MLB Makes Progress, Fans Like Shorter Games More of general public say they will visit ballpark this year; 74 percent of MLB fans wish broadcast games were ‘easier to find.’

South Orange NJ, March 27, 2024 – Going into last year’s baseball season, 42 percent of Major League Baseball fans said games were too long – and MLB unveiled a number of sweeping rule changes that significantly shortened game times. Now, going into 2024, only 34 percent say the games are too long, an 8-point (17.6 percent) drop that seemingly signifies real progress for MLB.

These were among the findings of a Seton Hall Sports Poll conducted March 21-25 among 1,502 adults across the country. The poll, which is sponsored by Seton Hall University’s Stillman School of Business featured a national representative sample from YouGov weighted on U.S. Census Bureau figures for age, ethnicity, education, income and geography and has a margin of error of +/-3.0 percent.

Improvement for Sports Fans and Avid Fans
Among self-described sports fans and avid fans this year 41 percent and 42 percent respectively said the games are still too long, but 48 percent of sports fans and 54 percent of avid fans said they were not.

In 2023 sports fans said games were too long at 43 percent (an improvement for MLB of 2 points for 2024) while avid fans registered their time displeasure with the length of games at 54 percent (down 12 points for 2024).

Among these same groups last year, 44 percent of sports fans said the games were not too long (improved by 4 points this year) while 39 percent of avid fans (improved 15 points this year) agreed.

“In any business you must maintain your existing customer base as well as attempt to expand,” said Seton Hall Professor Charles Grantham, Director of the Center for Sport Management.“The numbers for MLB’s existing fan base indicate a show of approval for these rule changes and the significantly shorter games. Although not resounding, it’s a move in the right direction for MLB. Although it remains to be seen whether this strategy will attract new baseball fans, every at-bat doesn’t have to be a home run. Sometimes a well-placed single or a double is enough to stay in the game.”

Take Me Out to the Ball Game?
In 2023 total paid attendance for MLB games was 70,747,365, which was the first time it broke 70 million since 2017.

In the 2024 poll, among the general population 31 percent said they will attend an MLB game this year, which is up from 26 percent (+5) last year.

Likewise, the number of sports fans who said they will attend a game this year rose to 43 percent this year from 38 percent last (+5). Among avid fans, 61 percent indicated they will attend an MLB game this year, up from 57 percent last year (+4). However, among self-described MLB fans the number stayed flat at 49 percent year-over-year.

TV: Where’s the Game?
With a plethora of media outlets, apps and streaming services broadcasting MLB games, respondents of the poll cited confusion when trying to find a game: 74 percent of MLB fans, 65 percent of sports fans and 74 percent of avid fans said they wish MLB games were easier to find.

“Although there is real value for MLB and its owners in adding additional media outlets, it can easily create confusion for fans,” said Daniel Ladik, Marketing Professor in the Stillman School and chief methodologist to the Poll. “MLB does not want to lose viewership—and will, if only diehard fans can ‘crack the code’ and find the game.”

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Questions and charted breakdowns below.


The Seton Hall Sports Poll, conducted regularly since 2006, is performed by the Sharkey Institute within the Stillman School of Business. This poll was conducted online by YouGov Plc. using a national representative sample weighted according to gender, age, ethnicity, education, income and geography, based on U.S. Census Bureau figures. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all U.S residents. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls. The Seton Hall Sports Poll has been chosen for inclusion in iPoll by Cornell’s Roper Center for Public Opinion Research and its findings have been published everywhere from USA Today, ESPN, The New York Times, Washington Post, AP, and Reuters to CNBC, NPR, Yahoo Finance, Fox News and many points in between.

Media:  Michael Ricciardelli, Associate Director of Media Relations, Seton Hall University, 908-447-3034; Marty Appel,


This SHSP was conducted March March 21 to March 25h and includes responses from 1,502 US adults with a margin of error of +/- 3.0%. The sample mirrors the US Census percentages on age, gender, income, education, ethnicity, and region.