Former Losers Starting to Fill Some Seats

Sunday morning in Long Beach is a cool 70 degrees, and I can finally have the windows open before the heat of the sun evaporates the clouds to prepare for a day in the high-80’s. It could be worse.

I have no idea where my thoughts for this post came from, but I wanted to look at the average home attendance of teams we’re used to seeing lose, and Tampa Bay. I don’t know why I included them, but it’s probably because when I think of places that don’t fill seats very well, I think of the State of Florida. I guess I just put their data in to pick on them. I’m such a Florida bully.

Keep in mind the season’s not done, so the averages can still be changed a little bit, but nothing drastic like a 5,000-10,000 average attendance.

You’ll notice it goes from 2012 on the left to 2008 on the right. Am really not sure why Oakland was drawing what it was in 2008. They had Jack Cust hitting 30+ bombs, and that was the A’s. But, I think their fans understood that because attendance just dips then slowly goes back up to this year (with a healthy spike from ’11), with a real possibility to passing up 2008’s average home attendance. They’re going to have to get over things like drawing 20,342 on a Saturday night (yesterday), and a really pathetic 11,688 (Tues, Sept 4th vs. LAA) in the middle of a playoff chase to beat ’08’s numbers. Really, it is good to see teams like Pittsburgh and Baltimore start to fill their seats, but even the Pirates have had 19 home games under 20,000. For anyone that’s read up on Tampa, you know their stadium is horrible and is in a bad location to be accessed, so even when they win, they can’t get people out to their ballpark. I’m not making excuses for them, but they are contributing factors.

The next graph shows you how far ahead/back of a playoff spot the teams were as of September 1st of that year. I chose that date because by then, most fans have a pretty good idea of whether they should stay emotionally invested in the team, or start preparing for the NFL/NBA/NHL/NCAA season(s). True, they’ll have a better idea by a day like September 16th, but I imagine more can happen with attendance numbers in terms of averages if people know/feel their team is in it in that final stretch that is September/October.

What’s cool about this graph is that you look at 2008-2011, and see the majority of these teams (besides Tampa twice), and how they were pretty much out of it at the time (until the Boston collapse brings that Tampa team to the playoffs last year), and now all four of these low-drawing teams are very much in the race for a spot. That is exciting stuff as a baseball fan. In four years, maybe we’re mentioning the Astros, the Cubs (although they don’t draw all that poorly), the Royals, and the Padres like we are with these teams four-five years from now.

All four of these teams are seeing a spike in their attendance this year from last year, and I’m not going to say winning is the sole cause of it, but I’d bet it’s a pretty big reason. One cannot forget what the marketing and advertising teams do to bring fans in with promotions and such, but it’ll be interesting to see how much more of a spike in attendance these teams experience for the rest of the season, and even in 2013 if these teams can continue to be successful and fill the seats in the stands.

Let’s go baseball. *clap, clap, clap-clap-clap*

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