SBD/May 30, 2013/Research and Ratings

MLB Attendance Down 3% To Date; Astros Down 20% During First Season In AL

MLB attendance is down nearly 3% through May 29, with the decline due to myriad factors, including decreased interest in interleague play, large numbers of weather postponements and traditionally strong-drawing teams posting weaker figures at the gate. The Rangers lead all AL clubs with an average of 39,810 fans per game, although that is down 8% compared to the same period last year. During their first season in the AL, the Astros' attendance is down 20%. Also seeing double-digit percentage drops at the gate are the Red Sox and Twins. The Blue Jays and Orioles lead all AL clubs in gains, up 19% and 15%, respectively. Listed below is team-by-team attendance for the AL through May 29, with comparisons to the same period last year. See tomorrow's issue for NL figures (THE DAILY).

MLB AMERICAN LEAGUE ATTENDANCE THROUGH MAY 29
TEAM
GMS
TOTAL
AVG.
% CAP.
PREV.
%+/-
GMS ('12)
Rangers
22
875,819
39,810
82.7%
43,447
-8.4%
25
Yankees
25
950,873
38,035
75.6%
40,950
-7.1%
25
Angels
26
964,609
37,100
81.6%
34,404
7.8%
23
Tigers
26
936,623
36,024
87.3%
35,201
2.3%
23
Red Sox
29
957,855
33,029
88.4%
37,598
-12.2%
25
Twins
23
683,223
29,705
76.1%
34,025
-12.7%
25
Blue Jays
30
882,990
29,433
59.7%
24,692
19.2%
24
Orioles
24
646,318
26,930
58.6%
23,437
14.9%
26
Royals
24
528,353
22,015
58.1%
22,831
-3.6%
22
White Sox
24
520,263
21,678
53.4%
20,663
4.9%
25
Mariners
25
513,061
20,522
43.2%
20,781
-1.2%
22
Athletics
25
509,197
20,368
58.1%
20,218
0.7%
25
Astros
30
547,293
18,243
43.4%
22,839
-20.1%
26
Rays
27
489,359
18,124
53.2%
19,660
-7.8%
26
Indians
25
405,995
16,240
38.4%
16,620
-2.3%
28
AL TOTALS
385
10,411,831
27,044
63.8%
28,085
-3.7%
344
MLB TOTALS
781
22,821,024
29,220
67.6%
30,108
-2.9%
742
               

NOTES: All attendance data is based on totals posted immediately following games. Figures do not reflect any subsequent adjustments made by teams or the league. * = Astros moved from the NL to the AL for the '13 season.

INCREASED INTERLEAGUE PLAY TO BLAME? Columnist Kevin Blackistone said the falling MLB attendance cannot be put "all on interleague play" because there is a "greater problem going on with baseball attendance." But ESPN's Bomani Jones noted interleague play "means something completely different to people who remember the days before it and the people who are in this era now where you have an interleague series all the time." Meanwhile, L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke said HD TV has "made it better to watch on television," while bad weather has "really hurt the game this year." Plaschke: "The schedule makers really need to schedule more games in the West Coast and the south at the start of the season" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 5/29).

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