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Inside MLB 2012 Attendance Down the Stretch PDF Print E-mail
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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by David Simmons   
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 12:26

Inside MLB Attendance

With roughly a quarter of the season left to go, it’s a good time to check to see how teams are doing in the ticket selling department (see details posted below). The Phillies, Giants, and Red Sox continue to pace the league by selling just about every ticket. Two teams that appear on highest attendance, percentage of capacity, and sales increase are the Rangers and Tigers who continue to have sales gains even though their attendance is already very strong. Wild card contenders Pittsburgh (6%) and Tampa Bay (5%) do not even rank in the top increases which just goes to show how great of a year the league is having at the box office. Nineteen clubs are flat or experiencing increases in attendance as we enter the final month. Overall, league attendance is up 2.2 million with a strong shot to end the season at 76 million fans. With better weather, increased value deals from teams, and the use of dynamic pricing the league is having a banner year at the box office. Other highlights for the league include the Padres being up 3% even though they have had a dismal year on the field and the Athletics up 9% thanks to Wild Card chase.

A few things that are worth keeping an eye on as we enter September.

One will certainly be whether the Red Sox can continue their sellout streak. With 11 home games remaining the only challenges for the Sox would be a Tuesday and Wednesday set of games against the Rays as the rest are weekend tilts with the Yankees. The Red Sox streak will survive 3 years of no postseason for Boston and have 792 sellouts entering 2013. Another race to watch at the box office is overall attendance between Philadelphia, the Yankees, and Texas.

The Phillies recently announced the end of their own sellout streak -- a fallout of the disappointing season -- with two teams seem to be catching up at the box office. The Yankees seemed destined to be #1 at the end of the season as they continue their pennant chase. Mathematically it would be very tough for Texas to catch up given the number of weekday games remaining on their schedule.

Another storyline to keep an eye on is the attendance battle between the Dodgers and Giants as they go head to head for the NL West. The Dodgers seemed destined to overtake the Giants in attendance with their new additions as Los Angeles us a mere 300 fans behind with 18 home games to go. The Giants just can’t compete with the 56,000 seating capacity that Dodger Stadium can hold. It’s worth noting that the Dodgers are still about 5,000 fans a game from their peak in 2009 when they averaged 46,440 and lead baseball in attendance and given the new player additions it appears they are headed back in the right direction. With school back in session it’s always fascinating to see just how low non-competing teams without high season ticket bases can go. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in Colorado, Cleveland, Seattle, and Houston over the next month as well. For further detail on attendance leaders see the leader boards below:

Top 10 in AVG Ballpark Capacity

Philadelphia Phillies (102%)

Boston Red Sox (101%)

San Francisco Giants (100%)

St. Louis Cardinals (93%)

Detroit Tigers (92%)

Minnesota Twins (89%)

Chicago Cubs (89%)

Texas Rangers (88%)

New York Yankees (87%)

Milwaukee Brewers (84%)

Top in 10 AVG. Attendance

Philadelphia Phillies 44,353

New York Yankees 43,745

Texas Rangers 43,076

San Francisco Giants 41,744

LA Dodgers 41,475

St. Louis Cardinals 40,705

Detroit Tigers 38,070

LA Angels 37,634

Boston Red Sox 37,598

Chicago Cubs 36,752

Top 10 Percent Increase over LY YTD

Miami Marlins (55%)

Washington Nationals (28%)

Toronto Blue Jays (21%)

Detroit Tigers (21%)

Texas Rangers (20%)

Baltimore Orioles (18%)

Kansas City Royals (14%)

Los Angeles Dodgers (12%)

Arizona Diamondbacks (12%)

Oakland Athletics (9%)

**All data as of 8/26 via ESPN and Baseball-Reference


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

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