SBD/July 17, 2014/Franchises

MLB Rangers Seeing Big Drop In Attendance Just A Couple Years After WS Appearances

The MLB Rangers are "on pace to draw" 2.84 million fans to Globe Life Park this season, marking a drop of more than 3,500 per game from '13, according to Gerry Fraley of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. That is the "third-largest" decline in per-game attendance in MLB, behind just the Phillies (6,731) and Blue Jays (4,145). The season projection for the Rangers also is a "significant decline" from the club record of 3.46 million fans set in '12. The team comes out of the All-Star break with a 38-57 record, the worst in the league (DALLASNEWS.com, 7/13). In Ft. Worth, Mac Engel writes some of this "Rangers cowflop is on the two who sign the checks," co-Chairs Ray Davis and Bob Simpson. The team during the offseason added 1B Prince Fielder and LF Shin-Soo Choo, among other transactions, and Engel wonders if those moves would "have happened" with Nolan Ryan still overseeing Rangers President of Baseball Operations & GM Jon Daniels. Engel: "It does appear this dynamic duo [of Davis and Simpson] is just another example of an ownership that is easily swayed, impatient and stupidly ambitious like so many other 'young' sports owners." The same thing happened to former Owner Tom Hicks when he bought the team in ’98; he "watched the team immediately make the playoffs, and then he couldn’t help himself and made a bunch of stupid decisions" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 7/17).

METS SEEING A SLIGHT UPTICK: On Long Island, Steven Marcus notes the Mets' home attendance "appears likely to rise over last season, when the team experienced the franchise's lowest home total" since '97. The average attendance last season was 26,366, and the club has drawn 1,278,686 thus far this season, an average of 26,639. Mets Exec VP & Chief Revenue Officer Lou DePaoli said, "Halfway through the year we have our slight uptick in attendance already. So, now it's a matter of what kind of hay we can make the rest of the season. ... You saw some pretty nice crowds toward the end [of an 8-2 homestand prior to the All-Star break] and I'm sure if the team continues to play at that level we'll see more increased interest." He added, "We can grow attendance regardless, as long as the team is competitive" (NEWSDAY, 7/17).
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