Cubs 2013 Attendance Watch

Brian Kersey

Yes, it's time for another one of these again, thanks to schedule-makers who gave the Cubs a three-game homestand in the middle of two long road trips.

So far this season, the Cubs have had a three-game road trip (to Washington May 10-12), a two-game road trip (to Anaheim June 4-5) and a three-game homestand (the weekend series just completed against the Astros).

Thanks, schedule-makers. Maybe you'll do a better job for 2014.

The short "homestand" having just ended, it's time to have a look at attendance, which was actually pretty good, given the weather and the opponent. Here are the numbers for this past weekend.

Date     Announced Crowd     In-House Estimate
6/21      33,119              22,OOO
6/22      38,87O              33,OOO
6/23      35,121              26,OOO

The 33,000 estimated for Saturday's game, played on a mostly-pleasant afternoon, is the largest estimate of the season, more than for Opening Day. 38,870 is the second-largest announced number of tickets sold for the year so far; only Opening Day had a larger number. For the three-game homestand, the total number of tickets sold was 107,110, an average of 35,703 per date. The total estimated to be in the house was 81,000, an average of 27,000 per date, so as you can see, the number of estimated no-shows was way down from previous dates. It would have been down even more except for the three-hour-plus rain delay for Friday's game, which kept the in-house count lower than it might otherwise have been. The 22,000 is an estimate of how many were in the park at any time Friday; there were fewer, maybe 18,000-19,000, when that game actually started at 4:38 p.m.

For the season, the Cubs have now sold 1,262,855 tickets for 39 dates, an average of 32,381 per date. That's up from the last post in this series, but only by a couple hundred. Not that this was ever going to happen, but the Cubs now have zero chance of selling three million tickets this year. They'd have to average 41,361 tickets sold for each remaining date, which would mean selling out every single game the rest of the year. Obviously, that's not going to happen.

Continuing on an average of 32,381 -- and that will likely go up somewhat, with two Cardinals weekends still to come -- would result in a season total of 2,622,861, down about 260,000 from last year, still about 10 percent, which was the estimate the last time I wrote on this topic.

The 32,381 average ranks 12th in the major leagues, about 1,000 behind the Rockies, about 1,000 ahead of the Brewers.

For the season, my in-house estimates total 794,000, or 20,359 per date. That's up about 500 per date from the last estimate, but still shows about 12,000 no-shows per game. That number would probably be somewhat lower if there had been better weather for the last couple of months, and with better weather and, as noted, the Cardinals coming in for six more games, that number should decrease before season's end. But the Cubs are still likely headed for 800,000 or so no-shows this season.

Unless the team has an end to this year that provides some optimism for 2014, unlike last year's awful September, the Cubs will likely have to lower prices again to stimulate ticket sales for next season.

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