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Americans miss watching baseball more than other sports, survey says

Fans watch a spring training game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates on March 4 in Clearwater, Fla.
Fans watch a spring training game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates on March 4 in Clearwater, Fla.
(Carlos Osorio / Associated Press)

The more money someone has, the more they’ve missed baseball.

Men have missed basketball more than women have.

Young adults aren’t as fanatical as older generations about sports.

Many Americans have no idea when football season is.

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Those are some of the conclusions that might be drawn from a recent survey by Monmouth University that looked into how much Americans have missed watching live sporting events during the coronavirus-related shutdown. The university polled 807 adults over the telephone from May 28-June 1.

In their latest restart proposal to MLB owners amid the coronavirus outbreak, the players push for an 89-game season with prorated salaries.

Based on the survey results, a majority of Americans identify as sports fans (56% yes, 42% no). Demographics that stood out with high percentages of favorable responses include people of color (63%), folks in the 35-54 age range (66%) and individuals who earn six figures (65%).

More people say they’ve missed being able to watch sporting events, at least to some degree (38% a lot, 26% a little, 42% not at all). Liberals (50%) and people ages 18-34 (54%) were more likely than most other demographics to say they did not miss watching sports.

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Asked which professional sport that typically would be in season they missed most, the majority of those surveyed said baseball (25%), followed by basketball (19%) and football (14% even though it is actually a fall sport). Those were the only three sports in the double digits.

Are MLB players obligated to renegotiate salaries for games played in fan-free ballparks? Based on a Times document review, the answer appears to be no.

Baseball nearly got a clean sweep over all the demographics, with only people of color (32% to 22%) and people who are not registered to vote (24% to 19%) preferring basketball.

Of the two sports, women seem to prefer baseball over basketball (26% to 15%), and men are fairly evenly split (25% to 23%).

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A higher percentage of people who make $100, 000 a year or more (33%) said they miss baseball most, compared to those who make $50,000-100,000 (26%) and less than $50,000 (21%).


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