Feb 19, 2013, 7:49 AM EDT
Reading a story about how the Yankees HAVE to sign Robinson Cano or else the world ends (there have been a lot of those lately). Come across this passage, in which John Harper talks about the idea of the Yankees rebuilding from the ground-up:
Actually, that might be a tantalizing option, considering that a rather spoiled fan base doesn’t seem all that excited by this team anymore, if the empty seats for playoff games last October were any indication.
The Yankees hosted five playoff games last year. Their average attendance in those games: 48, 217. Game three of the ALDS hit 50,497, which is greater than the park’s listed capacity of 50,287 and is less than 500 butts short of the stadium record. Only one other playoff team had a single game with more than the Yankees average playoff attendance, and that was the Braves, who hosted 52,631 for the NL Wild Card Game (but feel free to go on about how the Braves can’t get their fans to show up for playoff games).
Yes, this is largely a function of stadium capacity. Yankee Stadium’s capacity is listed as 50,287. But it’s not like the team routinely sells out the park, only to have “spoiled fans” refuse to show recently. The average attendance for the regular season since the park opened has ranged between 42,733 in 2012 up to 46,491 in 2010, so more fans showed up for the 2012 playoffs, on average, than usually show up to see the Yankees.
Is this poor for the playoffs? By comparison, sure. The Yankees hosted eight playoff games in their world championship season in 2009 — also their first season in the new ballpark — and averaged 49,994. In 2010 they averaged 50,032 in four home playoff games. In 2011, 50,832 in three games. The upshot: they drew between 1,700 and 2,600 fewer fans per playoff game in 2012 than they had in the previous three years. That more or less tracks the couple thousand fewer per game they’re getting in the regular season over that time. But they’re still outdrawing everyone else and they do better in the playoffs than they do in the regular season.
Maybe that’s troublesome for some people, but 2,000 fans at the outside is not a lot and can be explained by any number of factors — ticket prices, game times, weather, opponent and the like — before one can reasonably conclude that they have a “spoiled fan base.”
- The Cubs grounds crew was short staffed because the Cubs were trying to avoid Obamacare 136
- Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to sign with the Red Sox for $72 million 83
- And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights 29
- The Nationals extend their winning streak to 10 games with another walk-off victory 12
- Garrett Richards out 6-9 months with torn patellar tendon 14
- A pitch clock in Major League Baseball? No thanks. 92
- And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights 82
- Garrett Richards suffers ugly left knee injury 28
- The Cubs grounds crew was short staffed because the Cubs were trying to avoid Obamacare (184)
- Mike Matheny addresses turmoil in Ferguson: “It’s a sad situation. It’s a tough situation for our city” (127)
- A pitch clock in Major League Baseball? No thanks. (92)
- Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to sign with the Red Sox for $72 million (86)
- Here’s today’s dose of barfy Derek Jeter sentiment (82)