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While League Flat, Plenty of Winners and Losers in MLB Attendance Game PDF Print E-mail
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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 25 August 2011 13:13

MLBWith Major League Baseball heading into the final 7 weeks of the season, league attendance remains flat compared to last season (up 0.1%), but across the league, there are plenty of winners and losers in the paid attendance game.

While gate numbers are not available, tickets sold is announced each game. Based upon research by the SportsBusiness Daily, and confirmed against data collected by BizofBaseball.com, over 1,916 games played through Tuesday, the league has a paid attendance total of 58,042,992, or an average of 30,294.

Leading the league in both total attendance, average attendance, and percentage of capacity filled are the Phillies. The NL East team is currently the only club to have drawn over 3 million in paid attendance (3,004,451), while averaging 45,522 or 104.30% of capacity. Ballparks are considered 100% of capacity when all seats are sold, but standing-room tickets can allow capacity to exceed 100%. In all, thirteen clubs are drawing over 2 million in attendance (In the AL, the Yankees, Twins, Angels, Red Sox, Rangers, Tigers. In the NL, Phillies, Giants, Cardinals, Cubs, Brewers, Dodgers, Rockies). The Twins, Red Sox, and Phillies have averaged over 100% capacity for the season with the Giants at 99.9% of capacity.

At the low end of the spectrum is the Florida Marlins who, while ostensibly flat compared to last season (up 0.5%), have drawn an average of 18,242 per game, or 46.80% of Sun Life Stadium’s capacity. And that’s just paid attendance. One fan conducted a headcount at game 1 of a double-header yesterday at Florida in which he counted 347 fans in their seats at first pitch.

But, in terms of total attendance, the lowest number currently goes to the A’s who have drawn 1,215,000 over 64 as of Tuesday. They’re followed by the Rays (1,217,058), and Marlins (1,222,210)

In terms of increased attendance, the biggest gainers (double-digit increases) are the Indians (up 24.5%), Pirates (up 24.3%), and Rangers (up 21.9%).

Decliners in double-digits are the beleaguered Dodgers (down 17.7 percent), and the Rays who continue to struggle at the gate (down 16.5%)

Other Notes

  • The Mets, who are in the midst of a legal battle with the trustee for the Bernie Madoff victims is seeing attendance down 8.4% compared to last year, which was a down year for the club, as well.
  • The Brewers, in baseball’s smallest market, are seeing a 6.5% increase over last year. Next year could be interesting, depending on whether the club can retain Prince Fielder
  • The Giants are seeing the benefits of winning the World Series in 2010 and see a 12.1% increase from last year.
  • The Twins rank 4th in overall league attendance this year, incredible considering they are having a disappointing season. The effect of Target Field is still hanging on as attendance is down less than one percent for the club, thus far (down 0.6%)
  • Even though the Diamondbacks are fighting for first place in the NL West, and hosted this year’s All-Star Game as a season ticket selling point, attendance is down 2.6% compare to last season.
  • Losing Adrian Gonzalez really wasn’t that bad from a marketing perspective. The Padres, who overachieved and were in hot contention to win the NL West at this point last year, lost the star slugger in the off-season. Still, attendance at Petco Park is nearly flat compared to 2010 (up 0.9%)
  • Call it the “Joey Bats factor”. The Blue Jays are seeing a double-digit increase in paid attendance of 11.5% even though the team is out of contention in the AL East.
  • It’s depressing in the Pacific Northwest. The Mariners, who haven’t been able to get it turned around in the standings in years is seeing an attendance decline of 9.5%.
  • What will it be next year? The Cardinals, who are 10 games out of first behind the Brewers and are running out of time to stay in contention, see attendance down 7.3%. With Albert Pujols still a massive question mark for the club, watching the Red Birds attendance numbers next season will be interesting. Losing Pujols could take a massive dent out of the attendance numbers, while retaining him might simply keep paid numbers static depending upon the Cardinals performance in the standings.

SELECT READ MORE TO SEE ATTENANCE DETAILS FOR THE AL AND NL THROUGH TUES. AUG 23

 

MLB AMERICAN LEAGUE ATTENDANCE THROUGH AUG. 23
HOME TEAM
GMS
TOTAL
AVG.
% CAP.
PREV.
% +/-
GMS ('10)
Yankees
65
2,916,877
44,875
89.2%
46,429
-3.3%
64
Twins
63
2,489,240
39,512
100.0%
39,742
-0.6%
62
Angels
65
2,540,934
39,091
86.1%
39,949
-2.1%
61
Red Sox
62
2,336,852
37,691
100.9%
37,630
0.2%
64
Rangers
64
2,312,179
36,128
73.5%
29,648
21.9%
63
Tigers
64
2,019,877
31,561
76.5%
30,830
2.4%
66
White Sox
65
1,634,643
25,148
61.9%
26,901
-6.5%
59
Mariners
61
1,495,295
24,513
51.7%
27,084
-9.5%
61
Blue Jays
61
1,406,681
23,060
46.8%
20,684
11.5%
59
Indians
61
1,354,348
22,202
51.1%
17,828
24.5%
59
Orioles
63
1,371,667
21,772
47.4%
21,069
3.3%
65
Royals
70
1,432,601
20,466
54.0%
20,717
-1.2%
61
Rays
64
1,217,058
19,017
55.8%
22,781
-16.5%
63
A's
64
1,215,000
18,984
54.1%
17,890
6.1%
65
AL TOTALS
892
25,743,252
28,860
67.8%
28,585
1.0%
872
MLB TOTALS
1,916
58,042,992
30,294
69.9%
30,293
0.0%
1,865
MLB NATIONAL LEAGUE ATTENDANCE THROUGH AUG. 23
HOME TEAM
GMS
TOTAL
AVG.
% CAP.
PREV.
% +/-
GMS ('10)
Phillies
66
3,004,451
45,522
104.3%
45,016
1.1%
62
Giants
61
2,555,285
41,890
99.9%
37,374
12.1%
61
Cardinals
61
2,316,665
37,978
86.4%
40,977
-7.3%
64
Cubs
67
2,505,490
37,395
90.9%
38,453
-2.8%
66
Brewers
63
2,325,982
36,920
88.1%
34,676
6.5%
62
Dodgers
65
2,396,935
36,876
65.8%
44,796
-17.7%
66
Rockies
67
2,426,066
36,210
71.7%
35,826
1.1%
58
Mets
59
1,808,563
30,654
73.3%
33,472
-8.4%
57
Braves
64
1,893,551
29,587
59.7%
30,407
-2.7%
61
Reds
64
1,781,753
27,840
65.8%
25,585
8.8%
62
Astros
65
1,712,069
26,340
64.3%
28,288
-6.9%
65
Padres
66
1,708,626
25,888
60.6%
25,668
0.9%
58
Pirates
66
1,664,875
25,225
65.8%
20,292
24.3%
64
Nationals
61
1,479,595
24,256
58.4%
24,029
0.9%
59
D'Backs
62
1,497,624
24,155
49.7%
24,799
-2.6%
66
Marlins*
67
1,222,210
18,242
46.8%
18,145
0.5%
62
NL TOTALS
1,024
32,299,740
31,543
71.7%
31,793
-0.8%
993
MLB TOTALS
1,916
58,042,992
30,294
69.9%
30,293
0.0%
1,865

 SOURCE: SportsBusiness Daily


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, 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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