Let’s start with the glass half-full: attendance in Major League Baseball is much better than at this point last season. As of April 17, the league is averaging 31,965 per game compared to 29,151 in 2011, a difference of 2,814 per game. Early in the season, there has been just one weather related postponement compared to 10 last season. And, while there have been two games that have seen paid attendance under 10,000 (both hosted by the Indians), that pales to last season where there 6 below 10,000, two of which were below 9,000.
So, attendance is up. But, that isn’t to say that there aren’t lagers early on in the season. There have been 13 games with attendance below 15,000.
Here’s who hosted those games along with the number of them below 15,000:
- Indians – 3
- Orioles – 1
- Astros – 1
- Athletics – 3
- White Sox – 2
- Royals – 2
- Mariners – 1
As mentioned, there haven’t been many rainouts, and that holds true for rain delays for these low attended games. Of those below the 15,000 threshold, only Tues, 4/10 game between Royals and A’s in Oakland sees a delay (51 min). Three of the games saw sunny or clear skies while two games were played with the roof closed (Mariners and Astros). The rest were cloudy, chilly, or rain threatened. Such is baseball in spring.
But, the biggest reason was matchups and the day of the week.
Unsurprisingly, the low attended games were on Sunday through Weds. Also, the teams that drew poorly haven’t done well in the standings as of late.
The tough one here is the Royals hosting the Tigers on Monday, 4/16. While cloudy, Verlander was the starting pitcher. That normally counts for something.
For details on those with attendance below 15,000, select the image below
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Source: Biz of Baseball research
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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. He writes for Baseball Prospectus 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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