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Miami Marlins Selling Tickets to No-Hitter the Day After It Happened PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 30 September 2013 14:08

Jeffrey Loria

Touting it as a “way to have a piece of history” the Miami Marlins are selling $15 tickets to yesterday’s no-hitter by Henderson Alvarez. The tickets will be on sale for not only Monday, but until Sunday, October 6th at midnight. The club is selling the 9,100 unsold tickets left for the game. The official box score for the game was 28,315, but the Marlins appear to be back-dooring in extra numbers and revenues with the tickets being sold after the fact. The Marlins did not sell out one game this season.

The Marlins finished second to last in league attendance this year with an average of 19,584 but will be trying to nudge that up as any tickets sold—even the ones for the no-hitter sold after the season is now completed —will count as paid attendance. In doing so, the Marlins are artificially inflating their attendance. The club currently will end the season with the worst attendance decline in the second season of a brand new ballpark since 1992 when Bud Selig took over as commissioner.

This isn’t the first time the Marlins have artificially inflated their attendance numbers. The club sold tickets after Roy Holladay of the Philadelphia Phillies pitched a perfect game in 2010 that was played in Florida.


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. 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 here.

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How Performance in 2012 Caused an Attendance Downturn for the Red Sox PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 03 September 2013 12:36

MLB attendanceUnless there is catastrophe, a glance at the AL East standings shows the Boston Red Sox either winning the division or being an AL Wild Card team. A trip to the postseason for Red Sox seems a pretty sure bet (as of publication the club has a 98.5% chance of making it), and yet, attendance is down. Questions abound, columns get written, and for some the consensus is, “The Red Sox have lost their fan base.”

According to The Republican, the Red Sox are set to see attendance drop 7 percent from last year. But, within the story reveals something that is not only an affect on the Red Sox, but most every club in Major League Baseball: the performance in one or more seasons prior can impact attendance before a single game is played.

"We are pleased with the trend lines and the direction that attendance is heading in," Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said Friday at Fenway Park. "It's understandable that there would be some drop off after the collapse of 2011 and the disappointment of 2012. But I'd rather accentuate the positive: there's a buzz about this team, there's a buzz about Fenway Park again this year. Our ratings are up, our attendance is very strong. We're like fourth or fifth in the league in baseball. While it's off from historic highs, it's still robust.”

[….]

"You're always concerned," [Red Sox chief operating officer Sam] Kennedy said. "Our expectations here are very lofty. We would love to be in a sell-out environment every single night. But we recognize we're not. We'll probably have 25, 26 sell outs this year, and I think there's a natural lag you have. We actually had good attendance last year. Ironically, in 2012, with a 69-win season, and that was because we had a lot of people buy in the winter and this year we had the downturn because of last year.

"I think it's a residual effect from a slower offseason. We've closed the gap. (We'll) probably finish somewhere around 7 percent behind last year, which equates to a couple hundred thousand, maybe as many as 200,000 tickets behind. Hopefully fans will start to come back. They've come back. It's not as if a crowd of 33,000 — most teams in baseball would be thrilled with that."

This is why the Giants currently see the third-highest attendance in the league yet sit with a .445 winning percentage and 21 games behind the Dodgers for first place. It’s why the Blue Jays see the largest jump in attendance from last year (currently up a whopping 21 percent) while 63-75, 18.5 games behind first place Boston and last place with 10 game separating them and the second-to-last Yankees.

Back to the Red Sox, as the club execs mention, you can’t get back the attendance at the beginning of the season and you can’t make up the full-season equivalents in ticket sales that were reached mostly in Nov-Jan. This is what happens when MLB’s attendance model is now tied so tightly to season ticket sales.

This is also why we can make some predictions for attendance next season, now. Red Sox attendance will bounce back (although how far is really going to need to be answered by how far they go into the postseason), and the Blue Jays, Giants, Angels, and Brewers will see drops. How significant the drops will be will be tied to any potential high-profile free agent signings. For the Angels, this seems like something that won’t happen given the Pujols and Hamilton signings in the last couple of seasons. The Blue Jays have to ask whether fans will be less enthusiastic after the bevy of players they took on, most notably with the trades to the Marlins. It’s possible that they could see a 10 percent drop in attendance based on the bounce they got this year; a case of normalizing the attendance curve.

