Skip to content

Do the Yankees have a “spoiled fan base?”

Feb 19, 2013, 7:49 AM EDT

Yankees logo

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.”

Latest Posts
  1. Michael Taylor leaves game after crashing into outfield fence

    Aug 27, 2015, 10:00 PM EDT

    WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 24: Michael Taylor #3 of the Washington Nationals looks on before a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park on June 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. The Nationals won 2-1 in the 11th inning. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) Getty Images

    After losing Yunel Escobar on a hit-by-pitch, Michael Taylor left tonight’s game against the Padres when he crashed into the outfield fence.

  2. Yunel Escobar exits game after being hit in the hand by a pitch

    Aug 27, 2015, 9:27 PM EDT

    WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 03:  Yunel Escobar #5 of the Washington Nationals reacts after striking out to end the fifth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Nationals Park on August 3, 2015 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) Getty Images

    So, that thing about the Nationals’ projected Opening Day lineup finally being in place?

  3. Miguel Sano robbed of home run by catwalk at Tropicana Field

    Aug 27, 2015, 9:01 PM EDT

    Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, left, and teammate Logan Forsythe look up to see the ring of the dome at Tropicana Field that Minnesota Twins' Miguel Sano, right, hit with his RBI ground-rule double during the third inning of a baseball game Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson) AP

    Twins rookie slugger Miguel Sano hit another mammoth blast tonight against the Rays. The only problem is that the catwalk at Tropicana Field got in the way.

  4. Adam Jones leaves game after colliding with outfield fence; hopes to be in lineup Friday

    Aug 27, 2015, 8:05 PM EDT

    Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones (10) chases a fly ball hit by Kansas City Royals' Ben Zobrist during the first inning a baseball game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Jones was injured on the play but stayed in the game and Zobrist doubled. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner) AP

    Jones was forced to exit Thursday’s game after colliding with the center field fence.

  5. Cubs acquire Fernando Rodney from the Mariners

    Aug 27, 2015, 7:13 PM EDT

    Fernando Rodney Getty Images

    After being designated for assignment by the Mariners over the weekend, Rodney will be reunited with Joe Maddon in Chicago.

  6. Video: Madison Bumgarner makes a nifty play at first base

    Aug 27, 2015, 7:05 PM EDT

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 16:  Madison Bumgarner #40 of the San Francisco Giants is high-fived by teammates as he walks back into the dugout before their game against the Washington Nationals at AT&T Park on August 16, 2015 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Bumgarner also had a heck of a day on the mound.

  7. Report: Barry Bonds loses collusion case against MLB

    Aug 27, 2015, 6:25 PM EDT

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 10:  Former Major League Baseball player Barry Bonds talks to Brandon Belt #9 of the San Francisco Giants during batting practice before the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at AT&T Park on July 10, 2015 in San Francisco, California.  The San Francisco Giants defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 15-2. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Bonds filed a grievance on the grounds that he was blackballed from the game following the 2007 season.

  8. Video: Enrique Hernandez nearly swings out of his shoes against Aroldis Chapman

    Aug 27, 2015, 6:04 PM EDT

    CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 26: Enrique Hernandez #14 of the Los Angeles Dodgers singles to right to drive in a run in the second inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on August 26, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Dodgers utility man Enrique Hernandez did his best to catch up to the heat from Reds closer Aroldis Chapman this afternoon.

  9. Jose Fernandez could return to Marlins within two weeks after “wow” bullpen session

    Aug 27, 2015, 5:34 PM EDT

    Jose Fernandez AP

    Fernandez missed much of the season recovering from Tommy John elbow surgery.

  10. Jessica Mendoza to sit in for Curt Schilling on Sunday Night Baseball this week

    Aug 27, 2015, 4:22 PM EDT

    Jessica Mendoza Getty Images

    Its not often we have reason to cheer the decisions ESPN makes but today we do.

  11. Must-click link: the actual twins who own the Twins.com domain

    Aug 27, 2015, 3:13 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 3.11.55 PM

    This is a great slice of weird, totally suitable for killing time on a slow afternoon. Bonus: Bon Jovi is tangentially involved.

  12. Alberto Callaspo released by the Dodgers

    Aug 27, 2015, 2:16 PM EDT

    Alberto Callaspo Dodgers Getty Images

    Los Angeles acquired Callaspo from Atlanta in a late-May trade.

  13. Red Sox looking to trade outfielder Alejandro De Aza

    Aug 27, 2015, 1:34 PM EDT

    Alejandro De Aza AP AP

    Last week’s rumored trade with the Dodgers apparently fell through.

  14. Derek Jeter’s mailbag is . . . kinda boring?

    Aug 27, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT

    Jeter hat tip AP

    “Smithers’ I’m beginning to think that Homer Simpson was not the brilliant tactician I thought he was.”

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. Y. Puig (1851)
  2. D. Span (1847)
  3. G. Springer (1840)
  4. H. Olivera (1819)
  5. C. Sabathia (1792)