The week of May 25 through 31 in Chicago was either rainy, or cold, or at times rainy and cold. Rain and storms were in the forecast every day of the week -- except Thursday, when the Cubs didn't play. Saturday's game was postponed after rain that lasted all day and late into the evening.
Nevertheless, both announced attendance figures and in-house estimates were strong for the five games that were played.
Date Announced Crowd In-House Estimate 5/25 38,463 37,000 5/26 30,440 24,000 5/27 34,215 28,000 5/29 34,273 29,000 5/31 37,766 31,000
For the homestand, 175,157 tickets were sold, an average of 35,031 per date. My in-house estimates totaled 149,000, or 29,800 per date. So there were an estimated 26,157 no-shows, or an average of 5,231 per date. This included a very good showing of fans on Wednesday, May 27, when the Blackhawks were playing Game 6 of their series against the Ducks at the United Center.
For the season, the Cubs have now sold 842,983 tickets, or 32,422 per date. My in-house estimates for the 26 home dates thus far total 682,000, or 26,231 per date, for an estimated total of 160,983 no-shows, or 6,192 per date. That's well below similar numbers for recent seasons and if the team continues to play well and the weather improves, that no-show count should drop as we continue through the summer.
The Cubs' total tickets sold ranks ninth in the major leagues and the average ranks eighth, just behind the Brewers and just ahead of the Nationals.
The right-field bleachers will reopen June 11, when the Cubs return from their current road trip to face the Cincinnati Reds. That will add 2,000 more seats to the ballpark's capacity and will likely produce the first tickets-sold counts of over 40,000. A curiosity: of the 10 home dates in June, just two will be day games. The Cubs will face the Reds Friday, June 12 at 3:05, and the Dodgers Thursday, June 25 at 1:20. All the other home games in June will be at night, including the only weekend home dates for the month.
There's one curiosity about the Saturday, May 30 game vs. the Royals, which was postponed and will be made up Monday, September 28. This is the first Cubs home game that was postponed and not made up as part of a doubleheader since Friday, May 15, 2009, when a game against the Astros was rained out and made up on an open date Thursday, July 30, 2009. Announced tickets sold at that game came to 41,524.
Since last Saturday's game was either close to or actually sold out, and you can now buy bleacher tickets to the makeup game, the makeup date will likely be announced as a sellout as well. It will wind up being the last regular-season home game, and thus for the second straight year the Cubs will have a night game as their final regular-season game at Wrigley Field, though this time by accident rather than design.