And while the Red Sox will be up, the other club that’s likely to see a significant bounce will be the Pirates.

So, the attendance decline in Beantown is a story because, well…. It’s the Red Sox. But, the reality is, the club most certainly expected the drop, even if they’d rather avoid it. The front office in Boston is likely already well geared up for season ticket sales… for the 2014 season.


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. 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 here.

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A Look At Every Miami Marlins Game Shows Record Attendance Slide PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 17 June 2013 00:00

MLB Attendance

It takes some real doing to have attendance drop as far as the Miami Marlins have, but they’re setting records this season, albeit all the kinds you don’t want to own.

On Friday, the club slipped from 29th to last in MLB attendance, a staggering achievement as they are not even a season and a half into a brand new ballpark. With 15,403 in attendance on Friday against the Cardinals, and the Indians pulling in 30,824 against the Nationals in an interleague tilt on the same night as a $1 hot dog and fireworks promotion was held, the Marlins dropped from an average of 17,399 to 17,341 while the Indians climbed to 17,521.

It isn’t likely to stop dropping. In fact, it's well on pace to being a historic attendance plunge.

Between the fire sale to the Blue Jays and the abysmal performance on the field that will likely have them, not the Astros, end with the worst record in baseball, attendance will continue to slide. In the meantime, all those clubs that have suffered through the cold, wet spring with open-air ballparks will begin to see increases as people flock to enjoy the sun during the summer.

Below shows the tale of the tape along with the supporting data through Sunday, June 16. Oh, and for those Indians fans and those looking at both Florida clubs’ attendance, as of Sunday, the Indians had also passed the Rays, meaning that Florida now has the dubious distinction of having the two worst attended clubs in all of MLB.

