With the Cubs solidly in playoff contention and summer in full swing (well, sort of; the weather hasn't been very summerlike), crowds at Wrigley Field were at their highest levels in many years during the homestand that completed the season's first half. Here are the numbers.
Date Announced Crowd In-House Estimate 7/3 41,212 39,000 7/4 37,898 37,000 7/5 37,764 35,000 7/6 37,609 35,000 7/7 (1) 34,368 22,000 7/7 (2) 35,703 29,000 7/8 37,993 35,000 7/10 41,580 40,000 7/11 41,596 40,000 7/12 41,688 40,000
It's interesting that the series against the Cardinals actually had the lowest paid-attendance numbers of any of the games of the homestand. I attribute that to the fact that it was on weekday nights -- those seem to draw smaller crowds than weekends or even weekday afternoons -- and the weather, which was awful and discouraged any last-minute walkup sales.
The three crowds against the White Sox were, in succession, the three largest paid crowds of the year, with the Sunday game being the largest in terms of tickets sold. That's a bit unusual, as for three-game weekend series, the Cubs generally sell more tickets on Saturday than either Friday or Sunday. Of course, the three games had about the same number of tickets sold for all three dates, with just a handful of empty seats all three days.
For the homestand, the Cubs sold 387,411 tickets, or 38,741 per date. My in-house estimates for the homestand total 352,000, or 35,200 per date. That's even though the first game Tuesday, the makeup for the April 7 rainout, had only an estimated 22,000 in the house. That's likely because many out-of-towners couldn't return for the makeup game. I attribute bad weather for some of the rest of the no-shows. The estimated total no-shows for the homestand is 35,411, or 3,541 per game, one of the lowest per-game estimates since I've started writing this series. If the Cubs keep playing well, that level could hold for the rest of the year.
For the season, the Cubs have now announced 1,565,346 tickets sold, or 34,785 per date. My in-house estimates for the season are 1,296,000, or 28,800 per date, so the total no-show estimate is 269,346, or 5,985 per date. The in-house estimates would undoubtedly have been higher with better weather.
The Cubs' total tickets sold this year ranks sixth in the major leagues, behind the Dodgers, Giants, Cardinals, Yankees and Red Sox. The average of 34,785 ranks seventh, behind those five and the Angels (about 1,000 behind the Angels), and about 1,400 per game ahead of the Tigers in eighth place. If the Cubs maintain that average for the rest of the year they would sell 2,817,585 tickets, which would be up about 150,000 from 2014. If the Cubs stay in contention all year, they could potentially get back to the three million mark, last attained in 2011.