Major league baseball attendance has increased by 208,095 fans so far in 2012 season. 21 teams are showing an increase in attendance, while attendance is down for nine teams.
The St. Louis Cardinals lead in attendance per game this season with 46,209. Philadelphia Phillies, despite a so-so start while Ryan Howard and Chase Utley remain on the DL have drew 45.449 fans per game.The New York Yankees are next having drawn 44,372 fans per game.The Cleveland Indians have drawn the fewest fans per game at 18,219.
The largest gain in attendance is 37,712 by the Baltimore Orioles, with the financially troubled New York Mets next with a gain of 36,301. The Colorado Rockies have lost 35,163 fans after their first seven home games, for the largest loss of fans this season.
Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Brewers have registered the largest gain in attendance per game, with 9,276 more fans than in 2011. The Tampa Bay Rays are next with a 8,306 increase per game.The team with the largest drop in attendance per game is the Los Angeles Dodgers with a drop of 5,324 less fans per game.
Pujols Not Drawing More Fans For Angels
The Los Angeles Angels are only paying Albert Pujols $12 million this season, but his salary increases to $16 million in 2013 and $23 million in 2014. It may be a good thing he is not being paid more this season, since Pujols is off to a bad start. He has not hit a home run after the first 10 games of the 2012 season and has driven in only four runs.
Since the 2009 season his numbers are trending downward with his home runs dropping from 47 in 2009 to 42 in 2010 and 37 in 2009. His RBI have dropped from 135 in 2009 to 118 and 99 in 2010 and 2011.
His batting average of .357 in 2008 has dropped to .327, .312 and .299 in 2009, 2010 and 2011. His 2012 percentage numbers are the lowest of his career. We all know that Pujols can get hot, but am wondering if the Angels shouldn’t have signed him to a five-year contract.
Pujols missed by one RBI and one batting percentage point of having his eleventh straight 30 HR, 100 RBI and .300 batting average season. His .684 OPS is his most surprising number, considering that his lowest previous OPS was in 2011 when he posted an OPS of .906.
You would think the Angels would have noticed this downward trend in his numbers before offering Pujols a ten-year contract. Now they might not only have a player, showing signs of slowing down, but also are seeing less fans coming through the turnstiles. With the Angels drawing over 5,000 less fans per game and using a very conservative estimate of each fan spending at least $25, that is a loss of $125,000 per game. When multiplied by 81 home games that number projects to $10, 125,000 in lost revenue if that 5,000 less fans average holds up all season. Change each fan’s estimated spending to $35 and the loss per game comes to $175,000 and project that over 81 home games and the Angels would have lost $14,175,000 in revenue.
The last thing the Angels need is less fans since they have the third highest payroll in the majors at over $154 million. They are paying seven players over $10 million this season, including an astronomical $24.6 million (according to ESPN) to Vernon Wells, who hit .218 last season and had an OBP of only .248. Baseball-reference.com shows him being paid $21 million in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
It will be interesting this season to watch not only the numbers of Pujols, but the numbers of fans coming through the turnstiles in 2012.