Marlins Sinking Attendance

Day

Date

Game

Attend

Avg

Monday

April 8, 2013

Atlanta 2, at Miami 0

34,439

34,439

Tuesday

April 9, 2013

Atlanta 3, at Miami 2

14,222

24,331

Wednesday

April 10, 2013

Atlanta 8, at Miami 0

13,810

20,824

Friday

April 12, 2013

Philadelphia 3, at Miami 1

17,923

20,099

Saturday

April 13, 2013

at Miami 2, Philadelphia 1

20,037

20,086

Sunday

April 14, 2013

Philadelphia 2, at Miami 1

21,412

20,307

Monday

April 15, 2013

Washington 10, at Miami 3

15,933

19,682

Tuesday

April 16, 2013

at Miami 8, Washington 2

16,200

19,247

Wednesday

April 17, 2013

Washington 6, at Miami 1

22,302

19,586

Thursday

April 25, 2013

Chicago Cubs 4, at Miami 3

15,394

19,167

Friday

April 26, 2013

Chicago Cubs 4, at Miami 2

16,017

18,881

Saturday

April 27, 2013

Chicago Cubs 3, at Miami 2

27,519

19,601

Sunday

April 28, 2013

at Miami 6, Chicago Cubs 4

19,817

19,617

Monday

April 29, 2013

at Miami 4, NY Mets 3

15,605

19,331

Tuesday

April 30, 2013

at Miami 2, NY Mets 1

15,018

19,043

Wednesday

May 1, 2013

NY Mets 7, at Miami 6

16,188

18,865

Tuesday

May 14, 2013

Cincinnati 6, at Miami 2

14,694

18,619

Wednesday

May 15, 2013

Cincinnati 4, at Miami 0

14,866

18,411

Thursday

May 16, 2013

Cincinnati 5, at Miami 3

16,680

18,320

Friday

May 17, 2013

Arizona 9, at Miami 2

13,444

18,076

Saturday

May 18, 2013

Arizona 1, at Miami 0

18,786

18,110

Sunday

May 19, 2013

at Miami 2, Arizona 1

20,206

18,205

Monday

May 20, 2013

at Miami 5, Philadelphia 1

13,231

17,989

Tuesday

May 21, 2013

Philadelphia 7, at Miami 3

13,996

17,822

Wednesday

May 22, 2013

Philadelphia 3, at Miami 0

15,520

17,730

Wednesday

May 29, 2013

Tampa Bay 3, at Miami 1

16,671

17,690

Thursday

May 30, 2013

Tampa Bay 5, at Miami 2

23,199

17,894

Friday

May 31, 2013

at Miami 5, NY Mets 1

16,493

17,844

Saturday

June 1, 2013

at Miami 8, NY Mets 1

16,283

17,790

Sunday

June 2, 2013

at Miami 11, NY Mets 6

18,434

17,811

Monday

June 10, 2013

Milwaukee 6, at Miami 1

13,259

17,664

Tuesday

June 11, 2013

at Miami 5, Milwaukee 4

13,110

17,522

Wednesday

June 12, 2013

Milwaukee 10, at Miami 1

13,468

17,399

Friday

June 14, 2013

at Miami 5, St. Louis 4

15,403

17,341

Saturday

June 15, 2013

St. Louis 13, at Miami 7

16,098

17,305

Sunday

June 16, 2013

at Miami 7, St. Louis 2

18,468

17,337


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. 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 here.

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Is Daily Interleague More Popular Than Intraleague in MLB? PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 03 June 2013 10:51

MLB Attendance

Since it became a regular facet of Major League Baseball in 1997, the question has been, does interleague play in Major League Baseball have a higher level of popularity than traditional intraleague play? The question has always been difficult to answer as the league had pegged a short series of interleague games in May followed by a longer stretch in June. Prior to 2005, all interleague play occurred in June prior to the All-Star Game, so factors such as weather, weekend play, school being out, and key match-ups were difficult to match-up with attendance across the rest of the season.

This season that all changed. With the Houston Astros moving into the AL West, and the league looking for a balanced schedule, “daily” interleague play was added to the schedule. There would still be “rival” play—those stretches of games in May and June that feature predominantly local and regional match-ups, but as soon as the season started, at least one interleague series would take place alongside intraleague play.

Beginning on April 1 of 2013, the Los Angeles Angels played the Reds in Cincinnati on Opening Day, and paid attendance numbers started racking up.

Leading up to the first set of rival interleague games that started on Memorial Day (May 27), a total of 57 interleague games were sprinkled amongst intraleague play. Those games saw an average paid attendance of 29,479 compared to an average of 28,896 for intraleague play. The data shows that interleague at the beginning of the season leading up to Memorial Day was averaging 583 more in paid attendance per game than intraleague, an increase of 2 percent. So, there is slightly more interest in interleague than intraleague play in the first year of having interleague play on a daily basis.

What has skewed the numbers in prior years still holds true in 2013: the time set aside for “rival interleague” play is more popular than traditional intraleague, and also more popular than daily interleague.

A total of 58 interleague games were played from Monday, May 27 (Memorial Day) to Thursday, May 30 (the schedule had 60 games slated, but there were two rainouts). Those games that saw local and regional rivalries such as the Orioles against the Nationals, Mets vs Yankees, and Angels vs. the Dodgers drew an average of 30,876 or an increase of 1,980 per game more than intraleague and more than 1,397 more than daily interleague.

The numbers skew further toward rival interleague when just looking at May when rival interleague occurs. Daily interleague in May saw an average 27,591 or an average of 3,286 less than interleague during rival week. The numbers need to be tempered with knowing that there were some series that didn’t scream box office seller. The Indians were in Philadelphia, the Rays in Colorado, the Mariners in Pittsburgh, and the Padres were in Tampa Bay. Still, rival week continues to see the Mariners and Padres match-up, even though few see the pairing as “rivalry” based on history or locations of the markets.

All this is looking at paid attendance data till the end of May. We’re not into summer yet, the real pennant races don’t even begin to become clear until after the All-Star break, and differing daily interleague and intraleague data will provide more context by the end of the 2013 regular season. But, if the early numbers hold throughout, MLB will have a compelling case to make that interleague—at least in 2013—is more popular than intraleage play. We’ll look at this again at the All-Star break.


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. 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 here.

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Why the Miami Marlins Could See a Historic Attendance Plunge PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 06 May 2013 13:31

Jeffrey Loria

Today on Baseball Prospectus, I delve into the Miami Marlins self-inflicted attendance woes (see Bizball: The Marlins Sinking Attendance). The early decline could rate as historic by the end of the season as they could challenge the then Tampa Bay Devil Rays as the worst attendance decline in the second year of a new ballpark. As I write for BP:

In poll after poll, column after column, Jeffrey Loria is ranked as the worst owner in all of North American professional sports.

