Wednesday, May 1, 2013

MLB Attendance Trends

One month into the season, let's check out the early returns from box offices around the league. Similar to other statistical analysis, we are dealing with a small sample that could potentially skew results, for example, by weather.

Presenting, Baseball-Reference's year-to-year attendance trend chart through April 30, 2013 games.

Rk Tm 2012_AttendpGm 2013_AttendpGm DiffPerGame ▾
1 TOR 24,210 31,820 7,610
2 LAD 39,401 46,238 6,837
3 WSN 25,791 31,813 6,022
4 LAA 33,784 38,736 4,952
5 BAL 23,193 26,398 3,206
6 SDP 24,840 27,287 2,447
7 ATL 28,958 30,331 1,374
8 DET 33,410 34,502 1,092
9 ARI 26,382 27,264 882
10 TBR 20,822 21,322 500
11 CHW 19,912 20,105 194
12 SFG 41,598 41,762 164
13 CLE 14,734 14,711 -23
14 OAK 19,248 19,153 -94
15 STL 41,268 40,956 -312
16 NYM 26,797 26,344 -453
17 SEA 20,186 19,115 -1,070
18 CIN 26,849 25,690 -1,158
19 KCR 21,435 19,450 -1,985
20 PIT 23,058 20,616 -2,442
21 COL 31,196 28,648 -2,548
22 HOU 22,808 20,131 -2,677
23 TEX 41,719 38,802 -2,917
24 NYY 40,864 37,278 -3,586
25 MIL 35,086 30,677 -4,409
26 BOS 37,562 32,439 -5,123
27 MIN 33,068 27,731 -5,337
28 CHC 37,100 31,361 -5,739
29 PHI 45,013 36,653 -8,359
30 MIA 30,180 19,043 -11,137
total 29,639 28,822 -817
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/1/2013.

Most attendance trends are about what we'd expect. The Dodgers and Blue Jays made the splashiest changes since last May, and their fans bought into it before Opening Day. A few surprises include the returns in Boston and Texas.

The Red Sox and Rangers have the best and second best records in baseball, respectively. Yet, they are drawing about 5,000 and 3,000 fewer fans per game than they did at this point last year.

Cleveland's April attendance is not trending too badly year-to-year, but it is the worst in the league. What has the weather been like in Cleveland? How are the 2013 Cleveland Indians underdrawing the Miami Marlins? They're drawing at about the same rate as last season. I haven't been watching much Weather Channel lately; does Cleveland turn into Siberia in April?

The Marlins are outdrawing Cleveland by over 4,300 fans per game. Cleveland's dismal attendance is a terrible business return for investing in Michael Bourn, Nick Swisher and others this winter.

Here is Cleveland's attendance in April 2013 home games:

Date Opp Attendance
Monday, Apr 8 NYY 41,567
Tuesday, Apr 9 NYY 12,663
Friday, Apr 12 CHW 11,864
Saturday, Apr 13 CHW 11,422
Sunday, Apr 14 CHW 11,682
Tuesday, Apr 16 BOS 9,143
Wednesday, Apr 17 BOS 10,282
Thursday, Apr 18 BOS 12,936
Tuesday, Apr 30 PHI 10,841
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/1/2013.

The A's, Royals, and Mariners have essentially the same per game attendance as the shamed Marlins, at about 19,000 per game.

Oakland's attendance continues to underperform their on-field accomplishments. The ballpark remains an issue, but should that be enough to cost Oakland fans the chance to have a Major League team on their side of the Bay?

The Royals look dangerously close to taking over the hearts of Kansas City once again, as their .583 winning percentage is the 8th best in Baseball. They are just a half game behind the first-place Tigers. Sabermetrically inclined Royals fans would be pleased to know their 14-10 record matches up perfectly with their Pythagorian Win-Loss. PECOTA playoff odds on Baseball Prospectus currently gives them a 23% chance to make the postseason, which is better than Baltimore's and three times as high as Toronto's.

In Seattle, the retractable roof eliminates most weather issues that could affect attendance, and we know it has to do with disappointing results over the past few years. Mariners fans are calling for an allegorical guillotine for Jack Z and the scapegoats.

The Mariners are 12-17, with an offense taking them nowhere. Remember when we thought the Mariners offense was bad last season, as they averaged an AL-worst 3.8 runs scored per game? This year, they're scoring 3.3 runs per game.

Dustin Ackley's 56% GB% is driving fans mad.
(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

No comments:

Post a Comment