Stat-urday, 12/7/2019


The Potomac Nationals in 2018 – not on the “Elimination List,” most likely because they are moving to a new stadium in 2020. Photo by Gregory Koch, via Wikipedia.

In my quest to make sense of the reasons for MLB’s recommendations for eliminating 42 Minor League Baseball teams, I’ve listed below the 42 teams slated for contraction, along with their attendance numbers for 2019. I’ve also included their rank in terms of total attendance. As you can see from the numbers, of 160 MiLB teams, nine of the ten teams with the lowest attendance are on the elimination list (ranked at number 151-159). However, the team with the worst attendance, the Class A Dunedin Blue Jays – whose attendance was just under 12,000 (an average of 450 fans per game) – are not on the list. Teams ranked in the top 50% in terms of attendance (teams ranked above 81) are also on the list.

The “Elimination List” (as I call it) does not include any triple-A teams – all but two of which are in the top 50% of the attendance rankings. So, the list below includes two numbers for rank. “Rank 1” is the rank when all 160 teams are sorted by attendance. “Rank 2” is the rank when you remove the 30 triple-A teams from the list. Note however, attendance still varies greatly across teams and leagues, especially given the fact that the lower the classification, the smaller the ballpark (generally).

I’ll keep digging into the “Elimination List” – so there will be more to come! In the meantime, enjoy the attendance stats below and Happy Stat-urday!

~ baseballrebecca

Rank 1 Rank 2 Team 2019 Total Attendance Home Games Played Average Attendance
57 29 Frederick Keys 263,528 60 4,392
65 37 Lexington Legends 270,221 66 4,094
66 38 Ogden Raptors 146,201 37 3,951
67 39 Rocky Mountain Vibes% 137,294 35 3,923
74 46 Chattanooga Lookouts 228,662 65 3,518
80 52 Erie SeaWolves 215,444 65 3,315
84 56 State College Spikes 119,047 37 3,217
90 63 Lowell Spinners 100,687 33 3,051
91 64 Binghamton Rumble Ponies 182,990 61 3,000
98 68 Idaho Falls Chukars 102,859 37 2,780
100 70 Mahoning Valley Scrappers 98,833 36 2,745
103 73 Billings Mustangs 96,594 37 2,611
107 77 Johnson City Cardinals 80,612 32 2,519
109 79 Quad Cities River Bandits 150,905 61 2,474
110 80 Grand Junction Rockies 88,476 37 2,391
112 82 Lancaster JetHawks 161,595 69 2,342
115 85 Tri-City Dust Devils 87,021 38 2,290
116 86 Vermont Lake Monsters 83,122 37 2,247
119 89 Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 80,833 38 2,127
120 90 Daytona Tortugas 137,570 65 2,116
123 93 Williamsport Crosscutters 64,148 33 1,944
125 95 Connecticut Tigers 66,532 35 1,901
128 98 Staten Island Yankees 66,520 36 1,848
129 99 Clinton LumberKings 121,325 66 1,838
130 100 Jackson Generals 107,131 61 1,756
131 101 West Virginia Power 118,444 68 1,742
133 103 Missoula Osprey 57,076 34 1,679
137 107 Greeneville Reds 43,617 33 1,322
139 109 Great Falls Voyagers 43,920 34 1,292
140 110 Orem Owlz 45,561 37 1,231
141 111 Burlington Royals 40,142 33 1,216
143 113 Batavia MuckDogs 43,118 37 1,165
144 114 Auburn Doubledays 39,381 34 1,158
147 117 Burlington Bees 67,369 64 1,053
151 121 Hagerstown Suns 59,682 65 918
152 122 Danville Braves 30,007 33 909
153 123 Kingsport Mets 29,553 33 896
155 125 Elizabethton Twins 27,569 34 811
156 126 Princeton Rays 24,133 33 731
157 127 Bluefield Blue Jays 20,909 31 674
158 128 Bristol Pirates 18,750 32 586
159 129 Florida Fire Frogs 19,615 60 327

Stat-urday, 9/14/2019


Minor League Baseball has released their attendance figures for the 2019 season, which ended September 2. Overall, MiLB experienced a 2.6% increase in attendance compared to 2018, with 41,504,077 fans attending games.

