Attendance Since 2000
Friday, February 24 2012 @ 12:39 AM EST
Contributed by: John Northey
In the past 12 years the Jays have been, well, kind of trapped. 6 years of 3rd place, 1 in 2nd, 1 in 5th, and now 4 straight years of 4th place. During this time attendance has been as mediocre as the team. But when do those fans come out? What does it take to get a crowd? Would it be smart for the Jays to spend millions on stars to push them over 90 wins, push for a move to the AL Central (easier competition) or (financially) is it best to stick as is with the Yankees & Red Sox and perpetual 3rd/4th place finishes.
We will need a few charts here to summarize the raw data (973 home games, 23,470,473 in attendance, 24,122 on average).
Within 2 games of 1st place (ie: serious contention)
Within 5 games of 1st place (ie: in eyeshot)
|Spot in standings||Games||Attendance||Avg|
|Day of Week||Games||Attendance||Avg|
Overall per Month
A few surprises there. The Jays do the best for attendance when they are in LAST PLACE (!) with 6 more fans per game than when they are in first. Boy does that put the 'win and they will come' down the list a lot. Now, part of that is due to them being in first mainly in April, sometimes in May, and every few years in June/July which is the time frame the crowds start to show up and last place becomes a sad possibility while August never sees the Jays in 1st and that is the biggest crowd time.
Days of the week are about what one would expect, with weekends peaking and Wednesday being the hardest day to draw the fans.
But teams they play against? Wooboy do we see an effect. Yankees are easily the biggest draw at 32,513 while the Angels are the worst at 20,862 (Pirates and a few other NL'ers are lower but with sub-10 games it is hard to put much weight on it). The divisional story clearly shows the east is where it is at for the Jays. Either the NL or AL East are the only places Rogers will want to be. However, the NL East figures are biased due to the games against the Phillies (the Jays designated rival) and to a lesser degree the Expos (who no longer exist). Basically the NL East would be like the AL East in the end though - 2 teams that draw fans (Mets & Phillies) and 3 who draw flies (Washington, Atlanta, and Florida). I guess Rogers would like a super-division with Boston, NYY, NYM, and the Phillies - playoffs would be next to impossible but good crowds would be here for most games.
Clearly for attendance purposes there are 3 things that matter - summer games, weekend games and the Yankees. Everything else is secondary. However, I still suspect that a team that is winning in September would up that attendance significantly. Lets hope the Jays create the opportunity to either prove me right or wrong.