What Do Museums Have That Sporting Events Don’t?
About 140 million people in the U.S. will attend a major-league sporting event this year, according to this NPR article.
But as the same article says, museums will draw about 850 million attendees this year.
So why do more people make trips to museums than to sports games? Well, they are obviously cheaper, and more abundant, but it may also have to do with how each experience translates onto a TV or computer screen.
Forty-one percent of sports fans surveyed by the Consumer Electronics Association and the Sports Video Group said that sports programming in HD is almost as good as the live event.
And with the likelihood of a sports recession, even more fans may be opting for televised games over expensive tickets.
Virtual museums, on the other hand, serve as teasers and actually drive people to real-life exhibits, because, as Kevin Guilfoile of the Museum of Online Museums told NPR:
Some things just inherently, aesthetically you need to be in the presence of them. … I don’t think there’s any substitute to going to a museum and looking at a Chagall.
So is HDTV a threat to live sports games, and if so, how can live sports compete?
Maybe Fenway Park, whose ticket sales for Red Sox games are falling, can take a cue from museums: Dustin Pedroia posing behind plexiglass? Or, better yet, put Plax‘s gunshot trousers on display in the new Giants Stadium?