A 22-12 start to the 2019 season hasn’t shielded the Minnesota Twins from serious attendance woes. The team, which has averaged just 16,843 fans in its 16 home games thus far (23rd out of 30 MLB franchises), is responding with a “flash sale” of $5 seats for select areas at Target Field through the end of May. The sale, however, only lasts through 10 p.m. on Thursday, according to the Star Tribune.
Seats for the promotion are available in the home run porch and grandstand seating areas of the stadium. Other seating areas are not included in the promotion, which features a $5 price with no processing fees.
Per the Star Tribune, attendance to start the season for Twins home games has been some 19% down compared to April of last season – the second biggest decline in the Major Leagues behind Toronto.
“The seven smallest crowds in Target Field history all came in the first 14 home games this season, including an April 30 announced crowd (tickets sold) of 12,181 that featured far fewer fans in the actual stands,” reads the story, published without a byline.
Fans in the comment section pointed out that, even with a $5 ticket, an evening at the ballpark has become an increasingly expensive proposition – including one commenter indicating that the team’s concessions are the second most expensive in the major leagues. Also noted was the fact that the weather in Minneapolis isn’t exactly condusive to evening ballgames in the early part of the season (particularly compared with the team’s prior home in the enclosed Metrodome).
Regardless of local concerns, the price dump is one that has been mirrored in several markets offering early-season discounts or subscription packages to try to entice fans to the ballpark for the early part of a grinding 81-game home schedule that Major League teams play. Attendance is down, and premium prices for games seem to be a thing that only a small fraction of franchises can demand, particularly in the early part of the season.