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Articles Tagged Attendance 

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09-17

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1

The BP Wayback Machine: The Tiger Plan
by
Nate Silver

10-08

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10

Bizball: Inside 2012 MLB Attendance, Plus Postseason TV Ratings Update
by
Maury Brown

09-05

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2

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 35: Is Coors Field to Blame for the Rockies' Struggles?/Are Fans at Fault When Teams Don't Draw?
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

04-23

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18

Bizball: 12 Detailed Looks At Early MLB Attendance
by
Maury Brown

04-19

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26

The Payoff Pitch: Plenty of Good Seats Still Available
by
Neil deMause

04-05

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1

The BP Wayback Machine: Snowbound Schedule
by
Nate Silver

03-01

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8

The BP Wayback Machine: Wild Card: A Fairy Tale
by
Nate Silver

07-27

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37

Ahead in the Count: Aces and Attendance
by
Matt Swartz

06-07

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88

Prospectus Idol Entry: A Tale of Two Teams: The Attendance Game
by
Tim Kniker

04-29

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0

Blazing the O'Malley Trail
by
Gary Gillette

05-17

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1

Lies, Damned Lies: Moving the Marlins
by
Nate Silver

05-04

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0

Lies, Damned Lies: Defining a Market, Part Two
by
Nate Silver

05-03

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0

Lies, Damned Lies: Defining a Market, Part One
by
Nate Silver

04-25

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0

The Big Picture: If You Win, They Will Come
by
David Pinto

04-18

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The Big Picture
by
David Pinto

04-13

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0

Lies, Damned Lies: Snowbound Schedule
by
Nate Silver

08-07

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The Ledger Domain: Mid-Atlantic Tango: Looking at the Orioles and Nationals Attendance
by
Maury Brown

09-17

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0

Lies, Damned Lies: Wild Card: A Fairy Tale
by
Nate Silver

09-10

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Lies, Damned Lies: Loopy in the Loop
by
Nate Silver

06-18

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Lies, Damned Lies: Bounces
by
Nate Silver

01-28

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Prospectus Feature: Expanding the Playoffs
by
Jeff Bower

09-18

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0

The Daily Prospectus: Bud and Carl: Visionaries?
by
Gary Huckabay

06-04

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From The Mailbag: Stadia, Transactions Fun, and Ben Davis
by
Baseball Prospectus

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A wild-eyed attempt to arrive at a specific market size for every major-league team.

Are you ready for some geography?

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April 25, 2007 12:00 am

The Big Picture: If You Win, They Will Come

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David Pinto

The volatility introduced into the game in the thirty years since the advent of free agency has resulted in increased attendance throughout major league baseball.

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April 18, 2007 12:00 am

The Big Picture

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David Pinto

David addresses some reader feedback about why attendance has increased.

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April 13, 2007 12:00 am

Lies, Damned Lies: Snowbound Schedule

0

Nate Silver

Nate tries to quantify the trade-off in scheduling cold weather games.

Let’s face it: we live in a society that is reactive rather than proactive. In spite of years of warning to the contrary, it took a storm of epic proportions to make us recognize that New Orleans was a disaster waiting to happen. Airport security seems preoccupied with the question of what the terrorists thought of last time, rather than what they’re going to think of next. Less importantly but closer to home, it was only when the All-Star game ended in a tie that we came to recognize that such an outcome was probably inevitable until the rules of the contest were revised.

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Maury looks at the attendance data for both the Orioles and Nationals to see if there was anything to Peter Angelos' fears.

It's Brooks and Frank. It's Hondo and Short and the Griffiths. It's Camden Yards and the relocation of the Expos. In the case of one club, it's the admiration of fans that still cling to the greatness of its past, while the other tries to reconcile with a past that was, for the most part, horrid, while trying to forge a new identity. It's the Orioles and the Senators and now, the Nationals. The obsession has been daily for almost 6 years, and there seems to be no indication that it'll change.

