Thursday, April 30, 2009

MLB Attendance Figures -- April Poll Results In...

Don't have much time to comment on this, but Jayson Stark's recent "Rumblings" column did some work and analysis on MLB attendance figures. Things don't seem as bleak as people may have thought. Although -- and this maybe was to be expected in the second year of a new stadium, but how much we'll never really know -- the Nats lead the charge with the highest overall drop in attendance compared to last season.

BIGGEST LOSERS
Team 4/09 Avg. 4/08 Avg. Diff.
Nationals 20,027 29,313 -9,286
Tigers 27,112 35,837 -8,725
Blue Jays 20,396 26,864 -6,468
Braves 23,675 28,008 -4,333
Astros 29,508 33,389 -3,881

How much would one attribute the 9,200+ falloff from last year to the new stadium allure wearing off? I have seen figures detailing average attendance figures in the second year after a new stadium is built but unfortunately I forget where I read it -- and I forget what the average percentage falloff was. 9,200+ may not seem like a big number, but if you show it in percentage terms, that's nearly 1/3 decline -- or 31.6%. Ouch...

1 comment:

  1. The two most distinct attendance drop offs can each be relatively easily explained:
    - Detroit: auto industry in tatters.

    - Washington: a combination of several factors:
    o the team badly misjudging the talent of its 2008 team.
    o The team's mismanagement of the 2008 off season and failing to get a marquee name til very late in the FA process (Dunn).
    o the Lerner's ignoring their own experienced Baseball people, who told them that putting a substandard product on the field would turn people off.
    o (my group's biggest gripe): The treatment of any non-corporate fan during the migration of seats from RFK->Nationals park.

    Those three items, plus the economy in general, have shredded the season ticket base. A couple weeks ago the nats drew 11k and change to a rainy midweek game. It was probably as good of a guess at the season ticket base as any. 11k base, whereas they pretty much sold out the entire lower bowl last year and had a base somewhere between 19k and 20k.

    And I don't really feel any sympathy for the Lerners. Forbes reports they netted 46M in profit. Well, good for them. they had a $600M stadium built for them, Selig basically handed the team to them, and since we've heard nothing but stories about how they force 3 signatures on simple expense reports and how there's like 4 guys in the entire customer service department.

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