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Rain + Losing = Poor Attendance for Johnson's 300th Win PDF Print E-mail
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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 05 June 2009 11:23

Johnson 300 game winner

Chances are less than 7,000 fans witnessed history
when Randy Johnson got his 300th win at Nationals
Park (Jonathan Newton -- The Washington Post)

When it comes to the Washington Nationals this year, the saying, “When it rains, it pours” takes on multiple meanings. There’s the losing (now 17 of their last 20 and a league worst .269 winning percentage), but there’s also the rain – that ever-so wet stuff that can be the bane of any owner with an open-air stadium.

The Nationals have had 3 games postponed due to rain this season, and it seems like rain delays are a near weekly affair for the club. Throw the losing and the bad weather together and you get this:

For those that saw the highlights of Randy Johnson’s 300th win at Nationals Park yesterday, you had to remark at how sparse the stands were for the historic event. With the game being a make-up for Weds. rainout, the Nationals played a traditional day/night double-header.

Attendance for the traditional games – games in which there is a short delay between Games 1 and 2 and fans are allowed to stay inside the ballpark for both – is counted as one figure. So, in the schedule, Game 1’s attendance appears as N/A while the total figure for both games are provided for Game 2.

The Nationals had a paid attendance of 16,787 for both games (including Johnson’s historic win). Factoring in that there was a short rain delay for yesterday’s Game 1 (this after the washout the night before), and the fact that it was a weekday day game, we can do some adjusting to get estimated attendance for Johnson’s 300th win game:

Half of 16,787 is 8,394. Factoring in the day game and more rain, we can lop off another 20 percent and you get 6,715. That seems about right as the Washington Post reported, “As closer Brian Wilson recorded the final out, about 5,000 fans -- all standing, crowded in the first rows -- chanted, ‘Randy, Randy.’”

In a case of six degrees of Randy Johnson, 64 of the 70 worst attended games since 2001 came by way of the Montreal Expos, the team that Johnson started his career with. The Expos became the Nationals and began play in Washington, D.C. in 2005.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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