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September 17, 2003 12:00 am

Lies, Damned Lies: Wild Card: A Fairy Tale

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Nate Silver

Once upon a time, a long time ago, September was a cruel month for baseball. The weather dampened, the children went back to school, the nation's attention turned to the Second-Best Sport, and many teams soldiered on with only pride and the next season's paycheck to play for. Year after year, attendance slumped badly, with nothing to bridge the gap between the long, baseball-and-B-B-Q evenings of summer, and the crackling drama of the post-season. It was, like the moment just after intimacy, a time of unspeakable melancholy. Then, one day, the Commissioner made the Wild Card. The Commissioner was a wise man, and he knew that the self-styled defenders of tradition would not like his creation. But they had complained about westward expansion and night baseball and the Designated Hitter and too many other things to count, and every time they had come back, first to queue in line when the gates opened in spring. Tradition wasn't marketable anyway, not in the way that a tense battle for fourth place between the Marlins and the Phillies was. The Wild Card, in fact, was a remarkable success. The Commissioner, never known for his fondness for crowds, became omnipresent in those Septembers, maintaining a furious itinerary, shaking hands with awestruck fans at every ballpark from Yawkey Way to Elysian Fields. The Commissioner took no credit for the Wild Card; he had created it, after all, in the Best Interest of Baseball, and what reward did a man deserve for the mere execution of his duty? It was, he said, remarkable only that it had not been thought of earlier, but that was the hallmark of all great inventions, like post-it notes and garage door openers. And they lived happily ever after.

Then, one day, the Commissioner made the Wild Card. The Commissioner was a wise man, and he knew that the self-styled defenders of tradition would not like his creation. But they had complained about westward expansion and night baseball and the Designated Hitter and too many other things to count, and every time they had come back, first to queue in line when the gates opened in spring. Tradition wasn't marketable anyway, not in the way that a tense battle for fourth place between the Marlins and the Phillies was.

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September 10, 2003 12:00 am

Lies, Damned Lies: Loopy in the Loop

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Nate Silver

It is an awfully good time to be a baseball fan in Chicago, with teams on both sides of town good bets to reach the post-season, something that hasn't happened since the Cubs and Sox met in the World Series of Base Ball in 1906. In their honor, let's take look at the dynamics of the two-team market in Chicago. It's a well-established fact that teams that have a rival in their own market compete for scarce resources like television and radio contracts, media exposure, and fan loyalty. For those reasons, it's safe to assume that a club in a two-team market will not make as much money, or draw as many fans, as if it had the market all to itself. But we want to get at a somewhat more specific question here: How much does the success or failure (as opposed to the mere presence) of the crosstown rival affect the success of the other club?

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June 18, 2003 12:00 am

Lies, Damned Lies: Bounces

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Nate Silver

Baseball is full of bounces, and not just the path of a Jacque Jones double as it skips across the Metrodome turf (or a Carlos Martinez homer as it skips off Jose Canseco's head). Rather, teams can expect a bounce in attendance when they move into a new facility, facilitating a higher payroll, a more competitive club, and ultimately, it is hoped, a couple of pennants to hang on the outfield wall. Or at least, once upon a time, they could have. The standing-room-only precedent established in places like Toronto and Baltimore and Cleveland no longer seems to hold. Attendance in Detroit, Milwaukee, and Pittsburgh has already regressed to the levels those teams had grown accustomed to prior to the opening of their new stadiums. Attendance in Cincinnati is up, but only barely--and this with reasonable ticket prices and a fun team on the field. Nobody expects the honeymoon to last forever, but the reinvigorated relationships between ballpark and city that the new stadiums were supposed to engender have lasted shorter than a Liz Taylor nuptial. Since the debut of SkyDome in 1989, 13 of the 26 teams in existence at that time have opened new parks. Two more will open new facilities next year. It has been the longest sustained period of new stadium construction in baseball history. Call them mallparks or, as I prefer, Retroplexes. Either way, there's plenty of evidence that the ball isn't bouncing quite as highly these days.

