Labor Day hangover for MLB attendance

By C. Trent Rosecrans | Blogger
Chipper Jones wasn't happy with the empty seats in Atlanta on Tuesday. (Getty Images)

Baseball fans must have had a serious collective party on Labor Day, because the hangover effect made ballparks across the country look quite sparse. All 15 of Tuesday's games around Major League Baseball saw the home team draw fewer fans than their season average, and even Pittsburgh in a pennant race drew just 12,785 for its game against the Astros.

In Atlanta, which drew 16,686 for the game against the Rockies, Braves third baseman Chipper Jones took notice of the Braves' lackluster crowd:

The 15 games on Tuesday drew an average of 21,042, buoyed by 40,000-plus in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Perhaps the day after Labor Day being a tradition back-to-school day could be a factor, but last season an average of 27,409 came out on the day after Labor Day (it should be noted that only six teams hosted games on the day after the holiday last year and this year).

Since Major League Baseball isn't going to be issuing a press release looking at yesterday's attendance, here's what happened around baseball, in order of largest crowd (Giants) to smallest (Athletics):

Team
Tuesday attendance
Percent capacity
2012 average attendance
Percent capacity
Change in Avg. from 2011
Giants
41,038
98.7
41,738
99.6
-119
Dodgers
40,619
72.5
41,263
73.7
+4,459
34,108
77.6
40,611
92.4
+2,676
27,729
67.2
37,953
92
+5,913
23,403
63.3
27,733
74.1
+9,476
17,806
42.1
29,511
69.7
+1,612
17,652
49
20,020
58.8
+1,260
17,648
42.1
29,586
71.3
+6,207
Braves
16,686
33.5
29,247
58.8
+929
15,698
38.7
24,368
60
-764
13,556
27.4
27,039
54.9
+4,230
PIrates
12,785
33.3
26,531
69.2
+1,393
12,756
26.6
22,294
46.6
-1,826
12,462
32.6
22,140
58.4
+1,556
Athletics
11,688
33.3
20,293
59.5
+1,859

Is there a greater significance to all of this? Somehow I doubt it. It's one day in six months of games. I think it's just one day with poor attendance several places, nothing more. Overall, attendance is up nearly 1,000 people a game across baseball -- and that's up from a record-setting year. Baseball is as healthy as ever, no matter what one day's ticket sales say.

As for Chipper getting on Braves fans? Isn't it the players' jobs to get the fans excited, not vice versa?

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