significance one way or the other.”

Owners say they would start the 1995 season with replacements if the strike continues.

NFL owners used replacement players in 1987, a move that crushed the football union. Attendance during the three weeks that replacements were used was way down, with an average of 23,626 per game.