Friday, September 23, 2016
Through these first three games against the Red Sox, a huge series for their playoff hopes and traditionally a big one for fan interest, the crowds at Camden Yards have averaged just 19,903 a night.
“I’d say that it’s just, it’s a little, what’s the right word to say it’s a little, you know, not sad, just like, eerie, a little bit,” said center fielder Adam Jones, the team’s longest-tenured player.
That’s part of a larger trend: the Orioles rank 20th in MLB attendance this season at 26,440 per game, down from more than 29,000 last season and nearly 30,500 in 2014.
There are a whole mess of theories as to why, and this Baltimore Sun article examines some of them: it’s been particularly hot this summer and rainy this spring; ticket prices are higher at Camden Yards, with seats an average of $5 more than last season; suburban fans may be less likely to come to downtown Baltimore in the wake of protests after Freddie Gray’s death at the hands of police.
Friday, August 19, 2016
Ogden Standard, August 19, 1916:
Philadelphia Doubles Its Attendance Since Raw College Boys Have Taken the Place of Famous $100,000 Infield.
“Stuffy” McInnis, Eddie Collins, Jack Barry and Frank Baker are names to conjure with. Names to inspire the beardless youth to falsetto cheering and the hodcarrier and banker to lusty applause…While the combination could go out any old day and win a ball game, it began to do it with too much regularity. To make a short story shorter, the state of affairs became such that Philadelphia began to long to see errors.
Connie Mack was right. The fans would pay their dollars and the half dollars and their quarters to see tyros perform, whereas they had tired of seeing champions play errorless baseball, winning—almost perfect—baseball.
This is a nice story and stuff, but it’s not even remotely close to being true. Total attendance for the Athletics in 1909, at the beginning of their streak of 90+ win seasons, was 674,915. In 1915, immediately after Mack sold everybody who wasn’t nailed down, total attendance was 146,223, down more than 78% in six years.
It’s entirely possible that Mack was better off financially by selling fewer tickets and no longer paying good baseball players. But attendance sure as heck didn’t go up.
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Then last year the Marlins sued Axelband, alleging he had illegally backed out of a two-year season ticket deal. He might have reacted angrily, but that’s just not the kind of guy he is. “I wasn’t shocked, just disappointed,” he says. “After all these years, I wondered, why now?”
Axelband isn’t alone. In fact, the Marlins have sued at least nine season ticketholders and luxury suite owners since 2013. That virtually never happens in sports, experts say. Two stadium vendors are also locked in court battles with the team, both alleging the Marlins promised robust crowds and then didn’t deliver.
All this from a team that has gone from world champion to perennial also-ran, hustled taxpayers on a Little Havana stadium, and just lost its best hitter and last year’s National League batting champion Dee Gordon to an 80-game drug suspension.
“You bamboozled us for this ballpark and now you have the audacity to sue a small businessman?” says Rene Prats, who went into bankruptcy after his Sir Pizza franchises failed at the ballpark. “I lost it all. I lost my business. And you’re coming after me?”
for his generous support.
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