Since the Eastern League Championship series just ended (sadly, my Baysox did not win), below is a look at their numbers. The Richmond Flying Squirrels led the league with an average attendance of 6,255 per game. Both the Trenton Thunder and Reading Fightin Phils experienced a 4% increase in attendance compared to last year, and the Harrisburg Senators, Bowie Baysox, New Hampshire Fisher Cats, and Binghamton Rumble Ponies all saw declines in attendace. The Rumble Ponies were last in the league in attendance with only 3,000 fans per game, a decline of 16% from 2018.

Team 2019 Attendance 2019 Avg. Attendance 2018 Avg. Attendance Percent Change from 2018
Richmond Flying Squirrels 400,321 6,255 6,198 1%
Hartford Yard Goats 414,946 6,193 6,014 3%
Reading Fightin Phils 398,314 5,945 5,713 4%
Portland Sea Dogs 357,647 5,677 5,676 0%
Trenton Thunder 340,705 5,242 5,019 4%
Akron RubberDucks 340,187 5,077 4,996 2%
NH Fisher Cats 306,511 4,716 5,065 -7%
Altoona Curve 308,464 4,604 4,571 1%
Harrisburg Senators 258,909 3,864 3,988 -3%
Erie SeaWolves 215,444 3,315 3,204 3%
Bowie Baysox 224,686 3,256 3,438 -5%
Binghamton Rumble Ponies 182,990 3,000 3,553 -16%

Happy Stat-urday!

~ baseballrebecca

 

 

 

 

Stat-urday, 8/31/2019


Marlins Park, June 2012

When I was there a few years ago, the Marlins’ had a few more fans.

Last Monday, the Marlins recorded the lowest attendance at an MLB game this season, with just 5,2917 fans in attendance at Marlins Park. They’d set the previous low on April 2 with 5,934. In contrast, their double-A affiliate, the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, saw their highest attendance yet of their three-year existence, with 327,388 fans attending games there this season.

So how do these two teams compare with others? With the minor league season almost over, the Jumbo Shrimp rank second in the Southern League with average attendance of 4,960. The Marlins rank last in the National League (as well as last for all of MLB):

Southern League Team Average Attendance
Birmingham Barons 5,450
Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 4,960
Pensacola Blue Wahoos 4,354
Tennessee Smokies 4,313
Chattanooga Lookouts 3,518
Montgomery Biscuits 3,212
Mississippi Braves 2,471
Biloxi Shuckers 2,331
Jackson Generals 1,736
Mobile BayBears 1,587
National League Team Average Attendance
Dodgers 48,881
Cardinals 42,934
Cubs 38,188
Rockies 37,495
Brewers 35,735
Phillies 34,237
Giants 33,415
Braves 32,471
Mets 31,038
Padres 30,060
Nationals 27,956
Diamondbacks 25,625
Reds 22,733
Pirates 19,310
Marlins 9,841

Just yesterday, Minor League Baseball tweeted that for the 15th consecutive year, they’ve had attendance of 40 million or more. You can find more Minor Leagues attendance stats at milb.com and Major League stats at Baseball Reference.

Happy Stat-urday!

~ baseballrebecca

 

 

 

Stat-urday, 5/18/2019


https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d2/Dodger_Stadium_field_from_upper_deck_2015-10-04.jpgAfter two rain outs in a row in New York this week, I started wondering how the weather has affected games and attendance this year, and stumbled upon an interesting article about MLB attendance being down for the sixth straight year. Last year, they tried to blame it on the weather, but that doesn’t seem to be the case this year.

Below are the stats for this year’s attendance so far, courtesy of Baseball-reference.com. A whopping 18 teams have lower attendance this year than for the same time last year.

