2012 Cubs Attendance Watch

Chicago, IL, USA; Two fans and 16 gulls watch the game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Chicago Cubs 5-1. Credit: David Banks-US PRESSWIRE

When this season began, I mentioned that I would make estimates of how many people were actually in Wrigley Field for each game. The attendance figures announced are the number of tickets sold, as you know; the number of no-shows for games has risen dramatically in the last couple of years, and so far, this year is continuing that trend.

Here are the actual attendance figures and my estimates for the just-completed homestand:

Date Announced Crowd In-House Estimate 4/20 37,782 17,000 4/21 38,405 26,000 4/22 35,801 23,000 4/23 37,794 27,000 4/24 38,894 31,000 4/25 34,894 19,000

Notwithstanding the fact that the numbers for the Cardinals series look a little odd -- the last three digits the same for the final two dates and the last two digits the same for all three -- the Cubs still are having problems getting people who have bought tickets to show up.

For this six-game homestand, the total tickets sold came to 223,570, an average of 37,262. My estimate of the total in the house for the six games is 142,000, an average of 23,667. That means there were (approximately) 81,570 no-shows. For the season, including the estimate I made on April 13 from the first homestand, total announced tickets sold is 482,577 (37,121 per game), and the total estimate of people who actually showed up is 319,000 (24,538 per game).

That's an estimated 163,577 no-shows, or 12,583 per game.

That's a lot.

Granted, the weather for the just-completed homestand wasn't great; the rain on Wednesday probably kept several thousand people away. As the weather gets better and schools let out for the summer, the number of no-shows should decrease.

If these numbers -- and granted, they're just guesses, though I think I'm pretty close -- continue for the rest of the season, the Cubs will get to an announced attendance of pretty close to three million.

But they could have as many as 800,000 no-shows. That would, in my opinion, be concerning to management. We'll see what happens as the weather improves.

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