Major League Baseball’s attendance problem is not going away, as a significant dip in 2018 has endured into the new season – even with better weather and a boost from some big-name stars on the move.
As the game’s worst part of the calendar comes to a close, 12 of 30 teams will draw fewer fans in March-April than they did in a similar period last year – with seven of those teams seeing double-digit percentage dips, led by the Toronto Blue Jays’ 33% drop-off, according to research by USA TODAY Sports.
Perhaps more alarmingly, 15 teams saw a decrease in their worst March-April gate, which can serve as a relatively informed snapshot of a club’s season-ticket base. Twelve teams’ worst gate was 11,000 or less, with four teams – Pittsburgh (8,523), Cincinnati (7,799), Baltimore (6,585) and Miami (5,934) sporting a base of less than 10,000.
Overall, the average major league team’s average March-April crowd is virtually flat – 26,560, compared to 26,859, a drop of less than 1%.