MLB attendance down for 2009
First of all the bad news, MLB attendance for the 2009 season was done 6.7%. Of course everyone will be quick to say the sky is falling and that the terrible economy is too blame. While the soft economy certainly is a factor in this, it is not the only factor, and in all reality it isn’t even the most important factor. The argument always shall be that sports is an emotional investment, and regardless of the current economic conditions, fans will buy tickets and support their teams.
The real important factors here are the New York baseball market debuted two new stadiums with lower capacity than the old ones, and the horrible season of the New York Mets kept ticket sales soft. Again that is an emotional, not financial decision. The Mets had a bad year and the emotional reaction of their fans was to not go to the ballpark.
A quick look at other economic indicators for this league seems to back up that argument. While average attendance, for all 30 teams combined, fell from 32,528 in 2008 to 30,350 in 2009. While those numbers are way off from the record average attendance of 32,785 from 2007, this season was the fifth largest attended MLB season in its history.
The simple fact here is 73.4 million fans took the time and the money to attend MLB games in 2009. That is a big segment of the population and a large chunk of people who paid the soft economy no mind and spent big bucks to see the game they love.