Whereas from 2021, MLB early attendance showed a 5% drop from pre-pandemic levels

It’s not often that there’s a sharp upside, but that’s the case with Major League Baseball attending in mid-June.

Based on data from Baseball-Reference, as of June 13, every club in the league, minus one, is seeing a significant increase in attendance year on year. And the only case of someone going down has a plausible excuse: It’s the Texas Rangers (less than 106,075 overall, or an average of 3,536 per game) who opened their new stadium last season and benefited from the honeymoon effect of fan exits. to see him for the first time.

Based on data from Major League Baseball, through the first 887 games this year (as of Sunday, June 12), attendance was 22,629,170 or an average of 25,512 per game. Compared to last season, attendance was 10,614,053 with an average of 13,546 per game. This brings the attendance rate for 2022 by +113% compared to last season.

For the league, that’s great news, of course. The bad news is that the pandemic has affected the numbers.

To start the 2021 season, the vast majority of ball fields were operating at limited capacity. As I detailed this season (see full list of all 30 teams), attendance ranged from 12% capacity (Red Sox) to 100% (Texas Rangers). All ball fields in California were at 20% as were the two Chicago clubs, the New York club, while the Mariners were at 18%, the Orioles opened with 50% cover, and the Blue Jays were planted on their spring training ground in Florida where they played 15% of their 8,500-seat stadium capacity (only 1,275 seats per match).

Therefore, it only makes sense that MLB would see a triple-digit increase during the 2021 season.

Whether it’s a dystopian return to pre-pandemic life, fan interest in Oakland A’s waning as they struggle to acquire a new soccer field in the midst of alienating the same fans as key talent has been tossed and the front office threatens to move to Las Vegas if taxpayers Not seeking significant funding not only for a new stadium but for further development around it, or the constant increase in hits and decreases in balls during play, attendance is down compared to 2019 at this time.

According to the league, attendance for 2022 is down year on year compared to the same point in the 2019 season — the last season before the pandemic — attendance is down -5%.

If 2022 ends – ruling out 2020 where fans were not allowed to attend matches, and 2021 where ball fields were still limited capacity to start the season – 2022 would be the eighth consecutive season with total attendance plummeting. If the 2022 season continues at a 5% drop, this will be the biggest drop since 2009 (-6.6%).

Of course, the owners should be exceptionally happy to see the numbers rebound after two consecutive seasons of big losses. But there are still stark facts about how the league has continued its downward trend in attendance paid out of the life of the pandemic. Some of that will be how the community fully adapts to the changes in life that occurred in 2020 and 2021. Some of it is the continued decline in attendance at games in person due to the speed of play. The question might be, how long can the pandemic be seen as the cause of low attendance, and how much of it has to do with the state of play? Perhaps the 2023 season will finally answer that question.

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