Baseball is one of the most popular sports in the United States, and it has a unique feature that sets it apart from other sports: odd starting times. Unlike other sports that typically start on the hour or half-hour, baseball games often begin at odd times such as 7:05 PM or 1:10 PM. This raises the question: why do baseball games start at odd times? In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this phenomenon.
One of the primary reasons why baseball games start at odd times is television broadcasts. Television networks pay a significant amount of money to broadcast baseball games, and they have a say in when the games start. Networks prefer to start their programs on the hour or half-hour, so they can schedule their commercials and programming accordingly . As a result, baseball games are often scheduled to start just before or after the hour or half-hour mark.
Moreover, television networks also have pregame shows that air before the game starts. These shows typically begin at the top or bottom of the hour, and they need time to introduce the matchup, make predictions, and show highlights . Therefore, baseball games are scheduled to start at odd times to accommodate these pregame shows.
Another reason why baseball games start at odd times is pregame rituals. Baseball players have a lot of pregame rituals that they follow before every game. These rituals include stretching, batting practice, infield practice, and bullpen warmups . All of these rituals take time, and they need to be completed before the game starts.
To ensure that all of these rituals are completed before the game starts, baseball games are scheduled to start at odd times. For example, if a game is scheduled to start at 7:00 PM, the players would not have enough time to complete all of their pregame rituals. Therefore, the game is scheduled to start at 7:05 PM or 7:10 PM to give the players enough time to complete their pregame rituals.
Baseball teams often travel long distances to play games. This travel time can affect the players’ performance, and it can also affect the scheduling of the games. To minimize the impact of travel time, baseball games are often scheduled to start at odd times.
For example, if a team is traveling from the West Coast to the East Coast, they may experience jet lag and fatigue. To give them enough time to recover, the game may be scheduled to start at 7:10 PM instead of 7:00 PM . This extra ten minutes can make a significant difference in the players’ performance.
Marketing and Fan Experience
Finally, baseball games may start at odd times for marketing and fan experience reasons. For example, some teams may schedule their games to start at odd times to attract more fans. If a team is struggling to sell tickets for a particular game, they may schedule the game to start at an odd time to make it more appealing to fans .
Moreover, some teams may schedule their games to start at odd times to provide a unique fan experience. For example, some teams may schedule their games to start at 6:35 PM instead of 7:00 PM to give fans more time to enjoy pregame activities such as batting practice and autograph sessions .
In conclusion, there are several reasons why baseball games start at odd times. Television broadcasts, pregame rituals, travel time, marketing, and fan experience all play a role in determining the starting time of a baseball game. While odd starting times may seem unusual, they are an essential part of the baseball experience.