City Desk

It’s Official: Nats Park Worst Attended New MLB Stadium Since Humpdome

The numbers are in: Nationals Park is the worst-attended new ballpark since the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome opened in Minneapolis in 1982.

Ballpark FAIL!

OK, yes, the final game was rained out, meaning the total paid draw of 2,320,400 is based on only 81 games rather than the scheduled 82. Still, no asterisk is necessary on this dubious feat: If you add the per-game average of 29,005 to the 80-game total, you still can't match Cincinnati's 81-game 2003 mark of 2,355,259.

And trust me, there was no way 29,000 people were showing up to see the Nats play the Marlins on a chilly Thursday night, even without the rain.

Look on the bright side: The Nats didn't lose their 100th game at home, and if you look at the how full the ballparks were in their inaugural years, the Nats narrowly beat out the Reds: Nats Park was 69.2 percent full this year; the slightly larger Great American Ballpark was only 69.1 percent full in 2003.

As for next year? Look for a sharp dropoff. The Reds went from a 29,077 average in Year 1 to a 28,237 average in Year 2 (and a 23,989 average in Year 3). More recently, the Phillies' Citizens Bank Park drew better than 40,000 per game in Year 1 (2004), then only 33,316 in Year 2. Ouch!

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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  • al gonzales

    The cheap ass Lerner family is at fault here. People should boycott the games until the Lerners pay rent & put a major league team on the field.

  • Jake

    It's not the field that failed, it's the team.

  • telecomic

    Pricing for many of those seats is beyond expensive, and half of the Nationals should have been playing in the minors all season. It's a nice enough park (if not essentially a clone of Great American in Cincinnati), but not many people are willing to spend NFL prices for AAA baseball.

  • Angry Sam

    The stadium is nice, but the Lerner saga and the misadventures of Jim Bowden will make sure that the Nats are ill-attended. Makes you wonder if they shouldn't have just kept them in Montreal.

  • Kristin


    I’m Kristin, a University of Pennsylvania psychology student and a huge baseball fan. I am currently conducting an honors thesis study on clutch ability and psychological characteristics of Major league baseball players. I made a survey asking fans to rate players from various teams on certain characteristics. One of these teams is the Nationals and it would be great to have some Nationals fans fill out my survey and rate their favorite players. Here is some background info:

    What is "clutch"? What players are considered "clutch" performers? What players are "gritty" or have natural talent? Are these players also "clutch"? These frequently cited terms in the game of baseball have rarely been objectively studied. I have created a survey asking about some Major League players’ characteristics and it would be great if some of you, being huge baseball fans, could fill it out! It should only take a maximum of 10 minutes. Also, I would love to hear any comments that you have about my survey! Thanks so much for all your help!

    Here is the website for my survey: