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Attendance is down? Eh, no big deal

Apr 20, 2011, 3:30 PM EDT

empty ballpark

There has been an awful lot of chatter about attendance in the first couple weeks of season, driven mostly by empty seats in places that aren’t usually empty like Dodger Stadium. Yankee Stadium has had some small crowds too (for the Yankees anyway) and we’ve had the usual shots of nearly abandoned ballparks in Cleveland and Florida and places like that.

I think a ton of this has had to do with the weather — they scheduled way too many home games for the Yankees in April — and my suspicion has been, based on earlier reports of advanced ticket sales, that what we’ve been seeing and hearing about is really more an anecdotal thing as opposed to a real thing. Darren Rovell of CNBC crunched some numbers and pretty much confirms this:

If you average every team’s attendance so far and compare it to that exact amount of games last year, Major League Baseball is only averaging 304 fans fewer per game than last year. While that 1 percent drop is significant, it’s not as much as I would have thought from some of the pictures I’ve seen.

It’s weather mostly. And, as Rovell notes, there have been bigger crowds than usual in places we tend not to see as often during the early editions of Sports Center: San Francisco, Oakland and Toronto. No biggie.

  1. Utley's Hair - Apr 20, 2011 at 3:38 PM

    The Dodgers should look much better with all those extra police officers hanging around.

  2. seattlej - Apr 20, 2011 at 3:42 PM

    It’s been the coldest April on record here in the Pac NW… combine that with a piss poor Mariners team that is painful to watch and you’ve got the perfect formula for record low attendance. I usually hit a couple of games a month, but it’s hard to have fun when you’re watching Adam Kennedy batting cleanup while it’s 38 degrees, damp and windy.

  3. Jonny 5 - Apr 20, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    Over 45,000 in attendance at CBP last night. It was raining and 50 something. Maybe New Yorkers are just getting soft?

  4. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Apr 20, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    Rockies vs. Dbacks in April…why was this a Rockies home game again?

    I can only imagine the difficulties of making up an MLB schedule for all 30 teams, and the number of variables one would have to anticipate. Bad weather in northern states, good weather in the south, west coast and domes seems like a pretty safe bet early on though. It could also help avoid some injuries.

    • snowbirdgothic - Apr 20, 2011 at 4:55 PM

      Warm weather games draw better, and the teams in “good weather” locations don’t want to give a disproportionate number of those up.

  5. crnvic847 - Apr 20, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    Bigger crowds in Toronto? Yeah the caption in this article shows those people piling into the Rogers Centre! Nice article.

  6. bigtrav425 - Apr 20, 2011 at 6:42 PM

    The weather here in Cleveland has SUCKED ASS! plus the economy here is really horrible and despite our record we really dont have a superstar or that must see player.

  7. APBA Guy - Apr 20, 2011 at 6:54 PM

    Weather is great here, snicker, snicker. The Sox are in town and just finished spanking the beloved A’s. Normally a sellout, today’s game drew about 80% of capacity, like last year. So why aren’t we drawing better? Oh, yeah. That pesky unemployment problem, currently at 12%. Then there’s that underemployment problem, currently at 7%. That’s about 1 in 5 here who aren’t in a ticket buying mood, and there are at least another 2 in 5 who are watching gas prices go up and the steady trickle of people moving back whence they came, and thinking “that could be me next.” Very, very unpleasant.

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