Monday, May 6, 2013

Marlins, Rays Attendance Watch

One month into the season, the Rays' 21,322 per game average is up a hair (500 fans per game) from last year - good enough for 23rd in the majors.  But we'll see what a mid-week series against Toronto does to that. 

At least Tampa Bay is faring better than the league average in one regard - the majority of teams are posting drops from a year ago, with the average crowd 700 fans per game smaller than in 2012.

The perennially-strong Mariners are struggling.  The surprisingly-successful Royals are struggling.  The Indians are averaging a league-worst 15,167 fans per game.

But no team will face as much scrutiny this year as the Marlins, who are down almost 11,000 fans per game from the first month of 2012.  It's more than a sophomore slump.

In fact, it's everything Maury Brown, of the Business of Baseball, predicted pre-season when he said the Marlins would see the biggest second-season attendance drop in modern stadium history.  Last week, he tweeted:
And today, Brown expanded his thoughts into column form.  He posted a nice chart of all the Selig-era stadium dropoffs from Season 1 to Season 2.  And he actually corrected my fuzzy math, pointing out the Marlins will only break the Rays' '98-'99 dropoff if they draw somewhere in the 17,125 range:
So, it’s very possible the Marlins could end worse than the Rays. It’s early, and anything could happen, but odds are good the Marlins aren’t going to get any better in the standings and Loria certainly didn’t make any extra friends in the offseason.
As of now, the Marlins are averaging just 92 more per game than their last year in Sun Life Stadium that they shared with the Miami Dolphins, was never designed for baseball, and had no roof. 


  1. Did you just say the "perennially strong" Mariners? We've had two winning seasons in the past nine!

  2. More of a reference to the attendance numbers, rather than the overall record. But point taken.