Saturday, April 16, 2011

Declining Dodgers Attendance May Reflect More Macroeconomic Realities

Maybe it's not just the thuggery at the Stadium causing lower attendance, as Dodgers co-owner Frank McCourt suggested on Thursday. In USA Today's "Team attendance lows create empty feeling" Friday, it seems other clubs are also smarting from high ticket prices and a recessionary economic environment:

These proud baseball franchises used to boast of historic sellout streaks, but these days, the only records being set are attendance lows.

Five clubs this month--Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians, Seattle Mariners, St. Louis Cardinals, and New York Yankees--set records for lowest attendance since their ballpark opened, and another half-dozen nearly joined them. The Minnesota Twins also had their lowest attendance this week, but their ballpark is a year old. [...]

Across MLB, attendance is down 2% through a similar number of dates last year. [...] Even the Chicago Cubs, who have drawn more than 3 million for seven years in a row, are down 18%, with 7,094 fewer fans a game.

It's no secret that the Dodgers' attendance hit the skids last year, which could have also reflected the team's lousy performance on the field. With a .500 team looking likely this year, again, I expect attendance to continue its downward trajectory.

4 comments:

Paul said...

I have an idea! Sell cheaper beer! Oh wait....

el montanero said...

Not to mention McCourt backlash.

Steve Dittmore said...

I think you have to consider a couple of additional variables here. One, the weather nationwide has been crummy. Two, the season began in March, before the Final Four. Historically, the season begins the same week as that and the Masters

Dusty Baker said...

Attended fifth game of the season last night. Noted it was the lowest attended yet that I have been to. They didn't even have some of the concession stands open. And I don't mean they closed early; rather, I mean they never opened them at all. It was almost eerie in the Yard, and I'm not even talking about the pitching.