Sorry ’bout the lack of an OT today. Not much worth commenting about, it turns out.
More than 44,000 fans showed up on a soggy Independence Day 30 years ago to watch a 5th place team play the Mets.
Last night, the Braves could attract only 34,000-plus to The Ted. You have to go back to 1988, when July 4th fell on a Monday, to find a smaller home holiday crowd. And that team was historically bad.
Saturday’s relatively small crowd is no outlier.
Last season, a two-game, weekday series against the Red Sox drew approximately 86,000. This year’s two-gamer against Boston attracted roughly 23,000 fewer fans.
The only NL teams with a worse per-game average than the Bravos this year? Miami and Philly. Atlanta’s 25,058 average is down 4,302, from 2014, the steepest decline in the majors. And it’s likely to keep dropping; a little more than 18,000 turned out to watch the series finale with the Phils — the only game on Sunday to draw less than than 20,000.
The Braves are on pace to reach 2 million — barely. But, with school starting back in a month and the gap with the Nats widening, I doubt they get there. That hasn’t happened since 1990, when then the Braves failed to attract even one million fans.
I think the move to Cobb is a bigger factor than the Braves will admit, but low expectations probably have more to do with the apathy. Although the Bravos have overachieved, the fan base remains unconvinced they’re a contender.
The drop would probably not be as pronounced if the Braves lowered prices on tickets and concessions. Crappy promotions aren’t much of a lure, but the unimaginative marketing department knows no other way.