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MLB Attendance Tracker for Weds. 5/18: Demystifying Sellout Numbers, Phillies and Red Sox Rock, Blue Jays Not PDF Print E-mail
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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown and David Simmons   
Thursday, 19 May 2011 13:56

MLBIf there’s an aspect of attendance watching that is vexing for media (and fans, alike), it’s how announced attendance is calculated. Most know that when the number is announced at the ballpark, your eyeballs often counter, “That’s not what I see. It’s far less.”

Such is landscape in professional sports where paid attendance – the number of tickets sold – is the new number announced, not the number of turnstile clicks.

But, there’s more.

An example is last night’s Tigers-Red Sox game at Fenway Park. Announced attendance was 37,311, and yet the postgame notes read this: 653rd consecutive sellout since May 15, 2003

When we looked at our numbers, it didn’t jibe.

Night attendance at Fenway is 37,495. How is that a sellout? According to the Red Sox, announced attendance for the boxscore does not include comps. By those standards, the Red Sox deemed the game a sellout.

That got us wondering (and we can’t answer it now): Just how often is this the case? Whether the info will be made available, we plan on setting out contacting each of the 30 clubs to see if this policy holds true throughout the league.

Back to Weds’ attendance...

The Red Sox didn’t get a rainout, but it was close. Chalk up another rain delay, this one 26 minutes (The delay began at 9:31 in the top of the 8th inning and the game resumed at 9:57).

It’s a good thing that Red Sox and Phillies posted numbers at 100% (or for the Phillies, 102%) of capacity. Ballparks were just 52% full by average. The Blue Jays certainly didn’t help that number drawing just 14,415 with the visiting Rays, or 29 percent of Rogers Centre’s 49,539 capacity.

Here’s the rest of Weds’ attendance figures:

Road

Home

Weds'
Attendance

Capacity

Sell-Thru

Notes

COL

PHI

44,665

43,647

102%

Hamels starting, ESPN game

DET

BOS

37,311

37,495

100%

Won 5 in a row. 26 min rain delay. 653rd consecutive sellout since May 15, 2003

HOU

STL

35,298

43,975

80%

Pull within .5 game of first

WSH

NYM

24,527

41,800

59%

Battle of NL East worst

SF

LAD

30,421

56,000

54%

1st Giants game since Stow beating become public, Kershaw start

CLE

CWS

18,580

40,615

46%

Peavy first 2011 home start

NYY

BAL

20,589

45,971

45%

Britton starting, rain all day

MIN

OAK

15,355

35,067

44%

Fall out of 1st Place with loss

ATL

AZ

19,773

49,033

40%

Up 3,300 from Tues night

MIL

SD

16,901

42,445

40%

First home game this week

PIT

CIN

16,543

42,271

39%

In 1st Place, won 5 in a row entering game

CHC

FL

14,422

38,560

37%

Were .5 game back starting Weds

LAA

SEA

16,992

47,116

36%

Up 1000 from Weds

TX

KC

13,789

39,000

35%

#68 BA Prospect Danny Duffy Debut

TB

TOR

14,415

49,539

29%

Come home with 6 game win streak

Total over 15 games

339,581

652,534

52%


Sell-Thru = Percentage of capacity


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David SimmonsDavid Simmons is a graduate of the University of Central Florida who worked in the front office of the Los Angeles Dodgers over 4 seasons and has a decade of ticketing experience.. He serves as CFO for Players For The Planet and currently resides in Baltimore. You can follow David on Twitter @davidesimmons

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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