These numbers should not surprise you -- the Cubs are winning, the weather has improved, and Wrigley Field's attendance numbers reflect all of that. Here are the numbers for the homestand that ended Thursday, August 13:
Date Announced Crowd In-House Estimate 8/6 41,242 41,000 8/7 41,311 41,000 8/8 41,305 41,000 8/9 39,939 40,000 8/11 37,109 35,000 8/12 36,438 32,000 8/13 40,799 37,000
The estimated in-house attendance number posted for the Sunday, August 9 game against the Giants is significant. That's the first time since I've started this series that I actually guessed more people in the house than the official tickets-sold count (though, by only 61 people).
For the homestand, tickets sold totaled 278,143, or 39,735 per date. My in-house estimates totaled 267,000, or 38,143 per date. That's an average no-show count of 1,592 per date, an insignificant number that is by far the lowest for any homestand since I began doing this series.
The Cubs passed the two-million mark in tickets sold on Monday, August 11 and are now at 2,078,216 tickets sold. For 58 home dates, that's an average of 35,831 per date. Maintaining that average would put them at a bit over 2.9 million for the season; they have an outside shot at getting to three million, despite not having any bleachers for the first 14 games and only two-thirds of the bleachers until June.
My in-house estimates for 2015 now total 1,787,000, or 30,810 per date. That's the first time in this series' history that in-house estimates have broken the 30,000 per date mark. That makes the estimated no-show count for this season 291,216, or 5,021 per date. That number should continue to go down as I expect mostly full houses at least for the next homestand, with the Tigers and Braves coming to Wrigley starting Tuesday.
The Cubs' tickets-sold total ranks sixth in the major leagues, behind the Dodgers, Cardinals, Yankees, Giants and Angels. Their average ranks seventh, about 200 per date behind the Red Sox, who they will likely pass after the next homestand.
I have been asked if I'll continue this series beyond this year given that attendance seems to have returned to levels not seen since 2008. At this time I'm leaning toward continuing, at least in 2016, just to see how early-season trends with poor weather compare, when a good team is on the field from Day 1 (which we'd of course hope for, given the play of recent weeks), and beyond that, attendance in general is a topic that interests me.
I expect rocking full houses for most of the rest of this year, though it would seem that night games might draw fewer with kids back in school. I note that the highest attendance in the recent Brewers series was for the afternoon game. I understand why the Cubs want night games during the week, for TV purposes, but the day games do seem to draw better.