Loria is bad for fans, but he treats himself and the partners in the club well. He and club president David Samson were able to bamboozle politicians and taxpayers in Miami-Dade County to the tune of $500 million for a brand-spanking-new ballpark on the former site of the Orange Bowl. They opened up last season in that freshly minted stadium after being the darlings of the 2011 Baseball Winter Meetings, at which they signed SS Jose Reyes to a six-year, $106 million deal, starter Mark Buehrle to a four-year, $58 million contract; and closer Heath Bell to a three-year, $27 million deal with an option for 2015. All told, the Marlins splurged $191 million at the meetings, and it could have been more, as it looked for bit like they were going after Albert Pujols. Imagine that.

In mid-November of last year, the club promptly moved Reyes (2013: $10M, 2014: $16M, 2015: $22M, 2016: $22M, 2017: $22M, 2018: $22M club option with $4M buyout), Josh Johnson (2013: $13.75M), Buehrle (2013: $11M, 2014: $18M, 2015: $19M plus a $4M deferred signing bonus), John Buck (2013: $6M), and Emilio Bonifacio (who is arbitration eligible this year), and $4 million (or potentially more) in cash to the Blue Jays for Yunel EscobarHenderson AlvarezAdeiny HechavarriaJeff Mathis, minor-league pitchers Justin Nicolino and Anthony Desclafani, and minor-league outfielderJake Marisnick. All told, the Marlins stripped $163.75 million off the books, and the baseball world screamed “fire sale” at a club that at one point was featured on Showtime’s “The Franchise” and had Ozzie Guillen as its manager. Loria had done what Loria had always done before: make rash decisions, all of which soil any chance of creating goodwill in the community. And the Marlins, in their best Stuart Smalley, looked at themselves in the mirror and said, “Doggone it, people like me.”

With that as the backdrop, I made some predictions before the season started on Twitter that weren’t that much of a leap to make. I said the Marlins wouldn’t sell out a single game this season (since Opening Day wasn’t a sellout, chances are good they won’t get one going forward), and added that they would see largest drop in attendance for a second-year ballpark among all MLB stadiums built in the last 25 years.

As of today, the decline would be 31 percent below what the club ended with last season. But, they are currently averaging 18,864. As of May 5 of last season, they were averaging 30,681, down 11,817 from the previous year, or a decline of 39 percent.

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.

Below shows every new ballpark built under the Selig tenure. It shows the average attendance prior to the new ballpark opening in the old ballpark; average attendance in the first year of the new ballpark; the winning percentage in the first year of the ballpark; average attendance in the second year of the new ballpark, and finally; the percentage of increase or decrease from the opening year in the new ballpark. 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.

Club

Ballpark

Year Opened

Yr Prior Attendance

Yr. 1 Avg

Winning % (Yr 1)

