MLB Attendance Decline: They’re missing the boat badly on this one

MLB attendance -all those empty seats

MLB attendance persists in its decline while overall profits continue to soar. There’s something the suits at MLB are missing, though, and it lies at “the ole ballgame.”

Updated – 3/2/2020 – MLB Listen Up!

This article is generating widespread interest and comments from baseball fans across America. Pay attention Commissioner Manfred – The People Speak Here

MLB attendance in most venues is either at a standstill or in a state of continual decline. But you’ll notice there is not a single team complaining. And that’s because their bottom is still getting better, albeit in varying degrees.

New York Mets Fans - The Faithful Photo Credit: The Daily Stache
New York Mets Fans – The Faithful Photo Credit: The Daily Stache

But MLB is off the mark in thinking that lucrative TV contracts, which all teams now have, cannot replace.

What’s the difference do you suppose when Dad says to the wife and kids, “Hey, the Yankees are on tonight. How about we watch the game together?”

And – “Hey guys, I bought four tickets for the game tonight. Grab your stuff because we’re on our way to see the Yankees and Red Sox at Yankee Stadium tonight.”

MLB Attendance Proportional To Family Expense

It’s not as clean as that, however, because according to, that little outing is going to set the family back by (conservatively) $300 in the monthly budget.

$3.50 doesn't even buy a bottle of water today
$3.50 doesn’t even buy a bottle of water today

If it was only that much and not the extravagance of a dad who says let me treat the family to something exceptional and beyond the average for a non-premium ticket (at $47.62), choosing to go premium for a Yankees game, he’ll pay close to $350, on average — the highest in the majors.

The salient point to the suits at MLB and individual owners around the league should be that MLB attendance is directly proportional to the entertainment costs associated with a family of four wanting to do something (together!) on a Friday night.

Why make an effort to watch “the real thing” at a major league venue if other sources of entertainment are available at a lesser cost? A movie, miniature golf, a local playhouse, or just a $5 DVD rental with a boatload of self-made popcorn – the choices are endless.

MLB: Open The Gates – Let Tomorrow’s Fans In

Consider this, however. According to the New York Times, “the Yankees decline in MLB attendance since the new Stadium opened in 2009 represent a 42 percent loss in ticket and suite revenues over the last seven seasons”.

More current numbers are not available, but over the years, the trend is apparent.

Now, here’s where we are going with this.

If the Yankees, and I’m assuming any other ballclub if they took the same approach, were to make a marked attempt to fill the ballpark every night on the schedule, the team’s 3.3 million in 2019 would soar to 4.3 million with capacity crowds at Yankee Stadium.

Using the same data from above, Attendance Revenue increases by 30%. What’s wrong with that? Nothing, except most teams, and indeed the Yankees don’t need it, given all the other profit-making sources at their disposal.

MLB Casual Fans (Photo:
MLB Casual Fans (Photo:

And yet, baseball fans of the future are built from attending a game, seeking an autograph, scrambling for a foul ball, seeing their favorite player “up close,” sharing a hot dog with Dad, and driving home asleep with a new cap and yearbook.

Attendance is relative to costs, whether it be an individual like myself or a family of four. I used to think nothing of hopping in the car to drive down to the Stadium – now I’m lucky if I can afford to go to a single game a year.

MLB Speaks With Forked Tongue

MLB speaks with a forked tongue when they insist they are doing everything they can to “grow the game” to capture the attention of the next generation of fans.

It’s a bald-faced lie. They’ve covered up all the ways to “sneak into” a game or peer through the holes in the exterior of ballparks kids of old used to invent to watch a game.

They don’t even try anymore, and that is a sad statement about major league baseball today, whether or not the suits at MLB care to hear it.

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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.