Worst Attended New Ballpark in 25 Years?
As the Nats begin their final home series of the season tonight, LL felt it might be instructive to have a gander at the current attendance numbers for the inaugural year of Nationals Park.
Compared to the inaugural years of recent major league ballparks, they don't look good.
Right now, according to ESPN.com, the Nats have drawn 2,276,444 paid ticketholders. The closest recent competition is the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, which drew 2,355,259 fans for its 2003 inaugural year. That's 29,077 fans per game over an 81-game home schedule.
What are the chances that the Nats break the Reds' mark? It's looking pretty good. To draw 2,355,260, the Nats will have to get 78,816 folks to pay for tickets over the next three days. Against the Marlins. That's 26,272 per game.
During the seven games thus far in the current homestand, the Nats have averaged 26,162, which gives them a fighting chance. But maybe not: Three of those were weekend games, which each attracted over 27,000. If you average the mid-week draws from last week, you get only 25,147.
If the Nats break the Reds' mark of infamy, you have to go all the way back to the 1982 Minnesota Twins (ignoring strike-shortened 1994), and their first year in the infernal Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, to find a more futile new-stadium attendance record. That year, the Twins, losers of 102 games, couldn't even attract a million fans.
Since then, there have been 23 seasons played by teams in new stadiums. Check the table after the jump.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery
* made the playoffs. All stats from baseball-reference.com