With mid-September's arrival, cooler weather and school years in full swing, not to mention the poor play of the Cubs, we see the real results of the decline of the team's play in a precipitous decline in attendance, both announced and my in-house estimates.
It should be noted, as you check out the numbers below, that the very small "crowd" at last Monday night's rain-delayed game, which began at 10:42 p.m., was almost entirely due to the more than three-and-a-half-hour rain delay. My guess is that about 6,000 people entered the ballpark at some point that night; approximately 3,000 were in the seats at first pitch, and maybe 200 stuck around till the end at 1:28 a.m. Had the weather been better that night, the estimate would have been closer to the 16,000 estimated to be at Wrigley the next night.
The announced tickets-sold totals were also lower than at any time this season. Just one game -- Saturday's against the Cardinals -- was close to a sellout, and the September 20 game had the lowest tickets-sold total since October 5, 2001.
Date Announced Crowd In-House Estimate 9/14 26,946 17,000 9/15 32,774 24,000 9/16 33,559 24,000 9/17 33,017 6,000 9/18 32,547 16,000 9/19 31,001 15,000 9/20 25,891 14,000 9/21 29,100 16,000 9/22 40,298 31,000 9/23 33,354 22,000
After the jump, some overall numbers, and thoughts on this as just three home games remain.
For the just-completed 10-game homestand, announced attendance was 318,487, or an average of 31,849 per date -- the lowest in many years for a homestand this long. The estimates of people actually in the house totalled 185,000, or 18,500 per date. That's by far the largest number of no-shows for any homestand this season -- an average of 13,349 per date. Obviously, that's skewed by the very small gathering on September 17; if there had been 10,000 more in the house, about the average for the other night games that week, the average in-the-house count would have been 19,500 -- but that's still 12,349 no-shows per date.
And the numbers for the final six games of the homestand include many thousands of red-clad Reds fans. Had those fans not shown up -- and St. Louis fans might have made up nearly half the crowds over the weekend -- the attendance numbers would have been anemic.and
For the season, the announced attendance totals 2,789,815, or 35,767 per date. That will result in the lowest average crowd since 2002, when the average was 33,248, since it is extremely unlikely that any of the Astros games will draw more than the average (it's more likely that all three games will come in with announced totals under 30,000).
My in-house estimates finally crossed the two million mark; they are now at 2,126,000, or an average estimate of 27,256 per date. That means there's been an estimated average of 8,511 no-shows over the 78 dates so far, or 663,858 tickets purchased and not used.
In my opinion, it's extremely unlikely that there will be more than 10,000 people in the house for any of the Houston games, given the quality of the Cubs, the quality of the opponent, the time of year (could be very cool nights and days) and the fact that the Monday night, October 1 game is up against Bears vs. Cowboys on Monday Night Football.
After that final series, I'll post the final numbers and have some thoughts about where I think this is all going for 2013 and beyond.