Daily Notes: Attendance Ranks Relative to Capacity

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Daily Notes.

1. Table: Average Per-Game Attendance Relative to Capacity
2. Today’s Notable Games (Including MLB.TV Free Game)
3. Today’s Complete Schedule

Table: Average Per-Game Attendance Relative to Capacity
Note: it has come to the attention of the author, who is an avowed moron, not only that (a) average attendance as a percentage of capacity is available all day and all night at ESPN, but also that (b) Wendy Thurm discussed the concept last week in these very effing pages.

Regarding an Observation the Author Has Made
The author has observed that, while the absolute attendance — which is to say, the raw total — of fans at a baseball game exerts some influence over one’s experience of same, that, just as important to that experience, is the total attendance of a game relative to stadium capacity.

An Example Concerning Attendance Relative to Capacity
For some time, between 2008 and -10, the author attended a number of Portland Beavers games, then the Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres. While the Beavers’ home field, PGE park, had a capacity of something like 18,000, the Beavers — especially during Portland’s generally unpleasant spring nights — frequently only had attendance totals of two or three thousand. The effect was to make the games seem less urgent or immediate somehow.

A Second Example Concerning Attendance Relative to Capacity
More recently, the author has attended a number of games at Madison’s Warner Park, home of the Northwoods League’s Madison Mallards. The park has a listed capacity of ca. 7,500 and averages over 6,000 fans a per game. More than the overall attendance it is the absence of empty seats at Mallards game that compels the author to feel as though he’s at a proper event.

A Question the Author Asked
The author asked himself a question very similar to this one — namely, “Which major-league clubs feature the greatest average attendance as measured by a percentage of stadium capacity?”

How the Author Answered That Question
To answer that question, the author found both (a) the average per-game attendances of all 30 major-league clubs (at Baseball Reference) and (b) the usual seating capacity for those same clubs (via Wikipedia). He (read: I) then calculated each team’s average attendance as a percentage of its home field’s capacity.

Two Things the Author Understands
The author understands both that (a) some stadia have different capacities for different events and also that (b) maybe Wikipedia’s data regarding stadium capacity isn’t without flaw.

Regarding How the Author Has Controlled for Those Things
The author hasn’t attempted, at all, to control for those things.

Results: Per-Game Attendance Relative to Capacity
Here are, in a very sortable table, each major-league team’s attendances, expressed as a percentage of each home park’s capacity:


Tm Att/G Cap % of Cap
Philadelphia 44,269 43,651 101.4%
Boston 37,597 37,495 100.3%
San Francisco 41,749 41,915 99.6%
St. Louis 40,709 43,975 92.6%
Detroit 38,101 41,255 92.4%
Chicago NL 36,343 41,009 88.6%
Minnesota 34,988 39,504 88.6%
Texas 42,592 48,194 88.4%
New York AL 43,817 50,291 87.1%
Milwaukee 34,880 41,900 83.2%
LA AL 37,676 45,957 82.0%
Miami 27,799 36,742 75.7%
LA NL 41,273 56,000 73.7%
Washington 29,770 41,487 71.8%
Cincinnati 29,686 42,319 70.1%
Pittsburgh 26,341 38,362 68.7%
New York NL 28,577 41,922 68.2%
Colorado 32,944 50,398 65.4%
San Diego 25,965 42,691 60.8%
Chicago AL 24,502 40,615 60.3%
Atlanta 29,429 49,586 59.3%
Tampa Bay 20,057 34,078 58.9%
Oakland 20,416 35,067 58.2%
Kansas City 21,952 37,903 57.9%
Arizona 26,938 48,633 55.4%
Toronto 27,243 49,260 55.3%
Baltimore 24,549 45,971 53.4%
Houston 20,605 40,981 50.3%
Cleveland 20,539 43,429 47.3%
Seattle 22,437 47,860 46.9%

Today’s Notable Games
New York NL at St. Louis | 13:45 ET
For the third consecutive game, the Mets send out a Pitcher of Note (R.A. Dickey: 191.1 IP, 82 xFIP-, 4.3 WAR) against the Cardinals. Since that first game, however, St. Louis’s playoff odds have increased from 58.6% to 71.4%, according to Cool Standings.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: St. Louis Radio (because the Mets feed doesn’t appear to utilize Busch Stadium’s straight-on center-field camera).

Los Angeles AL at Oakland | 15:35 ET ***MLB.TV Free Game***
Stephen Drew Status Update (as an Oaklander): 56 PA, 12.5% BB, 14.3% K, .250/.339/.375 (.320 BABIP), 103 wRC+, 0.2 WAR.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Oakland Radio.

Today’s Complete Schedule
Here’s the complete schedule for all of today’s games, with our very proprietary watchability (NERD) scores for each one. Pitching probables and game times aggregated from MLB.com and RotoWire. The average NERD Game Score for today is 4.1.

Note: the following Game Scores include the poorly conceived playoff-odds adjustment discussed in a recent edition of Daily Notes. Also note: the following table is entirely sortable.


Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Roy Halladay PHI 8 5 5 5 7 CIN Mike Leake 12:35
R.A. Dickey NYN 10 2 8 9 9 STL Ad. Wainwright 13:45
P.J. Walters MIN 2 5 3 4 5 CHA Jake Peavy 14:10
Dan Haren LAA 5 8 5 6 4 OAK Brand. McCarthy 15:35
Chris Volstad CHN 4 2 4 6 8 WAS Gio Gonzalez 19:05
Ubaldo Jimenez CLE 2 2 4 4 7 DET Doug Fister 19:05
Fernando Abad HOU 4 4 2 4 2 PIT Kevin Correia 19:05
Miguel Gonzalez BAL 3 2 4 5 6 TOR Brand. Morrow 19:07
Alex White COL 4 8 3 7 3 ATL Mike Minor 19:10
Wily Peralta* MIL 15 3 6 3 4 MIA Nathan Eovaldi 19:10
Hiroki Kuroda NYA 6 6 6 5 7 TB Matt Moore 19:10
Ryan Dempster TEX 6 8 3 7 1 KC Everett Teaford 20:10
Aaron Cook BOS 2 5 1 4 3 SEA Kevin Millwood 22:10
Clayton Richard SD 4 6 3 1 1 LAN Aaron Harang 22:10
Trevor Cahill AZ 5 6 5 3 9 SF Mad. Bumgarner 22:15

To learn more about Pitcher and Team NERD scores click here.
To learn how Game NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
* = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD at discretion of very handsome author.




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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.

19 Responses to “Daily Notes: Attendance Ranks Relative to Capacity”

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  1. Justin says:

    Wily Peralta a 15, interesting.

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  2. TKDC says:

    Oakland stadium includes (admittedly bad) seats that are closed off because they have no reason to be open, but it still makes the stadium look very non-full.

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    • Jack says:

      The coliseum could theoretically seat 60,000 if all the A’s fans brought 5,000 friends. Under their current attendance, the stadium, on average is 34% capacity.

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      • baycommuter says:

        That’s one of two reasons why tarping off the extra seats was a good idea. The place does feel full on the rare occasions when they fill the 35,000 for the Yankees, Giants or fireworks. (The other reason it’s a good idea is that the concourses and concessions stands can’t handle larger crowds and make it a miserable experience.)

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  3. Mr Punch says:

    Regarding how it feels to attend a game, it’s important to note that newer ballparks are roomier than older ones built when (a) fans’ expectations were lower, (b) fans’ bottoms were smaller, and (c) sellouts were much rarer. I’ve been to sellout games in Boston and San Francisco this year; Fenway felt jam-packed while AT&T Park did not. Jam-packed is more exciting, but a lot less comfortable.

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  4. Big Jgke says:

    SkyDome never had a chance in these rankings. The last of the 50,000+ baseball mega-stadiums, by the time it was built, its time had already passed.

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    • deflated says:

      You may wish to compare the Toronto figures (stadium completed 1989) with the Colorado figures (stadium completed 1995) and revise your statement.

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      • Big Jgke says:

        Funny, i think of Colorado, because it’s outdoors and seems like a place with the baseball consumer in mind as a stadium that is of a completely different stadium building philosophy than the SkyDome. I didn’t realize that Coors was so big.

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    • Anon21 says:

      Turner Field is almost exactly 50,000, and it was built in ’97. Braves have a really terrible time filling it, except when the Yankees show up.

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  5. Danny says:

    What’s the difference between the Cubs and White Sox? The Sox are clearly a better team, but are averaging 10,000 less per game. Does this have to do with the park itself? The legacy? Location? Prices?

    Chicagoeons?

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    • Jack says:

      Cubs fans are generally wealthier and Wrigley is in a much better part of town. People with disposable income tend to live in North Chicago, or along the Northern Lakeshore suburbs up into Kenosha, WI, while the working and lower classes live in the south side, or across the border in the Gary, IN area, in the White Sox territory.

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      • Dr_Caligari says:

        And, even in areas where it is mostly lower class and on the southern side, we still are majority Cubs fans. Noone actually likes the White Sox. The people who go just got free tickets, or needed somewhere to dump their trash. Honestly, if you watch a game at home, there is always a steady stream of trash and trash-bags rolling across the field.

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  6. Matthias says:

    Regarding two-dollar beer nights at PGE:

    Those were the days. If you could tolerate Miller Lite.

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  7. Daniel says:

    Shouldn’t it somehow be weighted towards teams with higher capacity? Sure, MInnesota has a higher percentage of attendants than the Rangers and Yankees, but that’s because it’s a whole lot harder to sell out a 45000+ stadium than target field. I understand how there is also a problem with raw attendance as teams like Boston who are sold out everyday are excluded from the top because of a very small stadium…but there should be some middle ground. Any ideas on how to do that?

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  8. fergie348 says:

    Now how are we establishing attendance? Is it based upon ticket sales or upon turnstile measurements? If the former, I can tell you for a fact that the values are waaay off. If there’s a published source of data for turnstile measurement, I’d like to know where it is.

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