Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs fans celebrate Cinco De Mayo in the bleachers by wearing themed hats during the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field. Credit: David Banks-US PRESSWIRE
Here's the BCB once-a-homestand update on Cubs attendance this season, both the announced number of tickets sold and my own estimates of how many people were actually in the house; I generally wait until about 45 minutes to an hour after game time to account for late arrivals.
This homestand was interrupted by a rain-delayed game and fog; the weather so far has been a bit better than it was a year ago, but still cooler than average for this time of year, and especially after all that great baseball weather in Chicago was wasted during the month of March.
Date Announced Crowd In-House Estimate 5/4 37,332 28,000 5/5 39,874 29,000 5/6 38,125 28,000 5/7 36,307 26,000 5/8 38,523 31,000 5/9 31,904 22,000
Though there were surprisingly large crowds for some games during the just-completed homestand against the Dodgers and Braves -- particularly Sunday, which was delayed nearly three hours by rain -- as you can see, there were still a large number of no-shows for all six dates.
For the six-game homestand, total tickets sold were 222,065, an average of 37,011. The total of my six estimates is 164,000, an average of 27,333, so if my estimates are correct -- and I don't think I'm too far off -- there were almost 10,000 no-shows per date for the just-completed homestand.
You'll notice something interesting about the last two dates, May 8 and 9. May 8 was a night game, May 9 a day game. For all except bleacher tickets, the two games were the same pricing level -- "silver". However, in the bleachers, the May 8 game was priced "bronze", the May 9 game "silver". This resulted in sold-out bleachers for May 8 with tickets reportedly going on Stubhub for $40, while the bleachers were maybe two-thirds full on May 9.
For the season to date -- 19 home dates -- total announced tickets sold are 704,642, an average of 37,086. That ranks fifth in the NL and seventh overall. That number is actually up 2,299 per game from the same number of dates last year -- but last year, the weather was atrociously bad in April and early May, and the 2011 dates included three weekday afternoons the first week of April against a non-marquee opponent, the Diamondbacks.
For those same 19 dates this year, my total crowd estimate is 483,000, an average of 25,421. If I'm right -- and again, I think I'm pretty close -- that means the Cubs have sold about 11,500 tickets, on average, per game, that have not been used.
That average is likely to drop as the weather gets better. But it's still a very large number, especially with one-quarter of the home season now complete.