The Cubs drew some large announced crowds during the just-completed homestand, but not on the days you might have expected.
And, the Cubs drew some small announced crowds during the just-completed homestand, but not on the days you might have expected.
Here are the announced attendance totals and my in-house crowd estimates for the seven-game homestand that ended Thursday:
Date Announced Crowd In-House Estimate 4/18 28,699 16,000 4/19 32,966 24,000 4/20 27,927 21,000 4/21 32,439 13,000 4/22 35,381 14,000 4/23 32,323 30,000 4/24 33,085 16,000
None of these seven dates recorded anywhere near a sellout; the 35,381 announced for the night game Tuesday, April 22 was the closest, more than 6,000 short of capacity. And that's one of the more interesting numbers above. Tuesday included all the full-season tickets as well as any of the weekend and night-game season ticket packages. Why that date drew 3,000 more than the previous night is a mystery. It rained Monday, April 21, delaying the game by an hour, but I can't imagine that resulted in 3,000 more walkups on Tuesday. You can see the estimated in-house crowd was pretty much the same for both night games.
The other thing of note is the paid attendance for Wednesday, April 23, the 100th-anniversary game. This date came with a lot of buzz, a much-sought-after giveaway (the Chi-Feds jersey), and cupcakes. (And if you don't think the cupcake was popular, check out what one of them is going for on eBay.)
The Cubs priced this game at "gold" level -- the middle of the five pricing tiers -- while the three other games in the Diamondbacks series were "bronze" (lowest) priced. Still, even with that, ticket prices were reasonable -- yet the game came nearly 10,000 short of a sellout. As you can see above, I estimated that pretty much everyone who bought a ticket did show up, though the park emptied out fairly early, largely due to the cold weather (it barely got into the 40s, and people sitting in the shade must have been freezing).
The lack of sales for a game which the Cubs heavily promoted and which ought to have been their best event of the year should be a wakeup call. Granted, the cold weather prevented a large walk-up sale. Still, an event like this should sell out. It didn't.
For the homestand, the Cubs announced 222,820 tickets sold, or 31,831 per game. For the season, the Cubs have drawn 398,392, or 30,646 per date. These numbers are up from the first homestand's average of 29,262.
For the homestand, my in-house estimates totalled 134,000, or 19,143 per game, so that means there were an estimated 12,688 no-shows per date. For the season, I estimate 242,000 have actually been in the park for the 13 dates, or 18,615 per date. That's an estimated 12,031 no-shows per game.
The in-house estimates will rise and the no-show count will drop as the weather gets warmer. I'd expect larger crowds in-house for the next home series, when the Cubs host the Cardinals on a weekend. It'll be very interesting to see what they draw for the two games against the White Sox, both weeknights, the first time the Cubs have hosted the White Sox without a Wrigley day game.
The Cubs' current announced attendance total of 398,392 ranks sixth in the major leagues, though that's a bit misleading because the 13 Cub home dates are more than 20 other teams. More accurate would be the average announced crowd of 30,646, which ranks ninth, slightly behind the Rockies (30,924) and about 1,000 per date ahead of the Padres (29,535).