Or at least, once upon a time, they could have. The standing-room-only precedent established in places like Toronto and Baltimore and Cleveland no longer seems to hold. Attendance in Detroit, Milwaukee, and Pittsburgh has already regressed to the levels those teams had grown accustomed to prior to the opening of their new stadiums. Attendance in Cincinnati is up, but only barely--and this with reasonable ticket prices and a fun team on the field. Nobody expects the honeymoon to last forever, but the reinvigorated relationships between ballpark and city that the new stadiums were supposed to engender have lasted shorter than a Liz Taylor nuptial.

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Major League Baseball's recent decision to base home-field advantage in the World Series on the outcome of the All-Star Game runs contrary to the way Commissioner Bud Selig normally operates. Spurred by last year's All-Star debacle in Milwaukee, the entire process - from concept to approval - took only six months, and failed to employ even one sub-committee of analysts to explore the issue. More typical of Selig's decision-making process is his announcement of the newly-formed special task force for "The Commissioner's Initiative: Major League Baseball in the 21st Century."

Major League Baseball's recent decision to base home-field advantage in the World Series on the outcome of the All-Star Game runs contrary to the way Commissioner Bud Selig normally operates. Spurred by last year's All-Star debacle in Milwaukee, the entire process - from concept to approval - took only six months, and failed to employ even one sub-committee of analysts to explore the issue. More typical of Selig's decision-making process is his announcement of the newly-formed special task force for "The Commissioner's Initiative: Major League Baseball in the 21st Century."

One of the issues the new task force will supposedly investigate is whether or not to expand the playoffs. It's not a particularly new idea - Selig himself quietly broached the subject last October. Although the specifics haven't been laid out for public consumption, it is widely assumed that four teams would be added to the post-season mix, raising the number of participants from eight to 12.

If approved, the accelerated pace at which MLB is adding playoff teams will continue. For 66 seasons (1903 through 1968), both leagues were division-less and the pennant winners advanced directly to the World Series. In 1969, professional baseball celebrated its 100th birthday by adding four expansion franchises. Each league was split into two divisions, with the four divisional winners playing into October. A quarter century later - perhaps encouraged by his Brewers' participation in MLB's unplanned eight-team bash in 1981 - Selig further subdivided the leagues into three divisions and presented baseball fans with the Wild Card. Just nine seasons after expanding the playoffs to include eight teams, and less than a year after deferring industry contraction, he is now considering a 12-team post-season format.

Those who want to include more teams in the post-season share a widespread belief that fans stop turning out at the ballpark when their local heroes aren't involved in a playoff race. Many organizations favor the notion of letting more teams into the playoffs for that reason alone. However, is their perception accurate?

Studying the effects of a single action on attendance is challenging simply because so many factors can influence a team's attendance: marketing, position in the community, performance, the comings and goings of players, popularity of the sport, and new playing facilities, to name a few. Furthermore, using previous MLB attendance data doesn't seem appropriate in this case, since by expanding the playoffs to 12 teams, baseball would be entering new territory for the sport. Though a significant number of fans despise the Wild Card, since its inception Wild Card teams have a 94-68 regular season record on average. Were the playoffs to expand further though, some of the beneficiaries would be little more than .500 ball clubs. The attendance effects of such mediocre teams consistently reaching the post-season won't show up in baseball's existing historical record.

To try and analyze the issue, I decided to see what happened to attendance in the National Basketball Association when it expanded its playoffs by four teams (from 12 to 16) prior to the 1983-84 season. In addition to adding the same number of playoff teams as baseball might, NBA attendance figures from that time have the added benefit of not being tainted by work stoppages or brief surges caused by a wave of newly extorted arenas. As a result, those effects don't have to be accounted for in the analysis. Though consumer choices and behavior have changed substantially in the past 20 years, we should still get some indication as to what MLB can expect from its fans if and when it chooses to allow more teams into its post-season dance.

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Bud and Carl: Visionaries?

I wonder if I write any better when God's Percussionist is within 800 feet of my house... probably not, but it can't hurt.

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ON STADIA

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