This is a tale of two seasons, to coin a phrase.
The weeknight series against the Pirates was played on three evenings that ranged from chilly to downright cold, holding down both the tickets-sold count and the in-house estimates.
Temperatures that ranged from springlike to summerlike arrived on Friday and that boosted both sets of numbers. Since I wasn't at Friday's or Saturday's game, I asked Mike Bojanowski (who I normally consult with before sending out my own estimates) to give me in-house estimates for those two games.
Here are the results:
Date Announced Crowd In-House Estimate 4/27 29,159 21,000 4/28 29,915 20,000 4/29 30,634 22,000 5/1 31,128 23,000 5/2 34,878 32,000 5/3 33,398 33,000
For this homestand, the total tickets sold were 189,112, or 31,519 per date. The in-house estimates total 151,000, or 25,167 per date. Thus total estimated no-shows were 38,112 for the homestand, or 6,352 per date. This is up somewhat from last homestand's estimate of 4,389 no-shows per date.
For the season, the Cubs have announced 429,310 tickets sold for 14 dates, an average of 30,665 per date. My in-house estimates total 357,000, or 25,500 per date. That's an estimated total no-show count of 72,310, an average of 5,165 per date, significantly lower than this time of year in recent seasons despite some very cold night games. The better play of the team is likely the biggest reason for the decrease in estimated no-shows.
The Cubs' total attendance count ranks eighth in the major leagues, about 20,000 behind the Mets and about 10,000 ahead of the Brewers. Their average, however, ranks 14th, about 300 per date behind the Royals and about 500 per date ahead of the Nationals.
As I've mentioned here before, the official capacity of Wrigley Field this year without the bleachers is 35,969. The tickets-sold average per date up to now is thus 85.3 percent of capacity. The opening of the left- and center-field bleachers next Monday will add approximately 3,000 to that capacity, so I'd expect all the numbers here to jump accordingly.