While it may have taken over half a season to get there, paid attendance in Major League Baseball is now pacing ever-so-slightly ahead of last season compared to this day on the calendar. That may sound like a small thing, but when you consider that the league will almost assuredly see the most rainouts that any point over the last decade, and steep declines by two key clubs in the league, itâ€™s nothing short of miraculous.
Itâ€™s the latter that deserves some attention.
With the McCourt divorce, the Stow beating on Opening Day, and the bankruptcy that Frank has put the club into, moral â€“ and more importantly attendance â€“ is spiraling downward.
As of yesterday, the Dodgers were pacing a staggering 17 percent below what they were last season. To date, the Dodgers have hosted 50 games, seeing a total attendance of 1,830,479 in paid attendance, or an average of 36,610. Compare that to last season when the club had hosted 47 games for a total of 2,061,224 in paid attendance, or an average of 43,865.
The Mets arenâ€™t helping, either. Through 44 games, the club has pulled in 1,357,199 or an average of 30,845 or down 8 percent from last season. Compare that to 2010 at this time, which wasnâ€™t exactly the best to begin with, where the Amazinâ€™s drew 1,444,870 over 43 games or an average of 33,602.
While the Mets arenâ€™t news the league wants, the decline for the Dodgers is worse than it appears. Thatâ€™s because there are few rainouts â€“ if any â€“ at Dodger Stadium and its size means a high level of attendance numbers. Historically, the Dodgers have ranked 1st or 2nd in total each season. As of now, they rank 10th. The Mets? They sit just 3 spots back at 13th.
Maury 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, and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He 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 (select his name in the dropdown provided).
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