After a terrible losing streak, the Royals have settled into what they are likely to be this season: a team that shows flashes of greatness surrounded by some mediocrity, wrapped up in some odd ineptitude. Insert witty remark about a marketing slogan here. On the bright side, or possibly delusional side, the fans are doing their part and showing up to games in some really solid numbers.
There are certainly some unique circumstances to which some bump in attendance can be attributed to. A pair of series vs the Red Sox and Yankees, some really nice weather and a plethora of weekend series certainly help. However it’s not the entirety of the situation. Let’s look at some numbers. Below is a graph showing the game by game home attendance for the first 15 games in 2011 vs 201
As you can see, in every game but two the attendance in 2012 is higher than in 2011. To be fair, in 2012 there have so far been 9 Friday, Saturday or Sunday games versus on ly 7 in 2011. But that doesn’t make up the entire difference. Nor does the Yankees and Red Sox as some of the biggest increases come from games 7, 8 and 9 where the Royals played the Blue Jays in 2012. The fans are clearly buying into the afore-not-mentioned slogan and coming out in increasing numbers.
Maybe baseball in general is up and the Royals are just part of a trend. Let’s find out. Here is the current season attendance for all MLB teams:
The Royals aren’t near the top, but they are above five other teams, most notably two division rivals in bigger markets with better records. Now lets compare 2011 to 2012:
The Royals are 6th in the MLB in per game attendance increase since over 2011. They’ve already attracted over 80,000 more fans to the ballpark. I’m going to take a stab and say that the Royals generate about $20 per person on average. That bump brings in an extra $1.6m in revenue. And all of this through a 12 game losing streak.
It’s too early to know if this season will really have an attendance increase. However, if somehow the Royals can continue to draw an additional 5,364 fans per game then in my estimation that’s a $8.7m bump in revenues. In other terms they’d only need to find another $4.8m to cover Jeff Francoeur’s contract.