August 16, 2014

Why we shouldn’t be surprised by the Indians attendance

progressive field

No matter what, it’s disappointing.

That’s a fair statement for any diehard fan of a competing team like the 2013 Cleveland Indians.

You see, these Indians aren’t like the contending teams of the ‘90s for one obvious, over-reported and obnoxious fact: Attendance. This season, through Thursday’s games, Cleveland ranked 28th in the sport with an average number of 19,037 paid fans per opening.

Obviously, this is a deep and exciting baseball team peaking at the right moment and in the thick in the American League playoff race. Heck, they just swept an entire weeklong home stand.

Yet in digging through historical Cleveland Indians attendance and using it side-by-side with existing research on Major League Baseball attendance, this season’s disappointing fan support really shouldn’t be all that shocking.

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Discussion of Updating Progressive Field as Attendance Woes Continue

A month into the season, the Cleveland Indians are ranked dead last in average attendance – 30th out of a possible 30 teams with an average attendance of 15,197.  It is startling to see them listed behind clubs such as Oakland, Florida, Pittsburgh, and Washington.  Only Toronto has a lower average percentage of capacity at 30%, with the Tribe  averaging 35% capacity.  The Indians have only played 9 home games so far, tied for the fewest in MLB, and had a fairly decent April, weather-wise, when they were in town.  It is unlikely they will hold in 30th position throughout the season with current figures based on such a small sample size.  In the second game of the season against Texas, however, the Tribe set a single-game attendance record low in the 16 year history of Jacobs/Progressive field with an announced figure of 10,071.  In addition to Cleveland, Toronto, Washington, and Baltimore have also set single-game ballpark record lows.

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