Ethnography of Fans: The Typical Fans of the Nashville Sounds

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In order to determine the current success of the Nashville Sounds I surveyed fans of the game. I used the “snowball effect” to get responses from fans I knew and then had them refer me to fans they knew for responses to my questionnaire. I also submitted my questionnaire to a local blogger who discusses Nashville Sounds baseball. Garnering 38 responses, I feel I have gained knowledge of the typical fan as well as differences in the appeal of the game to different types of fans. The typical fan of the Sounds is male and is between the age of 22 and 40. He has a family more often than not and takes them to games with him. He has played baseball at some level, most often, at least, in high school. He first attended a game either as a child or a young adult depending on whether or not he grew up in Nashville. He attends between 5 and 10 games per season and is not a season ticket holder. He does typically enjoy a meal at the ballpark and has purchased souvenirs either for himself or his family. He doesn’t usually have a favorite player or see the Sounds play on the road. He also for the most part does not follow the players in their winter leagues. He has attended at least one major league game in his life and sometimes attends other sporting events in Nashville (Titans or Predators). His favors minor league ball over major league because it is more affordable, there are more activities at the ball park, and it is convenient. He calls himself a fan for two reasons: it is affordable family fun, and he loves baseball. Respondents to the questionnaire were overwhelmingly male at 84%. Mills writes in her book Chasing Baseball that success at sport has been long seen as a sign of mas... ... middle of paper ... ... still feature a guitar shaped score board 100% of which those surveyed liked. Several fans stated that the scoreboard, which is shaped like a huge guitar, is iconic. It is unique to Nashville and lifts up our musical heritage. Though they would like to see an updated version they seemed nostalgic in wanting the fixture to be present in the new stadium. Tickets are already on sale for the inaugural 2015 season. Many older fans of the Sounds are happy about the location of the new park. The historical significance of the area brings back fond memories of their childhood watching the old Nashville Vols play. There will most likely still be Fireworks Fridays and Ozzie, because this is business in America. But there will also be baseball, with father and son watching unknown heroes trying to fulfill their American dream of playing baseball in the Major Leagues.

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