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Interleague Pushes MLB to Best-Attended Pre-Memorial Day Weekend Ever PDF Print E-mail
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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 21 May 2012 14:40

MLBWith realignment coming next season to Major League Baseball, how interleague is seen will be changing (interleague will be a daily occurrence). So, this past weekend is really the beginning of the end in how to track blocks of interleague play. So, how did the 3-game interleague series of play fare? According to MLB, they recorded the highest-attended pre-Memorial Day weekend in history by drawing 1,652,935 fans for weekend’s 45 games. The total this past weekend, which featured the first 42 Interleague games of the season, eclipsed the previous mark of 1,640,976 (May 19th-21st, 2006). 

The slate from Friday through Sunday also ranks as the best-attended 45-game weekend since the final weekend of the 2008 regular season, when 1,683,763 fans attended from September 26th-28th.  Overall, it was the largest weekend for total attendance since July 24-26, 2009, when 1,684,095 fans attended 46 games.

Saturday’s total of 576,209 fans is the highest pre-Memorial Day single-day attendance total of no more than 15 games since 2007 Opening Day (April 2nd), which drew 582,456.  Nine Clubs drew more than 40,000 fans in their Interleague games on Saturday, leading to an average of 38,414 per game for the day.  Saturday’s total marked the best-attended day of 15 games since Saturday, August 14, 2010, when 577,583 fans attended 15 games.

Attendance highlights among the Clubs included:

  • Six Clubs (DET, LAD, NYY, PHI, SF, WSH) averaged more than 40,000 fans per game and 12 Clubs (previous six plus CHI, COL, HOU, MIL, SD, TOR) drew at least 34,000 per game this weekend.
  • Two of the four largest attendance days in Nationals Park history were tallied this weekend for the Washington Nationals’ series against the Baltimore Orioles.  The Nationals drew 42,331 on Saturday, marking the second-largest single attendance in Nationals Park history.  On Sunday, the game drew 41,918, the fourth-best attendance in the ballpark’s history.  Overall, the Orioles-Nationals series attracted 120,929 fans, the largest crowd in the rivalry’s seven-year history (previous: 114,929 in 2008).
  • The Houston Astros drew 113,261 for their three-game set with the Texas Rangers, the highest against Texas at Minute Maid Park since 2007 (119,562).
  • The Pittsburgh Pirates-Detroit Tigers series at Comerica Park drew 124,585 fans, and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim-San Diego Padres series at PETCO Park attracted 108,791 fans.
  • All but three Clubs (KC, CLE, TB) drew at least 100,000 over the three days. The Royals pulled in 85,397, the Indians saw 82,845, and the Rays came in with 71,885.
  • Six Clubs saw attendance above an average of 30,000 (CHI, HOU, SD, MIL, TOR, COL)
  • The three Clubs that drew below 30,000 were KC (28,466), CLE (27,615), and TB (23,962)

Overall, Major League Baseball has drawn 18,637,924 fans this season through 617 dates (30,207 per game), representing a 6.7 percent increase over the same point in the 2011 season.

“With historic performances by our players and strong competitive balance evident in the standings, Major League Baseball has enjoyed an outstanding start to the 2012 season,” said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “I thank baseball fans for their remarkable support and I join them in looking forward to a great summer for our game.”

See the tables below for totals and average attendance for the first weekend of interleague play for 2012:

Club

Avg

Phillies

45,482

Yankees

44,313

Tigers

41,528

Dodgers

41,431

Giants

41,422

Nationals

40,310

Cubs

37,846

Astros

37,754

Padres

36,264

Brewers

35,961

Blue Jays

34,514

Rockies

34,111

Royals

28,466

Indians

27,615

Rays

23,962

 

Club

Total

Phillies

136,447

Yankees

132,939

Tigers

124,585

Dodgers

124,294

Giants

124,266

Nationals

120,929

Cubs

113,539

Astros

113,261

Padres

108,791

Brewers

107,883

Blue Jays

103,541

Rockies

102,333

Royals

85,397

Indians

82,845

Rays

71,885

Source: Major League Baseball, Biz of Baseball research


 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 writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He 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 (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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