The Cubs had two of their smallest crowds of the 2017 season Monday, June 5 and Tuesday, June 6 against the Marlins, 34,037 and 34,032 respectively. The only smaller announced crowd this year was 32,905 May 23 against the Giants, a day when the game was delayed an hour by rain. June 5 and 6 were pleasant evenings, if a bit coolish.
The weekend games in the homestand drew better, as two games vs. the Cardinals (June 2 and 3) and three against the Rockies (June 9, 10 and 11) were essentially sellouts, with announced crowds over 41,000.
Cubs announced attendance through Sunday (35 dates) is 1,355,927, or 38,741 per date. The total ranks third in MLB (behind the Dodgers and Cardinals) and the average ranks fourth behind the Dodgers, Cardinals and Giants.
That pretty much seals this: The Cubs won’t break their season attendance record of 3,300,200, set in 2008. They’d need to sell 1,944,274 tickets for the remaining 46 dates, which would be an average of 42,267 for every game — well over Wrigley Field’s capacity.
After 35 games in 2008, the Cubs were averaging 40,334 per date. In 2016, that dropped to 38,971 — but that’s still higher than this year. Here it is in graphic form, via BCB reader Lifetime Cubs Fan (who will have more data on pricing in the next update):
Why is this happening? Many teams break their season attendance records the year after they win the World Series. Why isn’t this happening for the Cubs?
One of the reasons is Wrigley’s capacity. The single-season record is an average of 40,743 per date. That’s pretty close to the number of seats in the ballpark (listed as 41,268, though I think with the addition of seats where the bullpens used to be last winter, that number is a bit higher). So the Cubs are in a position where they’d have to sell out nearly every game to break the record. That’s hard to do for a number of reasons: early-season weather, high ticket prices, etc.
Another reason is likely the Cubs’ mediocre play so far in 2017. If they were running away with the N.L. Central as they were at this time a year ago, attendance might be higher. We’ll have more information here on pricing and other factors in the next attendance update.
If you are a single-game ticket buyer of Cubs tickets, what are some of the reasons you’re going to fewer games this year?
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Regarding buying Cubs tickets in 2017...
This poll is closed
I’m going to fewer games this year than last due to higher ticket prices
I’m only going to games if I get a last-minute price deal
I went to fewer games in April and May because the weather was awful
I’ve been to about the same number of games in 2017 as in 2016
I’ve been to more games at Wrigley in 2017 than 2016
I’m going to more Cubs road games this year due to high prices at Wrigley
I don’t buy Cubs tickets
Something else (leave in comments)