The two annual rivalry series may survive a scheduling reconfiguration in 2013 because of their popularity with fans, according to MLB Commissioner Bud Selig.
Right now there are two three-game rivalry interleague series — Yankees/Mets, Cubs/White Sox, Twins/Brewers, Rays/Marlins, A’s/Giants, Angels/Dodgers, etc. — that are popular in terms of box-office appeal and ratings, particularly in larger cities where it’s a crosstown or subway series. But because MLB is going to consistent interleague play in 2013 when the Houston Astros join the American League, there were schedules drawn up that would cut back on the two three-game series.
But these series are popular both with fans and with team owners who see a bump in attendance when a rival is in town. For instance, in past years both the Twins and the Brewers have seen significant attendance boosts when the rival is in town; it may not matter so much today when both teams are drawing well, but it meant a lot to the team’s bottom lines when neither was drawing particularly well. Similarly, there’s a very good chance the best-attended series at U.S. Cellular Field may be notched when the Cubs visit the White Sox.
During a press conference at the quarterly owner’s meetings, Selig indicated the two three-game series would probably survive.
“The fans like it,” Selig said, as quoted by the Chicago Tribune’s Phil Rogers Thursday at the conclusion of an owners meeting in New York. “When your fans like something, you have to be responsive to that and sensitive to it.”
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