Despite a heavy dose of Ty Wigginton, the Phils still came out to the ballpark in big numbers this year. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
While the Phillies spent much of the first half stumbling and bumbling in last place, battling injuries, making errors and numerous baserunning blunders and continually throwing Ty Wigginton at bats in our faces, the fans kept coming out.
For the second straight year, the Phillies led all of Major League Baseball in home attendance.
Clearly, these fair weather fans need to get their act together.
The Phillies drew 3,565,718 fans to Citizens Bank Park this year, averaging 44,021 fans per game, both the highest numbers in Major League Baseball. The Yankees were at #2, averaging 43,733 fans a game, with Texas, San Francisco, and the L.A. Dodgers rounding out the top five.
In addition, when you factor in home AND away games, the Phillies had the second-highest attendance in baseball, trailing only the New York Yankees.
You may have heard the Phils had a little bit of a home sell-out streak going for a while there, spanning 257 games, although it is fair to point out much of those attendance figures came from tickets purchased before the Phillies really started to stink.
However, there’s no denying that even when the stench of the Phils’ play on the field was worse than the pungent odors emanating from the Delaware River along I-95, fans kept coming to the ballpark.
Of course, there are reasons management should be concerned.
The TV ratings for Phils games were down by a whopping 39%, dropping the team from the number one spot last year to seventh place amongst all MLB teams this season.
Those are not the numbers you want to see with a new cable TV deal looming around the corner.
And if the Phillies get off to another slow start next year, it will be interesting to see what the attendance figures look like. There will always be a nice stable of season tickets that keep the Phils’ attendance figures strong. But if the team tanks in 2013, the team will have a hard time staying on top of the heap.
But that’s not being a fair weather fan. That’s recognizing that there are better things to do with your time than to travel out to South Philadelphia, battle traffic, and pay high parking and concession prices, just to watch a baseball team screw the pooch on a nightly basis.
For the moment though, Phils fans should take a bow. For the second straight year, the Phillies are the attendance kings of baseball.
So much for the bandwagon.