ON THE ROAD TO TORONTO -- There was both really bad weather and really good weather for the just-completed homestand. The attendance figures didn't really match up, though, at least not the announced tickets-sold totals.
Date Announced Crowd In-House Estimate 9/1 32,054 24,000 9/2 28,434 17,000 9/3 31,251 19,000 9/5 35,541 20,000 9/6 36,867 25,000 9/7 33,894 19,000
Here are the numbers. For this homestand, the Cubs announced 198,041 tickets sold, or 33,007 per date. That's up from the previous homestand, and just about equal to the homestand in early August against the Rays and Brewers, when the per-game average was 33,116. My in-house estimates totalled 124,000, or 20,667 per date. That's an estimated average no-show count of 12,340 per date, not all of which can be accounted for by bad weather.
For the season, the Cubs now have sold 2,326,480 tickets, or 32,767 per date. That's up from the last post in this series... by 22 people. This number has been remarkably consistent for over a month. I don't know how to explain this, and I will say this: the announced totals for Friday and Saturday, September 5 and 6, seemed very high to me. The total for the two days, for example, is higher than the total for the previous weekend series (against the Orioles) for comparable dates, despite the fact that there were thousands of Orioles fans in attendance then, and many fewer Pirates fans in evidence this past weekend. The large estimated no-show totals bear this out, I think. My in-house estimates for the season total 1,745,000, or 24,577 per date. That's down from the last post in this series, but only by a few hundred.
It appears the Cubs will be very, very close to their tickets-sold total from 2013, unless the night games in the next homestand (seven of the 10 games) don't sell. To get two million in the house for the year (by my estimates), they'd need 255,000 butts in the seats for the 10 games, or 25,500 per game. That seems doable. Last year's in-house estimates totaled 1,822,000, so two million would be almost 10 percent more people actually showing up to games.
Overall the Cubs rank 11th in tickets sold, a few thousand behind the Rangers and about 50,000 ahead of the Nationals. The Cubs' per-game average is also 11th, a few hundred per game behind the Rockies and a few hundred per game ahead of the Nationals.
There's one final homestand coming up, 10 games against the Reds (three), Dodgers (four) and Cardinals (three). As noted above, that includes seven night games, which typically don't draw well once kids are back in school, no matter who the opponent is. If you look at the figures from the just-completed homestand, the three day games all sold significantly more tickets than the three night games, and that pattern has held for much of the season. The weather's supposed to get a lot cooler toward next weekend; that could also be a factor in late-season crowds. We'll see how it all ends up.