Braves attendance tough to figure

The Braves drew the smallest crowd of any home team Sunday, and that’s saying something because the Rays were playing at the Trop. Also-rans Kansas City and Seattle attracted more fans than the streaking Braves, who won their 7th in a row before just 23,382.

This comes after the local nine failed to sell out their July 4th contest against the Cubs and attracted a capacity crowd in just one of the three games vs. the Yankees.

Despite that, attendance is actually up 132,697 from this same point last year, for an average of 29,968 per game, according to Baseball Reference.

It just doesn’t feel like it.

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11 Comments on Braves attendance tough to figure

  1. Wow… and Sunday was the kind of game I would’ve certainly gone to if I had the means to do so…

  2. Sharon Egan // July 16, 2012 at 12:34 pm //

    I make my share of home games, but if the Bravos go 6-4 or even 5-5 in the 10 games immediately after this streak ends, rather than 2-8, I’ll start to become a believer. Just don’t relinquish the ground they’ve been gaining.

  3. charlesad // July 16, 2012 at 12:35 pm //

    Day games in the middle of the Atlanta summer never draw as well as night games. It’s easy to see why. I know it’s hot in other places, but Texas is one of few ML cities hotter than Atlanta and they play almost no day games.

  4. Good point Charles; I very rarely attend any daytime games between May and August just because it’s too damn hot to bake in the sun for 3+ hours.

    I can see that the attendance would be slightly up though – some of the midweek games seem to be drawing better lately, especially with Washington getting better. Used to, a midweek series against Florida or Washington would draw maybe 15,000/game. But now, with the division improving, people are more likely to want to watch us lose to the Nats.

  5. Jack Straw // July 16, 2012 at 4:12 pm //

    It really has been hot, even at night. Hot, humid, sticky and miserable many nights. I am surprised attendance is up at all. A combination of Chipper’s farewell song and a really interesting team.

  6. Greenville Braves // July 17, 2012 at 12:43 pm //

    We come from South Carolina for four or five games a season. In general, we try to do day games in the spring and late summer/early fall, but avoid them in the heart of season, opting for the evenings. It’s one thing to sweat your ass off in 90 degrees and high humidity at 7:05 PM; it’s a whole other animal to sweat your ass off in high humidity with the mercury pushing 100+ at 1:05 PM.

    One a related note, I wonder what a rough ratio of Braves fans in Atlanta would be to Braves fans outside Atlanta? There’s probably know way to actually figure that. Growing up in the 90s I remember the city being very much a baseball town (though that perspective might have been skewed by the fact that the only time we went to Atlanta was for a game), but I wonder if that’s changed some with the influx of northerners, et al. with their respective allegiances to some northeastern team that the likes of ESPN slobbers over on a regular basis?

  7. charlesad // July 17, 2012 at 2:02 pm //

    Greenville, that’s an interesting question about the regional vs. local following. I grew up in south Alabama as a Braves fan, and I’ve lived in Atlanta since 1986. There are tons of fans of other teams living here, no doubt. On the other hand, there’s no reason there should be fewer Braves fans in metro Atlanta now than there were in the early and mid ’90s when they were selling out FulCo every night. We’ve been over the topic a million times, but the truth is as a pro sports town, Atlanta overall is a front-running trend hopper. Even though metro Atlanta has twice the population now vs. the early ’90s, the Braves draw worse because they are not the cuddly upstart that bolted out of the blue. They are not trendy locally and have not been for years. Hell, these days half the bars you’d walk into in Atlanta tonight probably would not even have the Braves game on TV.

    There are plenty of people who follow the team here and never go to games, and as you say the following remains strong around the South. That’s who the “Braves Country” marketing campaign targets. Of course, there are all sorts of factors affecting attendance here and elsewhere. It’s an interesting topic, but one that I’ve frankly gotten a little tired of discussing. I attend a lot of games and watch virtually all of them. I enjoy it and I’m past the point of being bothered that the crowds might be smaller than I think they should be. I wish the Braves sold out every night so they’d have more money to pay star players. But it’d be harder to go to games on the spur of the moment and get decent seats.

  8. pepefreeus // July 17, 2012 at 4:10 pm //

    You’re definitely right about the regional aspect. In fact, they still have a national following (as demonstrated every time they go to Houston or Phoenix.)

    Here on the fringe between the region and it’s border with the wider nation, there are a lot of Braves fans. Some of this is due to the proximity of two minor league affiliates but a lot of it is leftover from the TBS years, as well.

    And CD’s right: fuck em ‘em if they don’t get it.

  9. I guess it seems like the Braves were optimistic in hindsight when deciding how much of the Olympic Stadium to keep around for Turner Field. With the exception of new Yankee Stadium, no stadium built since 2000 can hold more than 47,000 or so. The new Marlins Park is something like 37K right? If we’d gotten the Olympics in 2000 instead of 1996 I presume they would have made the stadium more intimate. That wouldn’t have helped total attendance numbers obviously but would have resulted in a few more sellouts and the perception that Braves fans ya know … care.

  10. charlesad // July 18, 2012 at 6:14 pm //

    Excellent point, Brad. The best thing the organization could do to the park is to remove about 5,0000 seats. It’d improve the atmosphere a lot.

  11. charlesad // July 18, 2012 at 6:15 pm //

    Won’t happen. It’d be expensive to take down part of the upper deck.

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