Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Are sporting events too long?

I saw a link today that talked about the NBA testing the waters for a 44 minute games, shaving 1 minute off each quarter in a exhibition game.

Now is as good of time as any to give my thought on sports in terms of seasons and length of games.

I think this is a horrible idea.  I know the last 4-5 minutes of a basketball game seems to take (and in most cases does) 20 or more minutes, but basketball is just fine with the lengths of their games.  As some other people commented on the post I read. I would rather see fouls at the end of the games be counted as intentional or flagrant fouls instead of personal fouls.  I never understood it anyways, most fouls at the end of the game are on purpose, so they ARE intentional.  If they started to be counted that way, teams would need to strategize better and wouldn't foul as much, thus the games wouldn't last as long.

On the subject of basketball, I don't get why high schools use 4 quarters, college uses 2 halves, and NBA uses 4 quarters.  I think it should be uniform in all three.  I think college should switch to 4 ten minute quarters.  They already take mandatory timeouts every 4 minutes of game play, so why not just split it up.  On the same subject, the WNBA uses halves just like college, I thought it was always odd.  If they were trying to make the WNBA resemble the NBA (which they did try hard the first few years), why did the make it 2 halves instead of 4 quarters.

The Tampa Bay Rays are successful though fans might not know it.
The problem with sports isn't the length of a game, its the length of the season.  My favorite sport is always baseball, but the season lasts forever.  I don't like the idea of November baseball, the players need time off (though I know they still train).  I think a 140-ish game schedule makes it more bearable.  It would allow Spring Training and the start of the season to be pushed back slightly, preventing possibly snow cancellations, and still end the season in plenty of time for sports fans to enjoy most of the other sports.  With less games, I think more games would be sold out, and people wouldn't mind as much if a game lasts over 3 hours.

The NFL season is a bit long too.  I don't think they should cut but one game though, and I would be fine if once a developmental league is established (one that actually comes to fruition and lasts) if the preseason is cut to two games.  Again, I'm not a fan of February football, by then I am ready for basketball and other sports.

A recent NHL game from earlier this week.
The NBA and NHL seasons are both too long too.  The regular seasons aren't too bad, but the playoffs drag on and on.  I may be biased because I'm not the biggest fan, but hockey shouldn't be played in June.  If they want best of 7's. cut the season by 20 games.  Why play the same teams you meet in the playoffs 4 times in the regular season?

I can't talk about MLS too much, because though I do like watching it some, I don't know when their season actually is.  I do think it should be wrapped up sooner.  I think it was late November when I saw the MLS Championship last year.  Soccer is a summer sport, keep it in the summer.

NASCAR is another sport that needs shortening.  36 races doesn't seem bad, but when they take weeks off, and then add two weeks for Daytona, the season is almost year round.  I think 30 races is enough, even if they decide to do the 10 race Chase.  If they want to show NASCAR year round, at least do it by putting more emphasis on the truck races and maybe the Mexico series in the winter months.

Brickyard 400 attendance was down this year.

By shortening these sports it would allow for less overlap.  Just think, take October, Right now every sporting event is taking place.  MLB playoffs, NFL, MLS, NASCAR, and even NBA and NHL.  That doesn't even include college sports, mainly football.  In July you have MLB, NASCAR, and MLS (and WNBA if you count it).

I know owners won't ever go for fewer games, but sometimes less is more.  I saw a hockey game that had like 8000 people in attendance.  Attendance is going down it seems in all sports, and the main reasons you hear are prices for tickets, teams are playing bad, or its easy to access the game without being there.  While all may be true to some extent, the main reason to me is because you have so many chances to go to the games that you don't need to make it to all of them.  Yes people clamor for tickets when the team is hot, and that should always be the case, but give fans less chances to go to games, and I still think the same amount of tickets will be sold.

Sorry if this seemed like a rant.  It really isn't, it was more of a topic starter, and this blog gives me a chance to voice my thoughts on stuff.  I also needed something to write and the mail hasn't come yet, so I was out of topics.

Thanks for reading, and thanks to my new followers, I hope you enjoyed it and let me know what you think.  Have a great evening.


Write comments
Matthew Scott
10/15/14, 7:38 AM delete

Like you said the length of seasons will never be changed. TV contracts are too big. Playing a game with 20k in the stadium is much better than having it empty and not being broadcasted.

In terms of length of season and attendance I think you can find some parallels with that....especially with the smaller market teams. Personally I still think it is the quality of the product. The Penguins were on the brink of moving from Pittsburgh post Lemieux and pre Crosby. During that time you could get tickets for $10. Once Crosby got established and the team started winning they have sold out every game in last handful of years.

When the Pirates were losing all the time the stadium would be empty during the week and once football season started it was empty on the weekends as well. With meaningful baseball they have broken sell out records and would regularly get 25 to 30 k during the week.

I think the hockey game you referenced with 8k was a Florida Panthers game. I think that is the perfect storm of a crappy market and terrible team. When the team was just getting going and made Stanley Cup it generated tons of excitement and they were selling out games. Hockey teams in the South have been hit or miss. A lot of times it seems those teams just become destination spots for the away team fans to see a game on the cheap.