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2015 Cubs Attendance Watch: August 18-24 Homestand

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The Cubs again played to packed houses as they kept on winning.

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
In this installment of this series, I'll have the usual numbers, then introduce something that's related to attendance, but new to this particular series. First, the numbers from the just-completed homestand.
Date     Announced Crowd     In-House Estimate
8/18        39,684              39,000
8/19        40,310              40,000
8/20        34,633              33,000
8/21        39,211              35,000
8/22        41,196              41,000
8/23        39,581              39,000
8/24        36,283              27,000

Huge numbers of Tigers fans made those two dates (August 18 and 19) full houses, and the first despite dire weather forecasts (storms, which did eventually come, interrupting the game for 2½ hours). The Atlanta series also drew well, except for the Thursday night game. For the makeup game against Cleveland, the "no-show" count was large likely due to the fact that few Indians fans were willing to make the trek back to Chicago for a single game on a weekday afternoon.

For the homestand, announced attendance was 270,898, or 38,700 per date. My in-house estimates totaled 254,000, or 36,286 per date. Thus the no-show count was again low, just 16,898, or 2,414 per date. Most of that was from the Indians makeup game; for the six other games the average estimated no-show count was just 1,269 per game.

For the season, the total announced tickets sold is now 2,349,114, or 36,140 per date. My in-house estimates for the season total 2,041,000, so the total estimated no-shows for 2015 is 308,114, or 4,740 per date. If the Cubs average 36,140 for the 16 remaining home dates, they will add 578,240 to the total, which would put them very, very close to three million for this season. That's not a bad estimate, incidentally; the series against the Pirates and Cardinals, both on weekends, should be close to sellouts, but the weeknight series against the Reds and Brewers might fall a bit short of selling out.

If the Cubs reach the three-million mark, it would be the first time since 2011 and a remarkable achievement considering there were no bleachers for the first 14 games and only about 60 percent of the bleachers for 11 dates after that.

Now, here's some analysis of ticket prices for this homestand, courtesy of BCB reader Lifetime Cubs Fan (click to embiggen):

ticket price spreadsheet august 2015

Here is LCF's analysis of the data in that chart, in his own words.

Insights:

  • The cheapest route for the seven-game homestand in the bleachers would have been season tickets ($286), then Stubhub ($315), last would have been cubs.com at $542.
  • All games were significantly cheaper on Stubhub vs. cubs.com prices (~42% overall for bleachers), though two of the games were sold out in the bleachers via Cubs.com by gametime (Friday and Saturday)
  • From 96 hours to 18 hours before gametime, ticket prices stayed relatively consistent
  • Six of the seven games saw a drop of at least 15 percent in bleacher prices within the last 30 minutes prior to the Stubhub cutoff (six hours before gametime)

Other Observations

  • I was amazed at how cheap some Upper Deck Box seats were just prior to the Stubhub cutoff. For all games (even Saturday), you could have purchased Upper Deck Box Infield or Upper Deck Box Midfield well below STH prices. I saw Upper Deck Box Seats (Infield/Midfield) under $27 for six of the seven games.

Hypothesis/Opinions

  • Given in house estimates are very strong, many of the tickets on Stubhub could be from brokers trying to get top dollar
  • For those tickets that dropped significantly at the end, my take is that many of those tickets were listed by people not in the Chicago area (as it is likely easier to find people wanting to go to Cubs games these days)
  • If you want to see the Cubs for less than face value, there will be opportunities between now and the end of the year if you can be flexible with your schedule (it just won’t fall on a Saturday or be against the Pirates or Cardinals at this point)
  • The best prices can be found on Stubhub, not via cubs.com

LCF will have this analysis for the final two homestands of this season as well. I appreciate his time and research.