SBD/June 22, 2011/Franchises

Nationals Seeing Attendance Boost After Recent Run Of Success

Nationals seeing bump in attendance during recent win streak
Nationals Park was "more packed than it has been at any time this season" for this past weekend's Orioles-Nationals series, which was attended by "more than 107,000" fans, according to Adam Kilgore of the WASHINGTON POST. The crowds "had as much to do with the opponent as the Nationals' recent surge," during which the team won eight in a row. But "judging by crowd noise and the colors in the stands, it seemed like about three-quarters of Sunday's crowd" was Nationals fans. Nationals RF Jayson Werth said, "I thought it was awesome." The Nationals so far are "on pace to draw 1,812,927, about 10,000 less than last season," and if they "could reach or surpass last year's total without the presence of Stephen Strasburg, that would be a decent accomplishment." Kilgore wrote the "real test to see the effect the Nationals' eight-game winning streak has on attendance" began with last night's game against the Mariners (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 6/20). The game drew 21,502 fans at Nationals Park (THE DAILY). In DC, Paulina Berkovich noted the eight-game winning streak ended Sunday, but the Nationals are just one game below .500. Attendance figures "show that fans have started to respond to the team's recent success." The Nationals drew 181,146 fans "for the first six contests of a nine-game homestand, three each against St. Louis and Baltimore." Over the course of those six games, the Nationals' average attendance for the season "increased from 21,403 to 23,104" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 6/21).

GIANT GAINS: In Sacramento, Eric Gilmore noted the Giants "have sold out all 31 of their home games this season," and they "have a chance to sell out the entire home schedule for the first time since 2001, AT&T Park's second season." The Giants are averaging 41,673 fans per game, "third best in the major leagues, behind only the Phillies and Yankees." That is an "increase of more than 4,000 fans per home game from 2010, when the Giants ranked ninth in attendance and sold out 29 of 81 home games." Before the season, the team had "sold more than 30,000 season tickets and established a season-ticket waiting list." By comparison, the A's "ranked 29th of 30 teams last year in home attendance, averaging 17,511 per game." They "rank near the bottom in attendance again, despite already selling out five times, including three games last weekend against the Giants" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 6/21).
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