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Over 1.3 Million Fans Attend Opening Day Across MLB, Up Under 1% From 2010 PDF Print E-mail
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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 11 April 2011 00:00

Opening Day 2011UPDATE: Using ESPN's Team Schedule data for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2010 has uncovered an error. That data (which shows 16,191) as attendance for the 2010 home opener is incorrect. The actual game report on ESPN shows that the game was a sellout of 36,973 (102.6 % of capacity). This article and data has now been updated to refect the correction. (A hat tip to Cork Gaines for addressing the error. -- Maury Brown


Each of Major League Baseball’s 30 clubs have now hosted their Opening Days, and with it paid attendance for the first games totaled for 2011 was 1,310,905, up .3 percent from 1,314,467 on Opening Day in 2010.

Ballparks saw attendance at an average of 101.3 percent capacity on Opening Day, a sign that clubs were able to sell standing room only tickets. Two-thirds of the league saw attendance on Opening Day above 100 percent with the Marlins seeing the largest over normal capacity figure of 41,237 or 113.5 percent of the 32,495 that the Marlins normally allocate in cavernous Sun Life Stadium that also hosts the Miami Dolphins. For a true ballpark where it is not a multi-purpose, such as the Marlins and Athletics play in, the Brewers drew 109.8 of capacity, or 46,017 against the Braves. The “least filled” ballpark on Opening Day was U.S. Cellular Field where the White Sox hosted the Rays. The club drew 38,579 or 95 percent of the ballpark’s 40,615 seating capacity.

In a sign that fans revel in the love a new season, total paid attendance for the game after the season opener was 925,853, a 29.4 drop from Opening Day. Just two clubs (Phillies and Red Sox) saw increases of less than 1 percent (.8% for the Red Sox and .5% for the Phillies). The largest decline from Opening Day to the second game after opener goes to the Cleveland Indians who drew 41,721 on Opening Day against the White Sox, only to free fall to just 9,853 the next day, a decrease of 76.4 percent. The other large decliner was the Baltimore Orioles who saw 46,593 on Opening Day but just 12,451 the next day, a decrease of 73.3 percent against the Tigers. It should be noted that the Orioles lowered seating capacity from 48,290 to 45,971 this year, thus filling Camden Yards to 101.4 percent.

As a matter of comparison, MLB saw an average of 30,138 across 2,424 games last season. Opening Day 2011 drew an average of 43,697, a difference of 13,559 per game.

SELECT READ MORE TO SEE HOME OPENER ATTENDANCE; ATTENDANCE FOR SECOND GAME OF HOME OPENER SERIES; 2010 HOME OPENER ATTENDANCE; BALLPARK CAPACITIES; % OF CAPACITY FOR THE 2011 HOME OPENER, AND; AND % +/- ACROSS THE DATA

Team 2011
Opener
% of cap Opp 2nd
Game
% +/- from
Opener
Capacity 2010
Opener
% +/- from 2010
Dodgers 56,000 100.0 Giants 44,834 -19.9% 56,000 56,182 -0.3%
Braves 51,331 103.2 Phillies 36,256 -29.4% 49,743 53,081 -3.3%
Rangers 50,146 102.0 Red Sox 48,356 -3.6% 49,170 50,299 -0.3%
Rockies 49,374 97.8 D-Backs 40,216 -18.5% 50,490 49,509 -0.3%
Yankees 48,226 95.9 Tigers 41,462 -14.0% 50,291 49,283 -2.1%
D-Backs 48,027 98.8 Reds 20,719 -56.9% 48,633 49,059 -2.1%
B. Jays 47,984 96.9 Twins 27,194 -43.3% 49,539 46,321 3.6%
Orioles 46,593 101.4 Tigers 12,451 -73.3% 45,971 48,891 -4.7%
Cardinals 46,368 105.4 Padres 38,527 -16.9% 43,975 46,918 -1.2%
Brewers 46,017 109.8 Braves 24,117 -47.6% 41,900 45,808 0.5%
Mariners 45,727 96.4 Indians 30,309 -33.7% 47,447 45,876 -0.3%
Phillies 45,237 103.6 Astros 45,455 0.5% 43,647 44,791 1.0%
Tigers 44,799 108.6 Royals 33,810 -24.5% 41,255 45,010 -0.5%
Angels 43,853 96.6 B. Jays 43,513 -0.8% 45,389 43,504 0.8%
Padres 43,146 101.5 Giants 24,368 -43.5% 42,500 42,843 0.7%
Reds 42,398 100.2 Brewers 37,967 -10.5% 42,319 42,493 -0.2%
Giants 42,048 100.3 Cardinals 41,742 -0.7% 41,915 42,940 -2.1%
Indians 41,721 96.0 W. Sox 9,853 -76.4% 43,441 42,061 -0.8%
Cubs 41,358 100.5 Pirates 35,782 -13.5% 41,159 41,306 0.1%
Marlins 41,237 113.5 Mets 32,495 -21.2% 36,331 40,666 1.4%
Mets 41,075 97.8 Nationals 31,696 -22.8% 42,000 41,245 -0.4%
Astros 41,042 100.2 Marlins 25,421 -38.1% 40,963 43,836 -6.4%
Twins 40,714 103.1 Athletics 39,936 -1.9% 39,500 38,145 6.7%
Royals 40,055 105.7 Angels 13,302 -66.8% 37,903 40,052 0.0%
Pirates 39,219 102.2 Rockies 29,192 -25.6% 38,362 39,024 0.5%
Nationals 39,055 97.1 Braves 21,941 -43.8% 41,506 41,290 -5.4%
W. Sox 38,579 95.0 Rays 20,199 -47.6% 40,615 38,935 -0.9%
Red Sox 37,178 100.3 Yankees 37,488 0.8% 37,065 37,440 -0.7%
Rays 36,331 106.6 Orioles 22,164 -39.0% 34,078 36,973 -1.7%
Athletics 36,067 102.9 Mariners 15,088 -58.2% 35,067 30,686 17.5%
TOTAL 1,310,905 101.3 925,853 -29.4% 1,314,467 -.3%

Source: Major League Baseball by way of ESPN Attendance Trackers and Schedule


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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, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. 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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