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MLB-wide attendance declines for a third straight season

Oct 4, 2010, 10:15 AM EDT

MLB set attendance records in 2007, averaging 32,785 fans per game and drawing a total of 79.5 million fans. Since then attendance has dropped each season, going from 32,528 and 78.6 million in 2008 to 30,350 and 73.4 million in 2009.
And this season the totals fell again, with MLB averaging 30,141 fans per game and drawing a total of 73.1 million fans. Compared to the 2007 figures that represents a loss of 5.5 million fans in three seasons, which is a seven percent drop.
To put that in some context, consider that 20 teams drew fewer than 2.8 million fans, so a decline of 5.5 million is essentially like wiping away the attendance for any two teams outside of the Yankees, Phillies, Dodgers, Cardinals, Angels, Twins, Cubs, Red Sox, Giants, and Rockies.

  1. BC - Oct 4, 2010 at 10:39 AM

    It’s cheaper to pay an entire month of cable TV than it is to go to one major league baseball game. The only people who can buy season tickets are millionaires and folks who can write them off as a business expense. So for 81 home games, I’m paying say $40 per game for so-so tickets, so that’s $32,000 a year? Hell, at $150 a pop, an NFL season ticket is a bargain.

  2. donnie23 - Oct 4, 2010 at 10:46 AM

    Not sure how you’re doing your math, but $40 tix would be $3,240 for the season. Granted that’s still a lot of money and I get your point, but $32,000 is a bit off kilter.

  3. birdmancometh - Oct 4, 2010 at 10:49 AM

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. Plus,minor league games are more fun and 1/10 of the price. $5 bucks and dollar dogs is a great evening.

  4. Utley's hair - Oct 4, 2010 at 11:14 AM

    I am not a season ticket holder, but I do make a point to go to, and take my kid to a few games a year, and I agree totally. But I also add this: what’s th point in paying so much money to go see a game that is more and more becoming a mechanism for umpires to make a name for themselves?

    Okay, make that two things, because the commisioners office doesn’t care about the fans, either.

  5. BC - Oct 4, 2010 at 11:15 AM

    OK, so I added a decimal point. Sue me. ;-)

  6. Utley's hair - Oct 4, 2010 at 11:31 AM

    If you’ll add an extra decimal place to the left, you can just cut me a check.

  7. SP_ATL - Oct 4, 2010 at 11:33 AM

    You do realize that when you buy a season ticket package you’re not paying the full per-game price? I have season tickets for OF seats that typically run $24-28/gm face value but I pay $1000 for a full season (about $12/gm). I’m by no means a millionaire and cannot write off my tickets as a business expense but I do consider the full season and perks that come with it to be a great value.

  8. BC - Oct 4, 2010 at 11:40 AM

    Even if the cost differential between MLB and NFL isn’t as astronomically absurd (and incorrect and stupid) as I made it out to be, it’s a lot more difficult to go to 81 games than to 8. Assuming of course you blow off the NFL preseason. And if you’re lucky enough to root for a winning team, 2 playoff games are a lot cheaper than 12.
    That, and there’s just something about tailgaiting and freezing your tuckus off that makes the NFL much preferable to MLB. (BC —-> basking in glow of NY Football Giants victory)

  9. John_Michael - Oct 4, 2010 at 12:44 PM

    I blame Tampa Bay.

  10. YANKEES1996 - Oct 4, 2010 at 1:05 PM

    Yea, the price of everything at the ballpark including the ticket is bordering on insanity. But hey that is what it takes to pay the players, insane ticket prices, insane food prices, insane beer prices, insane souveneir prices, just insanity everywhere. The scary thing is I still go when the old work schedule allows so I must be beyond insane.

  11. Utley's hair - Oct 4, 2010 at 1:43 PM

    Easy shot. Like there’s anyone there to defend them.

  12. APBA Guy - Oct 4, 2010 at 3:27 PM

    Economy plus too much pitching. “Chicks dig the long-ball”. Very true.

  13. NWGiantFan - Oct 4, 2010 at 5:44 PM

    Very true on the season ticket prices. About 1/2 to 1/3 of the face value and you can get parking passes for each game. The lot at AT&T runs about $30 per car. I ride the train for $4.50 and walk one block to the ballpark. The Giants surpassed 3 million fans for this 2010 regular season. I hate to see televised games where the stands are empty. The fans in Tampa Bay should have had the Candlestick experience! Hard to watch the game with the snowcone, paper cup and napkin tornado blowing in your face. Good times, good times.

  14. Route36West - Oct 4, 2010 at 9:07 PM

    good thing if your a phillies fan our attendance and payroll is growing while almost everyone elses is decreasing

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