SBD/April 19, 2011/Franchises

Yankees Seeing Drop In Attendance In Wake Of Lengthy Opening Homestand

Cold weather, long homestand blamed for Yankees attendance drop
The Yankees through 11 home games this season are averaging 41,685 fans, down 9% from last year, according to Ian Begley of ESPN N.Y. For "most home games thus far, the number of fans in the stands appears to [be] much smaller than the announced paid attendance." Still, the Yankees rank third in MLB in average attendance, and Yankees President Randy Levine said that the figures have been "affected by both the unseasonably cool April weather and more early-season home games." The Yankees "played 11 of their first 14 games at home (two were rained out) and had two straight new Stadium record lows in early April." Levine said, "Over the course of the season, we expect everything to equalize. But early on, the fact that the weather has been so bad (and) we've had so many games in April has hurt." Levine admitted that the "low attendance has affected concession sales." But he added, "Both on [the] hospitality side and the ticket side the expectations are, we are going to hit all of our targets." He also "quickly pointed out that the team has already sold 3.2 million tickets, which he said is a 'comparable number' to last year, when the team led baseball with 3.7 million tickets sold." Levine noted that the Yankees "have between 36,000 and 37,000 season ticket holders" (ESPNNY.com, 4/18).

NOT COMING OUT TO SEE THE METS: In N.Y., David Waldstein notes the Mets' "miserable 2010 was followed by a winter of frugality that has not inspired a lot of ticket purchasers." The Mets through six home dates are averaging 30,738 fans, down from an average of 32,401 fans over 79 home dates last season. The team ranked 12th in attendance last season and ranks 13th this season. As of Monday afternoon, "thousands of tickets" for tonight's game against the Astros were available on StubHub, "including 33 directly behind home plate for $69 and service charges." Face value for those tickets is $134. For most Mets games, fans also "can get into the ballpark for as little as $3 a seat." SportsCorp President Marc Ganis said, "Those are breathtaking drops in value. That has to be alarming for the Mets" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/19).

BREAKING THE WRONG KIND OF RECORDS: In Tacoma, Larry LaRue notes the 12,774 fans that attended last night's Tigers-Mariners game marked the "second lowest" in the history of Safeco Field, with the lowest being last Wednesday's game against the Blue Jays, which drew 12,407. LaRue: "Back-to-back crowds under 13,000? Yes, the weather was cold and no, two poor teams on a brisk April Monday probably isn't the strongest draw. Still, they've been playing baseball in this ballpark since 1999 and never had two smaller crowds" (Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE, 4/19).
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