Yr. 2 Attendance

% (+/-) Yr 1 to Yr 2

Notes

White Sox

U.S. Cellular Field

1991

25,029

36,224

.537

32,697

-10%


Orioles

Oriole Park

1992

31,515

44,047

.549

45,000

2%


Indians

Jacobs Field

1994

26,888

39,121

.584

39,483

1%


Rangers

Ballpark in Arlington

1994

27,711

39,733

.456

27,582

-31%

First place in AL West before work stoppage

Rockies

Coors Field

1995

N/A

47,084

.535

48,037

2%

NL WC

Braves

Turner Field

1996

35,818

42,771

.593

41,492

-3%

Won NL East

Rays

Tropicana Field

1998

N/A

30,942

.389

19,294

-38%


Dbacks

Bank One Ballpark

1998

N/A

44,571

.401

37,280

-16%


Mariners *

Safeco Field

1999

32,735

36,004

.488

43,300

20%


Giants

Pacbell

2000

25,659

40,973

.599

40,888

0%

Won NL West

Tigers

Comerica Park

2000

25,018

30,106

.488

23,720

-21%


Astros

Enron Field

2000

33,000

37,730

.444

35,855

-5%


Brewers

Miller Park

2001

19,427

34,704

.420

24,311

-30%


Pirates

PNC Park

2001

21,591

30,430

.383

22,312

-27%


Reds

Great American Ballpark

2003

22,911

29,077

.426

37,244

28%


Phillies

Citizens Bank Park

2004

27,901

40,125

.531

32,905

-18%


Padres

PETCO Park

2004

25,063

37,244

.537

35,429

-5%


Cardinals

Busch III

2006

43,691

42,589

.516

43,854

3%

Won WS

Nationals

Nationals Park

2008

23,998

29,005

.366

22,435

-23%


Yankees

Yankee Stadium

2009

53,070

45,918

.636

46,491

1%

Won WS

Mets

CitiField

2009

49,902

39,118

.432

31,602

-19%


Twins

Target Field

2010

29,466

39,798

.580

39,113

-2%

Won AL Central

Marlins **

Marlins Park

2012

18,772

27,400

.426

18,864

-31%

2013 thru 16 games

* Not full season
** Current (5/6/13)


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. 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 here.

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An Early Look at MLB 2013 Resale Ticket Prices PDF Print E-mail
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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 14 January 2013 14:57

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Snow may still blanket parts of the country today, but believe it or not, we’re 4 weeks from catchers and pitchers reporting for Spring Training, and Opening Day isn’t far behind that.

Many MLB players are already working out, at the same time, in the front offices around the league, sales teams are feverishly working to sell season ticket packages. The majority of clubs have yet to release individual game tickets for sale.

Still, it’s not too early to see what trends in the ticket resale space as we approach the season. Based on data provided by ticket resell aggregator Razorgator, some interesting trends have surfaced.

Razorgator’s data is based off of asking price across their registered sellers. With that, the data provided gives a window into how those looking to resell tickets early on are setting their price points.

The average home price on the resale market comes in at $70.42 with 11 clubs above the average and 19 clubs below. Three clubs (Cubs, Red Sox, and Giants) see the average home price above $100, with the Cubs leading the way at $120.44 followed closely by the Red Sox ($119.53), and then Giants ($111.55).

It would make sense that the top 3 priced tickets by home average have either small-historic ballparks (Cubs and Red Sox), while just behind them you see the 2012 World Series Champion Giants. But, in a sign that fans feel that only two years into a new ballpark they can unload tickets for roughly what they got into them for, the fourth-highest priced resale home ticket price by average goes to the Miami Marlins at $89.85. We’ll see how that number changes (if at all) as we approach the season. It’s possible with the fire sale that’s happened with the club that the resale market could be flooded, thus driving the price down.

The best bang for your buck for the average price on the resale market goes to the Cincinnati Reds ($44.10) and Washington Nationals ($41.27), both of whom won their Divisions.

When it comes to the average resale asking price for away games, the average is $75.55 with just eight teams (Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Cardinals, Reds, Cubs, Orioles, and Mariners) toping the list above the average. Expectedly just two clubs (the Yankees at $148.53 and Red Sox at $109.13) have an average away price above $100. Both clubs are iconic brands with storied histories, so the ability to ask such a high price across the country makes sense.

At the bottom the list, the Miami Marlins in their post-fire sale mode, are garnering the lowest asking price for an away team at just $57.34. The Twins, at #29 come in at $63.21.

Once again, the best bang for your buck for away games is the Washington Nationals. While not the cheapest resell average out there, at $67.13 they rank #23 out of the 30 clubs by average resale asking price.

For interleague, it seems that in the New York area, the Yankees and Mets still garner extreme interest. Based on Razorgator data, the average ticket price for the May 27-28 series between the two pulls at $214.10 is almost exactly 3 times the interleague average of $71.38. A great deal looks to the Dodgers at Yankee Stadium on June 18-19 at $75.49.


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Other points of interest….

  • The current resale cost of purchasing a Yankees or Mariners home game ticket are nearly identical ($66.44 for the Yankees compared to $64.78 for the Mariners)
  • The Astros, who lost more than 100 games this past season and could potentially have it happen again in 2013 have an average asking resale price for home games at $51.71 or more than $10 what the Nationals are coming in at ($41.27)
  • For some strange reason, the Mariners rank #8 for away games with an average asking price of $77.56. Maybe this is the King Felix factor, but one would be hard pressed to make a good case for that.
  • If I’m a fan, and the Giants are scheduled to visit, I’d get in on it now. At an average of $70.68, the current World Series champs rank #19 for away price. That’s lower than the Astros, Brewers, Rays, and Mariners.

