SAN FRANCISCO -- After two-plus years of struggles, the Giants are starting to see huge changes in the seats at Oracle Park.
The announced attendance for Monday night's game against the Padres, the fourth home game of the year, was just 28,625. That was the ballpark's first crowd under 30,000 since May 27, 2010 -- two days before the organization called up a top prospect named Buster Posey.
"You hate to see it, but it's going to be up to us to play good baseball and get them back here and start winning games," manager Bruce Bochy said. "There's nothing we can control other than that, make some noise and create some excitement here."
The decline has been gradual as the franchise has taken a downturn on the field. A sellout streak that started late in that 2010 season ended at a National League-record 530 games in July of 2017, but the attendance never got lower than 37,797 that season, even as the Giants lost 98 games. Last year, the attendance regularly dipped below that, with a low of 35,041 on April 11.
The Giants could always count on a large season ticket base, but last month they announced that they had gone from about 30,000 season ticket holders to 26,000. Still, some around the team were surprised Saturday when the Giants drew just 31,828 for the first weekend home game of the year. Two days later, the number dropped a bit further.
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It was a bit of a perfect storm Monday, as the Giants played the Padres -- who don't draw well on the road -- in misty weather, with the NCAA championship game going on. But the announced attendance isn't actually about people in the seats. It accounts for purchased tickets, and this was the lowest number in nearly a decade
The Giants didn't exactly give those in attendance a reason to return right away. They blew a 5-0 lead and lost 6-5 to the Padres, falling to 3-8 on the season.