This series resumes for 2015 with a plea, again, to pass this series on by if the topic doesn't interest you.
I expect the 2015 Attendance Watch to be quite different from previous years. First, because Wrigley Field is down several thousand seats for the first 15 games, attendance figures likely will be much lower than we're used to seeing. After that, though, with reports of strong season-ticket and other sales, attendance figures could be much higher -- and the in-house totals will be, too, if the team plays well. Obviously, better play results in fewer no-shows.
It was my assumption that the capacity of Wrigley Field without bleachers would be approximately 36,500 -- that's the old listed capacity of 41,500 minus 5,000 bleacher seats (again, figures are approximate).
But the announced tickets-sold number Sunday of 35,055 (which presumably included standing room, which was reported as sold out) was lower than that. I reached out to the Cubs for clarification and learned that the official seating capacity of Wrigley until the bleachers open is 35,969.
I tweeted Sunday night an estimate of 38,000; obviously that was way too high, so I'm going to revise that here to 35,000, since every seat appeared filled (except, of course, when people were in line for the bathrooms!). With Tuesday's rainout, there are just two dates to report:
Date Announced Crowd In-House Estimate 4/5 35,055 35,000 4/8 26,814 19,000
The 26,814 figure from Wednesday is instructive, I think. With no bleachers, single-game sales for this date were probably quite low. This game is one of the few not included in the nights-and-weekends season-ticket plan, so season tickets for Wednesday included only full-season tickets and however many people are left in the old, grandfathered Double Play Plan, which includes all Wednesday and Friday day games. There are only two other Wednesday day games this year: May 29 vs. the Rockies and September 2 vs. the Reds. I point this out to give you a general idea of total season-ticket sales.
For two dates, the Cubs have announced 61,869 tickets sold, an average of 30,935 per date. My in-house estimates total 54,000, an average of 27,000 per date, so that would mean 3,935 no-shows per date. Most likely, virtually all the no-shows for these two games happened on Wednesday.
There are few or no conclusions that can be drawn from these two dates attendance-wise. We should know more after the next homestand, particularly since the advance weather forecast shows pleasantly warm weather next week when the Reds and Padres are in town.