SELECT READ MORE TO SEE THE INFOGRAPHIC DATA FOR EACH OF THE 30 CLUBS

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Marlins Attendance Worst for New Ballpark Since 2000 PDF Print E-mail
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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 04 October 2012 12:59

Marlins Logo

UPDATED: Miller Park was accidentally omitted from the table below. We apologize for an inconvience.
It was a “good news/bad news” season for the Miami Marlins. They began the 2011-12 off-season as sparkling darlings at the Baseball Winter Meetings, seemingly involved in nearly every free agent derby, and eventually landing Jose Reyes (6 years/$106 million (2012-17), plus 2018 option), Heath Bell (3 years/$27 million (2012-14), plus 2015 option, and Mark Buehle (4 years/$58 million (2012-15)) to deals. Along the way, they picked up Carlos Zambrano and Carlos Lee, not the best signings, but still, an improvement over what the club had done in years past.

Of course, it was all fueled by the fact that the club was moving into a new market and a new stadium. In doing so, as is always the case, there would be an attendance bounce. Given a retractable-roof, a baseball-only facility, and better demographics in Miami, a sizeable attendance boost was expected.

With the 2012 season in the books, it can be said that the Marlins saw a sizeable bump from their last season in Sun Life Stadium, averaging 27,400 compared to 19,007 in 2011. It ranks as MLB’s largest average increase for the season at 44.16 percent.

As attendance for a new ballpark opening, it’s historic… as in a bad way.

There have been 14 new ballparks opened in MLB since 2000 and the Marlins will have the dubious distinction of having the worst average attendance for a new opening out of the lot. You have to go to the Washington Nationals at 29,005, or 1,605 per game more to get to the 12th worst. Yes, Washington, D.C. is a top-five market, so it isn’t exactly like this is something the Nationals should be proud of back in 2008. Nationals Park is also larger, so the Marlins are saved by one metric (the Nats total attendance rank for their opening year was worst (20th) with the Marlins (18th) coming is second to last).  Nationals Park is also open-air, meaning less walk-ups due to rainouts, rain delays, or the threat of bad weather. You can make excuses for either market, but the point is, it’s a matter of comparing “bad” to “worse.”

The following is a listing of new ballpark openings ranked by worst to first by average attendance in that season, and the rank by total attendance.

Who

Opened

Avg

Rank

Miami

4/4/2012

27,400

18

Washington

3/22/2008

29,005

20

Cinncinati

3/31/2003

29,077

13

Pittsburgh

3/31/2001

30,839

17

Detroit

4/11/2000

31,280

17

Milwaukee 4/6/2001 34,704 12

San Diego

4/8/2004

37,243

9

Houston

4/7/2000

37,730

9

New York Mets

3/29/2009

38,941

7

Minnesota

4/12/2010

39,798

6

Philadelphia

4/3/2004

40,626

5

San Francisco

3/31/2000

40,930

3

St. Louis

4/10/2006

42,588

3

New York Yankees

4/4/2012

45,918

2


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. 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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Inside MLB 2012 Attendance Down the Stretch PDF Print E-mail
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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by David Simmons   
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 12:26

Inside MLB Attendance

With roughly a quarter of the season left to go, it’s a good time to check to see how teams are doing in the ticket selling department (see details posted below). The Phillies, Giants, and Red Sox continue to pace the league by selling just about every ticket. Two teams that appear on highest attendance, percentage of capacity, and sales increase are the Rangers and Tigers who continue to have sales gains even though their attendance is already very strong. Wild card contenders Pittsburgh (6%) and Tampa Bay (5%) do not even rank in the top increases which just goes to show how great of a year the league is having at the box office. Nineteen clubs are flat or experiencing increases in attendance as we enter the final month. Overall, league attendance is up 2.2 million with a strong shot to end the season at 76 million fans. With better weather, increased value deals from teams, and the use of dynamic pricing the league is having a banner year at the box office. Other highlights for the league include the Padres being up 3% even though they have had a dismal year on the field and the Athletics up 9% thanks to Wild Card chase.