What do you think is causing the drop in attendance and what should MLB do about it?

Average Attendance per Game
Miami 9,516
Tampa Bay 14,540
Baltimore 14,972
Cleveland 15,285
Kansas City 15,525
Pittsburgh 15,717
Detroit 16,359
Cincinnati 17,124
Chicago White Sox 17,362
Minnesota 19,151
Oakland 19,541
Toronto 19,841
Seattle 23,066
Arizona 26,560
Washington 26,908
Texas 27,698
New York Mets 28,219
Atlanta 29,457
San Diego 30,454
Houston 31,941
San Francisco 32,669
Colorado 32,919
Milwaukee 33,079
Boston 33,902
Los Angeles Angels 34,866
Chicago Cubs 35,998
Philadelphia 36,130
New York Yankees 39,316
St. Louis 41,449
Los Angeles Dodgers 47,346

Happy Stat-urday!

~ baseballrebecca

 

 

 

Stat-urday, 1/19/2019


File:Flag of Mexico.svgIn the video I posted yesterday, the President of the Mexican Pacific League stated that attendance for the league has tripled – presumably in the nine years since he became league president. Specifically, he stated that attendance has increased from 1.4 million to 3 million fans. There are many different ways to count attendance (such as ticket sales or how many people go through the turnstiles), so I do not question his numbers. However, the stats posted by MiLB.com suggest that attendance has doubled – not tripled. Regardless, that’s not a bad increase in 9 years.

Below are the stats for the league for 2009 through 2018, as collected by MiLB. Note that Los Algondoneros de Guasave were moved to Jalisco and became Los Charros de Jalisco for the 2014 season.

Total Attendance:
Team 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009
Aguilas de Mexicali 393,900 450,238 436,262 392,564 346,236 307,730 241,999 214,238 185,051 177,224
Algondoneros de Guasave 144,677 133,263 174,388 179,982 109,612
Caneros de los Mochis 242,322 198,086 229,068 242,453 227,650 200,131 173,658 187,116 201,765 142,500
Charros de Jalisco 333,035 336,030 294,165 281,903 264,484
Mayos de Navojoa 172,603 203,688 222,478 162,582 173,961 159,535 158,590 93,480 38,960 104,631
Naranjeros de Hermosillo 408,513 405,889 425,514 360,324 373,357 396,068 305,890 233,886 219,180 236,970
Tomateros de Culiacan 503,535 502,356 554,737 579,500 345,024 322,420 295,263 276,007 232,739 218,975
Venados de Mazatlan 346,986 241,214 198,589 245,780 214,137 158,066 260,627 178,143 209,192 245,685
Yaquis de Obregon 271,227 246,827 265,301 259,263 249,650 130,642 162,358 164,398 189,819 203,538
Total: 2,672,121 2,584,328 2,626,114 2,524,369 2,194,499 1,819,269 1,731,648 1,521,656 1,456,688 1,439,135
Average Attendance:
Team 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009
Aguilas de Mexicali 11,936 13,242 12,831 11,546 10,492 9,051 7,118 6,492 5,443 5,212
Algondoneros de Guasave 4,667 3,920 5,129 5,294 3,425
Caneros de los Mochis 7,343 6,003 6,941 7,577 6,696 5,886 5,262 5,670 5,934 4,191
Charros de Jalisco 9,795 9,883 8,914 8,543 7,779
Mayos de Navojoa 5,077 5,991 6,543 5,245 5,436 5,318 4,956 3,015 1,181 3,270
Naranjeros de Hermosillo 12,015 12,300 12,894 10,598 10,981 11,649 8,997 6,879 6,642 6,970
Tomateros de Culiacan 14,810 14,775 16,316 17,044 10,455 9,770 9,227 8,118 6,845 6,636
Venados de Mazatlan 10,843 7,095 5,841 7,448 6,298 4,649 8,145 5,240 6,153 7,226
Yaquis de Obregon 8,219 7,260 8,039 7,625 7,343 3,842 4,775 4,835 5,583 5,986

Happy Stat-urday!

