Cubs 2014 Attendance Watch

Jonathan Daniel

For the first time all year, the Cubs had three consecutive announced crowds of over 36,000.

The brief, just-completed homestand, a three-game set against the Atlanta Braves, will produce a fairly brief Attendance Watch as well. First, the numbers from the weekend:

Date     Announced Crowd     In-House Estimate
7/11        39,544              36,000
7/12        36,806              33,000
7/13        36,363              33,000

39,544 is the largest announced paid crowd of 2014. The homestand totalled 112,713 tickets sold, an average of 37,571 per date. There were very few no-shows; even though there was rain during Friday's game and before Saturday's game, my estimate is that nearly everyone who bought a ticket showed up. My in-house estimates totalled 102,000, or 34,000 per date, meaning there were an estimated 10,713 no-shows, or just 3,571 per date, far fewer than previous homestands. Sunday's game, played in pleasant temperatures and brilliant sunshine, might have actually generated some walk-up sales.

For the season, the Cubs have now sold 1,363,703 tickets for 42 dates, or 32,469 per date. The average is up 392 per date from the last post in this series. My estimated in-house total for the season is 1,000,000 (exactly, oddly enough), an average of 23,810 per date. That average is up, but just by 784 from the estimate posted after the last June homestand. Thus the estimated no-show count for the season is 363,703, or 8,660 per date. That's down 391 per date from the last post in this series.

The Cubs' total announced attendance for the season ranks 15th in MLB, about 80,000 behind the Orioles and a few hundred ahead of the Pirates. The season average ranks 11th, about 600 per date behind the Brewers and a similar amount ahead of the Nationals.

The only real comment I have about the announced crowds over the weekend is this: the Cubs priced the Friday and Sunday dates at Platinum (second-highest) level, and the Saturday date at Marquee (the highest) level. Could they have had a sellout Saturday with lower prices? I'd argue "probably." So that raises this question: Did they make enough money with the higher-priced tickets to offset the 5,000 or so tickets that didn't sell at those prices? It's hard to say, and also, remember that they also lost potential concession and souvenir sales by not having a few more butts actually in the seats.

There were a fair number of Braves fans in the stands over the weekend -- not as many as you'd see if the Cardinals or Reds were in town, but more than were spotted during the Nationals series. When the Cubs host the Padres and Rockies as part of the next homestand, another 10-game stand, we'll see if the somewhat better play of the team translates into more ticket sales when those two clubs, traditionally poor draws, come to town.

Obviously, when the Cardinals visit for a weekend series July 25-26-27, the Cubs will have big announced crowd totals, even with all three of those games priced at Marquee level. The game Saturday, July 26 is likely to be the Cubs' only sellout of 2014, with the other two just below sellout level.

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