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Opening Day attendance down 3.4 percent

Apr 14, 2010, 11:44 AM EDT

BizOfBaseball.com’s Maury Brown crunched the numbers on the 30 different home openers this season and reports that attendance was down 3.4 percent compared to the same 30 home openers last year.
That amounts to an average of about 1,500 fewer fans per team, although as Brown notes some of that was inevitable because of the Twins moving to their new, lower-capacity ballpark.
Last year Minnesota drew 48,514 fans for the final home opener at the Metrodome, whereas this year the Twins drew 38,145 fans for the first home opener at Target Field.
However, those 38,145 fans represent a sellout at Target Field and that number also doesn’t include another 1,570 attendees that the Twins classified as media members, comped tickets, and VIP guests. In all, there were 39,715 people watching the Twins beat the Red Sox on Monday afternoon, which was a full house and then some.
I was one of those uncounted 1,570 at the game and there’s zero doubt that the Twins could have easily sold 50,000-plus tickets (and maybe a whole lot more than that) if they had the room. However, as Brown reports even if you remove the Twins’ new ballpark issue from the equation home opener attendance for the other 29 teams was down 2.6 percent compared to last season despite some pretty nice weather across baseball.

  1. Jonny5 - Apr 14, 2010 at 11:55 AM

    Don’t blame Philly. 44 consecutive sellouts there, and they do have standing room only tickets. Maybe it’s the best ranked ballpark food concessions that did it? It surely couldn’t be the best ranked vegetarian concession in the MLB says PETA (are you listening old Gator?) that caused it either… It must be the good baseball.

  2. Jonny5 - Apr 14, 2010 at 12:23 PM

    Hey 7-14 years is the sentence for the Philadelphia kid who killed the Cards fan tragically. FYI

  3. HotStove.com - Apr 14, 2010 at 12:24 PM

    It’s possible that the Twins could run into similar problems as the Phillies, if the team’s popularity continues to gain steam. Philly’s Citizen’s Bank Park holds a little under 45,000, and they could easily sell more tickets than that on several nights a year.

    The Phillies filled the stadium to 102.2% capacity last season, which is great, but they might’ve left some money on the table when deciding to cap the seats at under 45k.

  4. MikeZ - Apr 14, 2010 at 12:33 PM

    Thats when they raise ticket prices, they went up this season. Supply and demand.
    And if it was not for Phils fans heading down to Washington to see the Nats v Phils opening day that stadium would have been half empty. Driving that 3.4% even higher.

  5. Maury Brown - Apr 14, 2010 at 1:37 PM

    FYI… There was an error in the initial data. The decline in opener attendance is actually less than 1% from 2009. See link for details, and yes… apologies.

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