~ baseballrebecca

 

 

Stat-urday, 4/21/2018


Yesterday I wondered how much the weather has really impacted attendance this season. Aside from postponing games, Mother Nature may be only partly be the cause of declines in attendance, which is about 10 percent less than last year. So, what has attendance been this year? ESPN.com reports the following attendance numbers:

2017 Rank  Team  2017 Attendance (full season)  2018 Attendance (as of 4/19/18)
1 LA Dodgers 46,492 46,793
2 St. Louis 42,567 39,052
3 San Francisco 40,785 39,724
4 NY Yankees 39,835 36,589
5 Toronto 39,554 27,490
6 Chicago Cubs 39,500 34,559
7 LA Angels 37,278 38,943
8 Colorado 36,464 32,392
9 Boston 36,020 33,301
10 Milwaukee 31,589 33,287
11 Washington 31,172 26,707
12 Texas 30,960 27,695
13 Atlanta 30,929 28,070
14 NY Mets 30,757 28,735
15 Houston 29,674 37,289
16 Detroit 28,661 19,805
17 Kansas City 27,754 17,646
18 San Diego 26,401 27,631
19 Seattle 26,363 25,636
20 Arizona 26,350 27,211
21 Minnesota 25,640 19,827
22 Cleveland 25,285 16,951
23 Baltimore 25,042 17,899
24 Philadelphia 24,118 28,432
25 Pittsburgh 23,696 13,733
26 Cincinnati 22,677 20,749
27 Chicago White Sox 20,626 15,325
28 Miami 20,395 13,171
29 Oakland 18,446 17,138
30 Tampa Bay 15,670 16,347

Is Mother Nature to Blame?


baseballandsnow_crop_340x234As of Monday, 24 Major Leagues had been postponed because of weather so far this season, as well as numerous Minor League Baseball and college games. A lot has been said about the impact of weather on baseball this season, from the large number of postponed games to questions about how such decisions made. Many have also been left to wonder if weather has impacted stats and attendance, or if some team’s slow starts can be blamed on more than just the weather.

So far, MLB attendance is down by about 10 percent this year. But is Mother Nature really to blame? On April 9, the Baltimore Orioles set the record for their lowest attendance EVER, with just 7,915 fans present. (Yes, there was that April 29, 2015, post-rioting game when no one in attendance, but that doesn’t count.) Of course, we can’t be sure of the cause of that night’s low attendance. it could have been the weather (44 degrees at the start of the game), the day of the week (Monday), or the opponent (Toronto, which traditionally draws smaller crowds to Camden Yards). On the other hand, it could have been the Orioles dismal performance thus far this year or their ongoing reluctance to hire decent pitchers.

Absent a detailed statistical analysis of the correlation between weather and attendance, we can simply take a look at Attendance this season. So far this year, the Dodgers, Giants, Cardinals, Angels, and Astros are leading in average attendance per game, averaging between 37,000 and more than 46,000 tickets sold. The Marlins, Pirates, White Sox, Rays, and Indians A’s are at the bottom of the attendance rankings, ranging from 13,000 fans per game to just under 17,000. For some of those teams, I seriously doubt weather has anything to do with either their attendance numbers.

So, maybe we need to stop blaming Mother Nature. Maybe we need to question MLB’s owners, GMs, managers, players, and fans. Or maybe it’s a larger societal issue. More research is needed. Any thoughts?

Happy Earth Day!

