Tigers' Poor Record, Trades Of Star Players Leads To Attendance, TV Ratings Drop
The Tigers have the second-fewest wins in the AL this season, and Comerica Park attendance "will be the lowest" since '05, a year before the team made it to the World Series and began a 10-season run that delivered five post-season trips and four years when home crowds "smashed the 3 million mark," according to a front-page piece by Lynn Henning of the DETROIT NEWS. The Tigers had "six home dates remaining" heading into yesterday's game against the A's. They were 16th in "per-game attendance at 28,930 per game" and were 16th in "overall tickets sold at 2,169,717." A year ago, the team was 13th in each category (31,173 and 2,493,859). The slide in '17 has been "most noticeable on weekends when sellout crowds of 40,000 or more often were the summer norm during seasons when the Tigers were playoff-grade." The team has had "only one sellout" in '17, on Opening Day. A source said that the team has "sold about 15,500 full-season equivalencies" in '17, "down from the peak of almost 27,000 season sales" in '08. TV and radio ratings also have "slipped." Games on FS Detroit are averaging a 5.04 local rating this year, down about 30% from the '16 season average of 7.01. At mid-season, Tigers ratings were still "hanging in the 7.0 range but began to wilt as their playoff chances dissolved and, not coincidentally," as players like P Justin Verlander and OF Justin Upton were traded. FS Detroit Senior VP & GM Greg Hammaren "acknowledged the late-season drop-off but said Tigers telecasts in 2017 will earn the third-highest revenue in FSD history" (DETROIT NEWS, 9/20).