After four years, Major League Baseball is apparently closing its Fan Cave. Opened prior to the 2011 season, the Fan Cave was a building in NYC that housed baseball fans, or “cave dwellers” as they’d come to be known, who were tasked to watch every baseball game throughout the season and record their experiences which would then be shared on social media.
Geared as a way for MLB to connect digitally with a younger audience, the Fan Cave began with two cave dwellers, Mike O’Hara, a 37-year old Yankee fan and Ryan Wagner, a 25-year old Orioles fan, who were selected from a pool of over 10,000 applicants to live in the cave and record their experiences. From there it grew into a bit of a social media phenomenon where players dropped by to interact with fans and even a place where concerts were held. The closing of the Fan Cave is seen as perhaps an attempt by MLB to consolidate their social media activities under MLB’s new leadership.
“We’re trying to be more coordinated in all of our social media efforts,” said Bob Bowman, President of MLB Business and Media. “This change in structure is helping all of us focus on the same goals, and by putting all of the social media together, we hope to have a more consistent and effective message.”
For MLB, their lease on the building is not yet up so they will still have access to the space for the next couple years. Located at 4th Street and Broadway, it’s a prime location for any number of uses, including retail. How it will be used is still yet to be determined, but Bowman and his team may use it to create pop-up retail stores or as a possible showcase location for fans to learn about MLB’s new technologies.