A few things that are worth keeping an eye on as we enter September.

One will certainly be whether the Red Sox can continue their sellout streak. With 11 home games remaining the only challenges for the Sox would be a Tuesday and Wednesday set of games against the Rays as the rest are weekend tilts with the Yankees. The Red Sox streak will survive 3 years of no postseason for Boston and have 792 sellouts entering 2013. Another race to watch at the box office is overall attendance between Philadelphia, the Yankees, and Texas.

The Phillies recently announced the end of their own sellout streak -- a fallout of the disappointing season -- with two teams seem to be catching up at the box office. The Yankees seemed destined to be #1 at the end of the season as they continue their pennant chase. Mathematically it would be very tough for Texas to catch up given the number of weekday games remaining on their schedule.

Another storyline to keep an eye on is the attendance battle between the Dodgers and Giants as they go head to head for the NL West. The Dodgers seemed destined to overtake the Giants in attendance with their new additions as Los Angeles us a mere 300 fans behind with 18 home games to go. The Giants just can’t compete with the 56,000 seating capacity that Dodger Stadium can hold. It’s worth noting that the Dodgers are still about 5,000 fans a game from their peak in 2009 when they averaged 46,440 and lead baseball in attendance and given the new player additions it appears they are headed back in the right direction. With school back in session it’s always fascinating to see just how low non-competing teams without high season ticket bases can go. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in Colorado, Cleveland, Seattle, and Houston over the next month as well. For further detail on attendance leaders see the leader boards below:

Top 10 in AVG Ballpark Capacity

Philadelphia Phillies (102%)

Boston Red Sox (101%)

San Francisco Giants (100%)

St. Louis Cardinals (93%)

Detroit Tigers (92%)

Minnesota Twins (89%)

Chicago Cubs (89%)

Texas Rangers (88%)

New York Yankees (87%)

Milwaukee Brewers (84%)

Top in 10 AVG. Attendance

Philadelphia Phillies 44,353

New York Yankees 43,745

Texas Rangers 43,076

San Francisco Giants 41,744

LA Dodgers 41,475

St. Louis Cardinals 40,705

Detroit Tigers 38,070

LA Angels 37,634

Boston Red Sox 37,598

Chicago Cubs 36,752

Top 10 Percent Increase over LY YTD

Miami Marlins (55%)

Washington Nationals (28%)

Toronto Blue Jays (21%)

Detroit Tigers (21%)

Texas Rangers (20%)

Baltimore Orioles (18%)

Kansas City Royals (14%)

Los Angeles Dodgers (12%)

Arizona Diamondbacks (12%)

Oakland Athletics (9%)

**All data as of 8/26 via ESPN and Baseball-Reference


David SimmonsDavid Simmons is a graduate of the University of Central Florida who worked in the front office of the Los Angeles Dodgers over 4 seasons and has a decade of ticketing experience.. He serves as CFO for Players For The Planet and currently resides in Baltimore. You can follow David on Twitter @davidesimmons

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MLB Surpasses 37 Million in Paid Attendance before the All-Star Game PDF Print E-mail
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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 03 July 2012 00:42

MLB Attendance

Major League Baseball surpassed the 37 million mark for attendance Monday ahead of MLB's All-Star Game, and a sign that the 2012 season will be strong at the gate for the league. Over 1,191 games where paid attendance is announced, the league has now drawn 37,186,755 or an average of 31,223 compared to 29,315 at the same time last season. According to the league, with adjustments, attendance is now pacing between 7 and 8 percent over last season at this time. Compared to 2011, the league has pulled in nearly a million more fans than at the same time last year.

Also, based on information from the league’s PR twitter feed

  • The league pulled 1,663,234 in paid attendance for 46 games this past weekend, the best weekend this year and the best since July 24-26, 2009 (1.684 million /46).
  • MLB has topped 1.6 million in attendance four straight weekends and five overall in 2012, already passing season totals for ‘09 (4), ‘10 (3) & ‘11 (4).
  • Saturday 6/30 was the best-attended day this season with 603,343 in paid attendance (37,709 average for 16 games) and best day (16 games or less) since 9/28/08.


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. 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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Should MLB Force Jeffery Loria to Sell the Marlins?