BALTIMORE—Very quietly on Tuesday night, the Orioles passed the 2 million mark in home attendance.
The team will draw over 2-million for the fifth consecutive year, but total attendance could be its lowest since 2012 when the Orioles drew 2,102,240.
It’s a topic that’s been talked about a lot around Baltimore, and on Wednesday, Adam Jones weighed in on the topic.
“I think when it comes to this stuff I’ve heard many different sides of it. It’s due to school starting, weather, which is understandable, danger, which I don’t really see. I understand but I don’t necessarily see that. As a player, we go out there busting our tails. The fans’ impact at Camden Yards it’s unbelievable,” Jones said.
The Orioles will have their fifth straight season without a losing record after 14 straight seasons with losing marks. The team is a solid playoff contender, but that hasn’t translating into more fans.
“I think they know that, I think they understand that and the players understand that. Obviously, this week, and this last homestand, the last 11 games are arguably the most important games of the season.
"We’ve fought our tails off for the 145 games to put ourselves into a unique situation as of September. And that’s what you say you want to play, important September baseball. Part of September baseball, especially if you’re in the heat (of the race), is fans. That’s just is what it is. Every place you go the fans are gonna be there,” Jones said.
On Monday night, just 18,456 showed up for the first game of the Orioles series with Boston. Tuesday’s crowd was 20,387, both well under the 46,000 capacity of Oriole Park.
“When we’re in Detroit, they were there for them. When we go to Boston -- Boston’s one of the most desirable places to be at anyway -- they’re there. I know when we go on the road in Toronto, we know they’re gonna be there. They’ve been there since basically the trade deadline last year,” Jones said.
There have been just seven crowds of over 40,000 this season—none after July 9.
“I’m not going to say I’m disappointed. I’d say it’s just a little … not sad. Just like eerie, a little bit. We grind and grind and grind. And I understand, there’s a lot of factors into it,” Jones said.
Jones, who has been with the Orioles since the start of the 2008 season, longer than anyone else, is active in the community.
“Take in ticket prices being higher, although you can bring in food and beverages. You take in the marketing, promotions, I’m sure they’re not the best. I get all that, but I’m saying the city wanted a winner. The last five years we’ve gotten a winner. I don’t know if they’ve gotten complacent already on us winning. I wish they haven’t. I hope they haven’t. But because winning is fun every single year and being in this race is exciting every single year,” Jones said.
“To the ones that come every night, that’s been coming every night, ‘Thank you, with open arms because you don’t have to.’ And we know what you have to go through to get here Some people commute very far. Some people live downtown, some people live in other cities. But we appreciate the support that has came through. That’s really all I got to say about that.”