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:

 

Tm Attendance Attend/G ▾
PHI 498,461 45,315
TEX 557,360 42,874
SFG 623,187 41,546
NYY 537,850 41,373
STL 494,550 41,213
LAD 518,816 39,909
BOS 526,209 37,586
CHC 634,215 37,307
MIL 463,096 35,623
DET 613,253 34,070
LAA 570,776 33,575
MIN 399,110 33,259
COL 574,595 31,922
MIA 337,494 30,681
ATL 361,736 27,826
NYM 431,056 26,941
ARI 365,571 26,112
WSN 412,651 25,791
CIN 350,030 25,002
TOR 364,069 24,271
SDP 486,596 23,171
PIT 276,698 23,058
HOU 363,346 22,709
BAL 290,251 22,327
KCR 329,000 21,933
SEA 275,191 21,169
OAK 270,848 20,834
TBR 328,005 20,500
CHW 278,763 19,912
CLE 234,651 14,666
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/8/2012.

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:

Rk Tm 2011_Games 2011_Attend 2011_AttendpGm 2012_Games 2012_Attend 2012_AttendpGm Difference DiffPerGame ▾
1 MIA 11 213,659 19,424 11 337,494 30,681 123,835 11,258
2 DET 18 472,188 26,233 18 613,253 34,070 141,065 7,837
3 TEX 13 466,138 35,857 13 557,360 42,874 91,222 7,017
4 WSN 16 309,103 19,319 16 412,651 25,791 103,548 6,472
5 PIT 12 204,990 17,083 12 276,698 23,058 71,708 5,976
6 KCR 15 248,542 16,569 15 329,000 21,933 80,458 5,364
7 STL 12 444,566 37,047 12 494,550 41,213 49,984 4,165
8 TBR 16 276,893 17,306 16 328,005 20,500 51,112 3,195
9 ARI 14 324,985 23,213 14 365,571 26,112 40,586 2,899
10 CHC 17 592,281 34,840 17 634,215 37,307 41,934 2,467
11 LAD 13 489,104 37,623 13 518,816 39,909 29,712 2,286
12 CIN 14 319,705 22,836 14 350,030 25,002 30,325 2,166
13 SEA 13 249,104 19,162 13 275,191 21,169 26,087 2,007
14 TOR 15 336,099 22,407 15 364,069 24,271 27,970 1,865
15 BAL 13 267,207 20,554 13 290,251 22,327 23,044 1,773
16 MIL 13 440,179 33,860 13 463,096 35,623 22,917 1,763
17 OAK 13 262,311 20,178 13 270,848 20,834 8,537 657
18 CLE 16 227,683 14,230 16 234,651 14,666 6,968 436
19 ATL 13 356,182 27,399 13 361,736 27,826 5,554 427
20 BOS 14 524,490 37,464 14 526,209 37,586 1,719 123
21 NYM 16 431,073 26,942 16 431,056 26,941 -17 -1
22 NYY 13 539,832 41,526 13 537,850 41,373 -1,982 -152
23 PHI 11 500,319 45,484 11 498,461 45,315 -1,858 -169
24 SFG 15 626,782 41,785 15 623,187 41,546 -3,595 -240
25 COL 18 600,813 33,379 18 574,595 31,922 -26,218 -1,457
26 HOU 16 404,116 25,257 16 363,346 22,709 -40,770 -2,548
27 CHW 14 315,959 22,569 14 278,763 19,912 -37,196 -2,657
28 SDP 21 556,528 26,501 21 486,596 23,171 -69,932 -3,330
29 LAA 17 653,879 38,463 17 570,776 33,575 -83,103 -4,888
30 MIN 12 461,693 38,474 12 399,110 33,259 -62,583 -5,215
total 434 12,116,403 27,918 434 12,767,434 29,418 651,031 1,500
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/8/2012.

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.