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Home MLB News Ticket / Attendance Watch Inside MLB Attendance - Interleague 2009

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Inside MLB Attendance - Interleague 2009 PDF Print E-mail
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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 30 June 2009 15:08

Interleague 2009

UPDATE: Stats for each team (W-L, BA, HR, R, ERA) as well as stats for individual leaders in each of those categories has now been added as a PDF after the break by selecting "Read More"

With Sunday’s games in the books, Interleague Play for MLB in 2009 is nearly concluded (a June 16th rainout between the Cubs and White Sox still needs to be replayed), seeing average attendance drop from last year’s record setting pace.

The National League/American League match-ups drew an average of 33,351, down 6.66 percent from the 2008 record average of 35,573. Average attendance for the season was also down from 2007’s Interleague average attendance mark of 34,905, or down 4.66 percent. 2009 will mark the first time in three consecutive seasons that record attendance was not reached for Interleague Play.

The 2009 Interleague average is 16.1 percent higher than this season’s current intraleague average of 28,727 per game.

Since its inception in 1997, Interleague Play has drawn 12.0 percent more fans than intraleague games; Interleague Play has averaged 33,260 fans per game, compared to the intraleague average of 29,706 fans per game during the same span.

Breaking down the first series of Interleague games (May 22-24), the average attendance dropped 9.3 percent, or an average of 33,531 compared to 2008’s 36,968. The second set of attendance games – the far longer stretch that ran from June 12-28 –  saw a lower decline of 4.45 percent, or an average attendance of 33,434 compared to 34,993 for the same set of games last season.

Overall nine clubs saw average attendance for Interleague increase (Marlins, Twins, Royals, Dodgers, Braves, Brewers, Phillies, Red Sox, and Mariners), with the Marlins, Twins, Royals, and Dodgers seeing an increase in the double-digits.

The big winner this year is not the Marlins, or Royals, but rather the Dodgers who see an an average increase of over 10 percent while seeing the top six highest attended games during Interleague

Decliners out pace the increases with 21 clubs posting Interleague attendance declines with ten seeing double-digit losses (White Sox, Tigers, Yankees, Reds, Astros, Blue Jays, Indians, Mets, Padres, and Diamondbacks)

A key aspect of the overall decline this season centers around new ballparks for the Yankees and the Mets, both of which see smaller seating capacities.

The Mets, who went from cavernous Shea Stadium (seating capacity 57,333) to the more petite Citi Field (seating capacity 41,800), saw avg. attendance for Interleague decline a sharp 34.37 percent, the third highest drop in Interleague attendance for 2009. There were no sellouts, with just three of the nine games played in the new stadium seeing attendance above 41,000. The lowest attended tilt during Interleague for the Mets was 37,992 (Sat. June 20 against the Rays), and a high of 41,302 (Sat. June 27 against the Yankees).

As for the Yankees, they see a decline of 13.64 percent from an average of 54,060 in the final year of the House That Ruth Built to an average of 46,689 in new Yankee Stadium. By comparison, all Interleague games last year in Yankee Stadium saw average attendance above 52,000 while this year in the new stadium sees avg. attendance for the AL/NL games with a low of 44,873 (Tues. June 16 against the Nationals) to a high of 48,056 (Sat. June 13 against the Mets). All told the Yankees see seven of the top 20 highest attended Interleague games, but only one in the top 10 (that Sat. game against the Mets) which sits at No. 10 out of all Interleague games played this season.

While the Mets see the biggest decline in Interleague attendance compared to last season, they are not the worst. That dubious distinction belongs to the Arizona Diamondbacks who saw a decline of over 55 percent (-55.55%) from an average of 36,382 in 2008 to 23,389 in 2009. Rounding out other major declines are the Padres (down 39.03 percent from 31,919 in ’08 to 22,959 this season), the aforementioned Mets, Indians (down 28.69 percent from 32,585  in ’08 to 25,321 this season), and Blue Jays (down 27.75 percent from 29,402  in ’08 to 23,016 this season).

In terms of lowest attended, the Marlins see the four lowest ranked games (12,839, 12,822, 12,469, and 10,222). Rounding out the bottom ten worst attended games in Interleague are the Athletics (13,792, 13,586), Royals (14,129), Indians (15,269), and Blue Jays (15,409, 15,329).

The following is a ranks clubs by average attendance for Interleague in 2009 by average. Figure in parenthesis denotes number of Interleague games hosted.

  1. Dodgers (8) 50,501
  2. Yankees (9) 46,689
  3. Phillies (9) 44,675
  4. Cardinals (9) 42,929
  5. Angels (9) 42,511
  6. Brewers (8) 41,604
  7. Cubs (8) 40,770
  8. Mets (9) 39,573
  9. Red Sox (9) 37,812
  10. Braves (10) 37,327
  11. Tigers (9) 36,795
  12. Giants (9) 35,916
  13. Astros (9) 33,744
  14. Twins (10) 33,695
  15. Rockies (9) 32,364
  16. Nationals (9) 31,101
  17. Mariners (9) 30,786
  18. Rangers (8) 30,019
  19. Orioles (9) 30,017
  20. Royals (9) 29,797
  21. Reds (9) 29,588
  22. W Sox (9) 29,420
  23. Indians (9) 25,321
  24. Pirates (9) 25,235
  25. Rays (9) 24,392
  26. D-Backs (6) 23,389
  27. Blue Jays (9) 23,016
  28. Padres (6) 22,959
  29. Athletics (8) 22,927
  30. Marlins (9) 22,457

