Despite somewhat better weather (although there were threats of rain for most of the homestand, there were no delays and just a couple of sprinkles through the seven games), and better opponents including a team (the Reds) that usually brings many of its own fans to Chicago, attendance was less than robust during the just-completed homestand. One game brought the second-smallest crowd of the season to Wrigley Field; the 24,749 announced tickets sold for Wednesday's game was the smallest crowd at Wrigley in the usual summer (Memorial Day to Labor Day) period since 21,267 paid to see the Cubs and Phillies July 18, 1998.
Here are the figures from the just-completed homestand.
Date Announced Crowd In-House Estimate 6/7 31,614 21,OOO 6/8 38,4O5 29,OOO 6/9 31,858 21,OOO 6/1O 28,O52 17,OOO 6/11 3O,937 21,OOO 6/12 24,749 13,OOO 6/13 28,986 18,OOO
Fewer than 30,000 tickets sold for three of the seven games, and just barely over that for three others. The 38,405 announced for last Saturday's game was the third-largest of the season, behind Opening Day and Saturday, May 18 vs the Mets. It will be interesting to see how next Saturday's game, against the Astros, now an American League team, will draw. It's priced at platinum level, the second-highest tier.
For this homestand, there were 214,601 tickets sold, an average of 30,657. My in-house estimates -- I've been trying to tweet them when I make them, after the third inning, and I know I missed a couple of those -- totaled 140,000 for the homestand, or 20,000 per date, so the Cubs averaged an estimated 10,657 no-shows per game for the week. That's still high, but down from earlier in the season (as of the last post in this series, the Cubs were averaging 12,800 no-shows for the season).
For the season, the Cubs have now announced 1,155,745 tickets sold for 36 dates, an average of 32,104. That projects to a season attendance of 2,600,426, which would be down about 280,000 from 2012, approximately 10 percent. There will be some bigger crowds in July and August, particularly when the Cardinals are in town, but that might be offset by weekday visits from the Marlins and Pirates in September.
My in-house crowd estimates for the season now total 713,000, or 19,806 per date. That means there are an estimated 12,298 no-shows per date; this number is dropping, but has still been fairly consistent all year. Even if the no-show count drops to, say, 11,000 per date for the entire season, that's still nearly 900,000 no-shows.
The Cubs are going to have to start showing on-field improvement to get those people buying tickets, and back in the house, in 2014.