Dear Charles Steinberg,
After watching Mannywood and Bleacher Beach and ethnic-foods sections pop up this year, it became clear to us at SoSG that you are open to trying new approaches to boost attendance amidst a challenging economic environment. So here's an idea, offered free of charge, from yours truly at Sons of Steve Garvey:
A Singles Section.
Not that we want to encourage our Dodgers to hit even more singles; no, we have too many LOB for that already. But what about reaching out to the single men and women of Los Angeles, an often-overlooked but large, important, and free-spending constituency, and letting the Dodgers provide a section where no pitch is too fast, hearts can be stolen along with bases, and everyone wants to make it to home plate?
The genesis of this idea was a recent Men's Health magazine article citing 13 great places to meet women, which included this little ditty:
But it's not just the friend famine that's starving our sex lives. Socially inbred crews are detrimental, too. "In a tightly knit group, you know the same people," says Parks. "Your friends can't introduce you to women you don't already know." That's why access to a new resource, whether it's an unadvertised job opening, a lead on a house listing, or an introduction to a woman you might click with, is more likely to come through casual friends than close ones. It's what social-network theorists call "the strength of weak ties," and the greater the number of unique casual connections you have, the better positioned you are to benefit. These types of people are essentially network bridges, says Parks. They connect you to women you might not otherwise have met through your close friends. The secret isn't blind dates and setups; it's party invites and casual introductions.
[...]We'll supply the fertile meeting grounds. You find the equivalents in your town, and the potential mates who gather there. [...]
Durham Bulls Athletic Park (Durham, NC)
For the cost of a Yankees ticket (or less), you and your friends can each grab a multigame package featuring up to 13 MLB minor-league affiliates. Rooting for team sports can boost testosterone levels -- yours as well as hers. And T is the libido hormone, so if your team wins, you both win. Try this: Split the cost of an extra package with your friends, and then take turns inviting someone new. It'll expand your weak ties, and the presence of friends creates a "celebrity effect" that can be as desirable as attractiveness or wealth.
Why not make one of the unused sections over on the reserved level a new singles hangout? Sell tickets with a maximum of two seats per order, must be over 21 and younger than 32. Throw in a Dodgers black book and a pen. Make a big "NO GLOVE, NO LOVE" sign to hang behind the section (you can probably get some safe-sex operation to fund free condom distribution).
Heck, you're already charging people for the alcohol; you're already halfway there. And all those worries about Arte Moreno trying to muscle in on your Los Angeles territory? You'll be stealing his clientele now. I mean, how can the Angels replicate this? Who wants to meet a girl from the 714 and spend the post-game at Applebee's, when you can instead hop on over to the Sunset Strip to party?
Look, I know the Dodgers Singles Section doesn't have the same ring to it as the incessant playing of Don't Stop Believing. But there's something here, Charlie. Give it some consideration.
SoSG Steve Sax
P.S. Just please do not let the players attend this section. Bad, bad idea.