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Old 09-16-2019, 08:49 AM
RickJay is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Oakville, Canada
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I thought it might be interesting to talk attendance, since the numbers are pretty much clear. As I am sure most folks know, MLB attendance has been sliding year over year. It's down a little this year too.

http://www.espn.com/mlb/attendance

At the top of course is LA; if you want to win a trivia contest, ask your friends "what professional sports franchise has sold the most tickets all time?" It's the Dodgers, by a mile. Anyway they average fifty thousand a game. The other top teams are mostly winning teams but the Angels are fifth despite sucking.

The concerning numbers of course are

1. Miami, whose attendance is utterly disastrous, and

2. Cleveland, Tampa Bay, and Oakland.

The latter three are all playoff contenders who don't draw well. That's wildly concerning. If a team in a strong market isn't drawing well because they stink, that's one thing; Toronto has basically the same attendance as Cleveland but Toronto is a dreadful team. Their attendance level is a floor. They'll pull twice that when the team contends. If "shitty" is what you draw when you're GOOD, there is a problem.

The problems in Oakland and Tampa Bay are well known, but Cleveland I find really frightening. Jacobs Field is a fine ballpark, and they're been rolling winning teams out there for years now, and no ne goes. The concern is what attendance will be like when the team isn't good. If they only average 21K a game with a star-laden winning team what do they average when they're no good?

I mean, obviously Cleveland cannot, long term, enjoy the support of teams in huge markets; even the comparison to Toronto is unfair. But they don't compare well with teams in similar markets, either; Milwaukee, arguably the smallest market in baseball, is killing them in attendance. San Diego did well this year. Cincinnati draws okay for a bad team. St. Louis kills it every year.
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