Major League Baseball just wrapped-up its regular season, but this year, attendance has dropped to the lowest numbers since 2003.
According to Sports Business, total attendance this season drew in 68.49 million, which is down 1.7 percent from last year. It is the league’s sixth decline over the last seven season and is the lowest season on record in 16 years. The league reached its peak attendance in 2007, pulling in 79.5 million, but this season, that number is down 14 percent. This decline likely has to do with the decrease in season ticket sales, leaving holes in the crowd.
For the seventh consecutive year, the Los Angeles Dodgers brought in the most fans with a franchise record-breaking attendance number of 3,974,309, beating their own record from last year. The Philadelphia Phillies followed with the largest increase in attendance this year thanks to the addition of the star free agent Bryce Harper, helping add more than 570,000 fans from last year. Only the Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees, Cubs, and Los Angeles Angels reached 3 million this year.
On the other hand, the Miami Marlins ranked last in the league, pulling in just 811,302 fans during the season, an increase of only 198 people from last year. The Toronto Blue Jays lost the most fans this year, falling to 578,000 from 2018’s 1.72 million. The Seattle Mariners joined the Blue Jays as they lost more than half a million fans at the field, along with the Baltimore Orioles, who pulled in 1.3 million – their lowest attendance in 28 seasons.
Multiple teams have been offering initiatives to boost attendance. The Detroit Tigers held a three-day flash sale this summer, along with a University Days program and Pink out the Park, while The Oakland A’s introduced a special A’s Access Program to fill vacant seats. Some teams are even taking the initiative to bring-in younger fans by offering free tickets to children. Additionally, the San Francisco Giants are hoping to encourage more fans to come out to a game with cheaper tickets in 2020.