In 2010, attendance in Major League Baseball was down for the third straight year. And early indicators suggest that 2011 will just be more of the same.
If we look at every team and what their attendance was after the same number of home games a year ago, we see that attendance is down 1.9 per cent. That doesn’t seem that bad. But at this pace it would be just another step in continuing trend.
But more importantly, we can now see that some teams are suffering much more than others.
So far in 2011, five teams are down at least 10 per cent in attendance from the same point a year ago. And one of those teams (Tampa Bay) has a winning record.
But attendance isn’t down everywhere. The Blue Jays and Rangers are both up more 30 per cent from a year ago.
And also keep in mind that we are dealing with percentages here, not absolute numbers. It is much easier for the Blue Jays to achieve a 44.3 per cent increase when they were only averaging 15,000 fans per game at this point last year than it would be for the Yankees who were averaging 45,000 in 2010.
Data through Wednesday. Data via ESPN.com and Baseball-Reference.com