Marlins home attendance increase
A story in USA Today on Wednesday outlined how Major League Baseball overall is experiencing a 6.5 percent drop in attendance, based on numbers obtained through Baseball-reference.com.
The Marlins, however, enjoyed a 9.7 percent increase, averaging 18,075 in 78 dates at Land Shark Stadium. Instead of 81 dates, that number was down three due to three doubleheaders, two caused by rainouts.
The Marlins wrapped up their home schedule on Sunday against the Mets, and the team drew more than 30,000 in its final four home dates.
“Our attendance is up,” Marlins president David Samson said in a recent interview.
If not for rain delays, the team feels the crowds would have been bigger. In all, the Marlins attracted more than 1.4 million fans.
“There is no question, I think it would have been closer to 1.8 [million],” Samson said if not for the weather. “We [were] in the race until the final week. The definition of in the race is when there is no ‘x’ next to our name.”
That Marlins were officially eliminated on Tuesday night.
Other teams to see a dramatic increase in attendance are the Royals (13.9 percent) and Rangers (10.8 percent).
Teams on the decline are the Nationals (22.8 percent), Blue Jays (21.8) and Padres (21.6).
Overall, however, the league projects more than 75.2 million fans, the fourth most in baseball history, according to USA Today.
“Given that we are in the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, it’s stunning,” commissioner Bud Selig told USA Today of still attracting more than 75 million people. “This year is a great testament to the huge popularity of our sport.”
— Joe Frisaro