SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Around the country, a lot of major league baseball teams are drawing fewer fans to the ballpark this year.

John Madden told the KCBS morning crew it doesn’t necessarily mean the sport isn’t healthy.

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“I think the health of the sport can be okay and attendance can be down for different reasons. For years, the owners, the leagues, the teams gouged the fans,” said Madden. “They haven’t been fan-friendly. Tickets prices kept going up and were ridiculous, parking prices were ridiculous, concession prices were ridiculous.”

 “It used to be mom and dad could take two kids and go to a game. The prices got so high they couldn’t do that,” he said.  

In addition, Madden said, the television experience is much better now.

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“It’s a lot easier to sit home and watch it on TV. You can see more games, you can see the cut-ins, the highlights from other games,” he said.  

Madden said the ratings show the health of sports is “pretty good, but they all have to watch out that they don’t become studio shows,” because the fans at the ballparks and stadiums are a big part of the excitement. (9:55)

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