- Bruce Levine, Chicago baseball beat reporter
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CLEVELAND -- General manager Kenny Williams has hopes of making the Chicago White Sox fans’ experience even more enticing in the future.
Within the next couple of weeks Williams will likely have a new title as head of baseball operations. With that new title will come some new responsibilities such as building interest in the team and generating new ticket sales.
“I think an energized fan base and an electric atmosphere can propel a team to the next level,” Williams said. “That is important. We have to get creative, and we have already started that process by looking at ourselves.”
The Sox as an organization were perplexed this season by the lack of interest in what many baseball people believe was a fan-friendly team that was in first place for 117 games, including everyday from July 24 through Sept. 25.
“We have to ask what are we doing and what are we currently doing,” Williams said. “Furthermore, what can we do to push ourselves a little bit harder and be a little bit better for the fans. Give them a better experience and give the fans a better reason to come to the ballpark.”
White Sox attendance fell to 1.965 million in 2012, the fourth season in a row attendance has dropped.
“It is not just the product we put on the field,” Williams said. “It is also the product we are delivering to our fans to make them spend their discretionary dollars on our ball club and come to our ballpark. I am not pointing the finger at anybody who didn’t come out because of the economy because I know they were watching.”
Williams said that putting retail bars and restaurants on 35th Street will not be a way of creating more ticket sales and interest in the team.
“Well that has been something that has been discussed for years, and I don’t reasonably think we can make any head way in those lines because it is largely an issue with the residents in the area, and I don’t see that as happening.”