April 6, 2022
Baseball fans do not appear to be concerned about the impact of the 99-day Major League Baseball labor lockout on the upcoming season. Most baseball fans are at least somewhat excited about and interested in the upcoming season while a minority have some feelings of anger or frustration.
MLB baseball is currently the second most popular professional sport, behind football but ahead of NBA basketball and NHL hockey. Older Americans are more likely to be fans of baseball than younger Americans. Thirty-two percent of Americans ages 45 and older say they are currently fans compared with 22% of younger adults. There are not significant age differences among fans of the NFL, NBA, or NHL.
Men are more likely than women to be fans of professional baseball (35% vs 19%), football (51% vs 27%), basketball (28% vs 15%), and hockey (28% vs 8%).
Less than half of current baseball fans say they followed the Major League Baseball lockout which ran from December 2021 to mid-March 2022 closely or that it impacted what they think about MLB.
Few fans said the lockout had a major impact of their views of Major League Baseball (8%), though 39% said it had a minor impact.
Opening day is April 7, and overwhelming majorities of fans have positive feelings about the upcoming season. Seventy-five percent of fans feel at least somewhat excited and 86% are at least somewhat interested.
Baseball fans are less likely to have negative emotions, but still about 28% are at least somewhat angry and 39% are at least somewhat frustrated.
Suggested Citation: AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. (April 2022).“Feelings Toward Major League Baseball Ahead of Season Opener [https://apnorc.org/projects/forty-seven-percent-of-baseball-fans-say-the-lockout-had-at-least-some-impact-on-their-views-of-major-league-baseball/]