The below table shows average Interleague attendance ranked by increase from 2008 to 2009, the average Interleague attendance for this season and last, the increase or decrease between the two figures, and the highest attended game that that club hosted during Interleague for 2009 (NOTE: The White Sox at Cubs rainout game is not factored into this data. It will be updated when the game is played)

Interleague Attendance (2009) + Highest Attended
  '08 Avg '09 Avg % + or - Highest Attended
MLB Avg 35,573 33,351 -6.66% 55,301 (LAD)
Marlins 15,408 22,457 31.39% 46,427
Twins 28,372 33,695 15.80% 40,547
Royals 26,415 29,797 11.35% 38,769
Dodgers 45,786 50,501 10.30% 55,301
Braves 34,273 37,327 8.18% 36,379
Brewers 39,259 41,604 5.63% 44,100
Phillies 43,582 44,675 2.45% 45,321
Red Sox 37,548 37,812 0.70% 38,149
Mariners 30,664 30,786 0.39% 38,520
Athletics 22,958 22,927 -0.14% 35,067
* Cubs 41,094 40,770 -0.79% 41,509
Angels 42,887 42,511 -0.89% 44,222
Cardinals 44,463 42,929 -3.57% 44,213
Orioles 31,183 30,017 -3.88% 45,024
Giants 37,426 35,916 -4.20% 41,292
Pirates 26,318 25,235 -4.29% 36,032
Nationals 32,630 31,101 -4.92% 41,985
Rockies 34,466 32,364 -6.49% 44,131
Rangers 32,790 30,019 -9.23% 37,262
NY Yankees 50,843 44,323 -12.82% 48,271
Oakland 17,034 18,030 5.85% 36,067
Philadelphia 38,954 43,109 10.67% 44,532
Pittsburgh 15,712 15,668 -0.28% 38,411
Rays 26,823 24,392 -9.97% 35,790
White Sox 33,214 29,420 -12.90% 39,745
Tigers 41,599 36,795 -13.06% 42,332
Yankees 54,060 46,689 -13.64% 48,056
Reds 34,103 29,588 -15.26% 42,234
Astros 40,696 33,744 -20.60% 37,123
Blue Jays 29,402 23,016 -27.75% 36,379
Indians 32,585 25,321 -28.69% 31,754
Mets 53,176 39,573 -34.37% 41,302
Padres 31,919 22,959 -39.03% 28,074
D-Backs 36,382 23,389 -55.55% 27,742

 * Cubs data does not include make-up rainout game with the White Sox that has yet to be played


Select Read More to see details on Interleague Play stats

Breaking Down Interleague Play Stats

Without counting the make-up game between the White Sox and Cubs, the American League has posted a 137-114 record, marking the sixth straight season in which the A.L. has won the season-series and extending its all-time Interleague lead to 1,673-1,533 (.522).

Nine of the A.L.’s 14 Clubs finished over .500. A.L. Clubs collected a .263 batting average with 1,201 runs scored, 315 home runs and a 3.91 ERA, compared to the N.L.’s .257 batting average, 1,061 runs scored, 249 home runs and 4.46 ERA.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who scored a Major League-leading 118 runs, earned the top Interleague record with a 14-4 (.778) mark, followed by the Tampa Bay Rays, who went 13-5 (.722), and the Minnesota Twins, who were 12-6 (667). Overall, A.L. East Clubs went 52-38 (.578) in Interleague Play, with three of its five Clubs going 11-7 or better. The New York Yankees, who were 10-8 in Interleague Play this year, have baseball’s best all-time Interleague record at 133-95 (.583), followed by the Minnesota Twins at 132-96 (.579). The Colorado Rockies recorded the N.L.’s best Interleague mark with an 11-4 record, followed by the Florida Marlins, who were 10-8. The Marlins still hold the National League’s best all-time Interleague record at 120-99 (.548).

The Interleague leaders in 2009 were Casey McGehee of the Milwaukee Brewers with a .429 batting average (min.: 3.1 PA per team’s games played); Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners with 33 hits; Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals with nine home runs; Hanley Ramirez of the Florida Marlins with 24 RBI; Aaron Cook (3-0) and Jason Hammel (3-0) of the Colorado Rockies, Tommy Hanson (3-0) of the Atlanta

Braves, Felix Hernandez (3-0) of the Seattle Mariners, J.P. Howell (3-0) and Andy Sonnanstine (3-1) of the Tampa Bay Rays, Rick Porcello (3-0) of the Detroit Tigers, Kevin Slowey of the Minnesota Twins (3-1) and Tim Wakefield (3-0) of the Boston Red Sox with three wins each; Felix Hernandez with a 0.84 ERA (min.: 1.0 IP per team’s games played); and Huston Street of the Colorado Rockies with eight saves.

Interleague Play’s all-time statistical leaders include Albert Pujols with a .355 batting average; Derek Jeter with 303 hits; Jim Thome with 56 home runs; Alex Rodriguez with 163 RBI; Mike Mussina with 21 wins; Freddy Garcia with a 2.57 ERA; and Mariano Rivera with 59 saves.


Interleague Stats


Select the image above to see Interleague Play stats (PDF)

Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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