~ baseballrebecca

Gnome Quest


Bowie Baysox Manny Machado Garden Gnome GiveawayI’ve written previously about Bobble Mania and my Bobble Quests.  Recently, however, minor league teams have added a new one: The Gnome Quest.  This evening, the Bowie Baysox had a Manny Machado gnome giveaway for the first 1,000 fans.  From the line outside the stadium more than an hour before the game started, it would appear it was a hit. (Yes, I was in that line.)Line outside the stadium waiting to get Manny Machado Garden Gnomes

I’m sure one reason Manny the Gnome was so popular is that fans LOVE Manny the Ballplayer.  For years we’ve been counting on him to be the future of the Orioles, the “shortstop of the future.”  We like to compare him to Brooks Robinson and Cal Ripken.

It’s not surprising, then, that we like to collect all things Manny.  This year alone, the Baysox have had three Manny-related giveaways:  the Manny Machado bobblehead, the Manny Machado t-shirt, and, now, the Manny Machado Garden Gnome.

Not only do baseball fans love giveaways, we love Machado giveaways.  I think this video from the Bowie Baysox pretty much proves it:

Happy collecting!

~ baseballrebecca

Attendance This Season … So Far


AutoZone ParkLast month, a few folks sounded the alarm about declining MLB attendance this year.  One commentator attributed it mostly to rising ticket prices, while another blamed it on a combination of digital services, the slowness of the game, and other things.  Others offered a variety of explanations from team performance to the weather.

Of course, the hype has died down a bit, and now that its July we have better attendance data to analyze.  In fact, click here to check out a nifty table from Baseball-Reference.com  that provides practically up-to-the minute attendance stats.   It shows that 10 of the 30 MLB teams are enjoying increases in attendance:  Toronto, Washington, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Oakland, Atlanta, Colorado, San Diego, and St. Louis.  Seven of these are also in the top 12 for number of runs scored.  However, not all first place teams have experiCamden Yards during the 2012 playoffsenced increases in attendance.  Boston, for example, has had 171,275 fewer people in the stands so far this year.

Of course, we’ll have to see how the rest of the season plays out, but the discussion is basically a sociological one:  what are the factors, human, social, and environmental, that can impact overall attendance?  This has, in fact, been studied by some sociologists and economists.  (For example, Baade and Tiehen in the Journal of Sport and Social Issues a while back, or more recent studies on minor league baseball attendance from Google Scholar.)   However, there seems to be little consensus on which variables to test and which methods to use.

However, if you’re concerned about this issue, I think the best way to address it is to go out and see a game!

~ baseballrebecca

Baseball Attendance


Just a couple of weeks ago, the papers were criticizing Orioles fans for not coming out and supporting the team.  Seems everyone thought attendance at O’s games just wasn’t good enough.  One writer looked at attendance on a Tuesday night after school had started and was horrified that it was worse than “the lowest crowd in Minute Maid Park.”  They apparently overlooked the fact that O’s fans have been suffering for a very long time yet have still remained loyal. How dare they judge us so quickly!  Besides, isn’t there more to attendance than just having a good – or rather, surprisingly amazing – season? 

One of the first attempts at understanding the determinants of attendance was made by Baade and Tiehen in 1990.  They came up with a complicated-looking equation to see if things like the city’s population and per capita income, stadium age, ticket prices, number of star players on the team, number of other professional teams in town, and a few more things would determine attendance.   After analyzing the data a number of ways, the authors concluded that things like the previous year’s attendance, the presence of other teams, and the number of stars on the team all had an impact on attendance.

Of course, studies like these look at attendance after the fact.  They do not take into account events within the season that can affect the team.   Since that 1990 study, there have been other attempts at figuring out just what determines attendance.  Generally, however, those studies look at baseball as a whole.  Sure, they account for population size and other sociological-type stuff.  But how many individual factors do they include?

How about percentage of jobs lost or gained since last season – or since the team last had a winning season?  What about age of fans – I still think that back-to-school means fewer folks attending.  What about the fact that the Nats are in first place?  What about the number games televised and cost of cable TV?  I think there’s a lot more that goes into attendance and fan loyalty that just what a few numbers, or writers, have to say about it.  What do you think accounts for attendance, or the lack thereof?

~ baseballrebecca