It’s only been about seven weeks of the season, but the attendance figures are already down for MLB this year. The most glaring and immediate cause would be the recession that has left many people jobless and/or fearful of spending. More peripheral issues to explain the decline would be the poor weather in certain cities to begin the MLB season, not to mention the fact that many kids are still in school. According to the Baltimore Sun, more than half the teams in the league have seen a decrease in their attendance since last year. (Good news, the Marlins are drawing 300 a game, up from last year!). The subject of the story stems from interleague play that begins this weekend because the Nats and Orioles will meet for the Beltway Series.
The O’s are supposedly drawing just a shade under 22,000 fans a night, down 10.6% from last year. The Nats are huddling in just over 20,000 fans a night, down 32% from last year, their first in the new ballpark. Seems pretty obvious to me — even a fresh and new stadium can’t mask a crappy team. Simple as that. MLB still isn’t worried yet that the Nats are struggling at the gate, regardless of the lack of success D.C. has had with retaining teams in the past. The League also wants to point out that another big reason for the league-wide drop in attendance is that the Yankees and Mets — two big-ticket teams — both moved into smaller stadiums this year. I suppose that could account for something considering how much of a draw they are, but wouldn’t they still attract just many fans on the road? I think there’s no doubt this is the impact of the recession. Hopefully it will lead to declining salaries, just as it did last offseason.Google+