Concerns about the MLB's waning popularity will only increase with the release of the league's attendance numbers for the 2022 season. The MLB saw a 5.7% decline in total attendance from the 2019 season, according to a report from Forbes.
In the 2022 season, MLB posted a total attendance of 67,556,636. Compared to the 2019 season (games were closed to fans in the COVID-19 pandemic-riddled 2020 season), which saw a total attendance of 68,494,752, its a sizable drop. In fact, 2022's attendance number was the lowest for the league since 1997, when attendance was 63,168,689 across the league.
Even when throwing out 2020, when no fans were in attendance, the MLB has seen a decline in attendance in nine consecutive seasons.
The last time the MLB had an increase in attendance was from 2011 to 2012 -- but total attendance has dropped 14% since then.
When it comes to the individual teams, only nine saw an increase in attendance from 2019. The Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, New York Mets, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners, Miami Marlins and Toronto Blue Jays all boosted their numbers from the 2019 campaign.
Out of that group, the Blue Jays had the most impressive jump (52%).
On the other end of the spectrum, 14 teams suffered double-digit drops in attendance from 2019. The Oakland A's had the most severe decline (53%) due to a miserable 102-loss season. The Cleveland Guardians, Arizona Diamondbacks, Cincinnati Reds and Minnesota Twins also saw attendance drop at least 20% from 2019.