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Cubs 2014 Attendance Watch

Attendance patterns during the first homestand of June were... odd. Come inside to find out more.

Jonathan Daniel

I'm not sure what to make of the attendance figures for the just-completed homestand against the Mets and Marlins. Gonna give it a shot, of course. First, here are the numbers.

Date     Announced Crowd     In-House Estimate
6/3       34,697              26,000
6/4       28,185              16,000
6/5       28,833              21,000
6/6       28,495              23,000
6/7       33,786              29,000
6/8       33,134              26,000

For the three night games against the Mets, the Cubs had one fairly decent crowd and two not-so-good ones. The odd thing about that is: the largest of the three happened on a day when the weather was iffy. The two smaller ones happened on pleasant (though a bit cool) evenings with no chance of rain. This, I don't understand -- there didn't seem to be an extraordinarily large number of groups in attendance for the June 3 game, nor any other reason there should have been 6,000 more tickets sold for that date.

Incidentally, all six of these announced tickets-sold figures were lower than the smallest tickets-sold figure of the homestand in mid-May against the Brewers and Yankees. This, despite much better weather over the weekend, when the Marlins were in town. This clearly shows drawing power for the Brewers and Yankees, not so much for the Mets and Marlins. There were a fair number of Mets fans in evidence for their visit, but hardly any in sight dressed in Marlins garb.

For the homestand, total tickets sold were 187,130, or 31,188. That was significantly lower than the tickets-sold numbers for the previous homestand (an average of 36,727). Thus, the average tickets-sold number for the season, which was 32,415 after the previous homestand, dropped to 32,161. The total tickets sold for the season is 932,664. If that average is maintained, the Cubs should pass the one million tickets-sold milestone after three more home dates, or 32 dates in all.

There were fewer no-shows for the weekend series as the weather improved. My total in-house estimates for this homestand were 141,000, so there were an estimated 46,130 no-shows, or 7,688 per game. That's a bit above the average from the last homestand (6,927 per date). Total estimated in the house for the season is 647,000, or 22,310 per date, and the total estimated no-shows are 285,664, or 9,850 per date. That's down from the 10,415 per date I reported in the last post in this series.

With school years now ending, better weather and the summer tourist season beginning, the next homestand at Wrigley at the end of June, with the Pirates, Reds and Nationals in town, should draw better. I'll be particularly interested in seeing how the Cubs draw for the scheduled split doubleheader Saturday, June 28, which includes the game switched back in February -- before tickets even went on sale. This is the first-ever scheduled split day/night doubleheader in Wrigley Field history. All the other day/night doubleheaders have been as the result of makeup games for rainouts (although the Cubs did schedule a few split morning/afternoon doubleheaders in the 1920s and 1930s, mostly on holidays). The last scheduled doubleheader of any kind at Wrigley Field was in 1983.

However, the three consecutive dates with announced tickets-sold totals of under 29,000 portend, in my view, many similar dates in late August and September after kids are back in school. With a bit more than one-third of the home schedule complete, the per-game average puts the Cubs on pace for 2.6 million tickets sold, but I think this average will drop in August and September. We'll see what happens.