Opening Day attendance down 3.4 percent
BizOfBaseball.com’s Maury Brown crunched the numbers on the 30 different home openers this season and reports that attendance was down 3.4 percent compared to the same 30 home openers last year. That amounts to an average of about 1,500 fewer fans per team, although as Brown notes some of that was inevitable because of the Twins moving to their new, lower-capacity ballpark. Last year Minnesota drew 48,514 fans for the final home opener at the Metrodome, whereas this year the Twins drew 38,145 fans for the first home opener at Target Field. However, those 38,145 fans represent a sellout at Target Field and that number also doesn’t include another 1,570 attendees that the Twins classified as media members, comped tickets, and VIP guests. In all, there were 39,715 people watching the Twins beat the Red Sox on Monday afternoon, which was a full house and then some. I was one of those uncounted 1,570 at the game and there’s zero doubt that the Twins could have easily sold 50,000-plus tickets (and maybe a whole lot more than that) if they had the room. However, as Brown reports even if you remove the Twins’ new ballpark issue from the equation home opener attendance for the other 29 teams was down 2.6 percent compared to last season despite some pretty nice weather across baseball.