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2012 Major League Baseball Attendance

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Our last attendance summary of 2012: here we rank the 30 MLB teams by average, with some surprises and some disappointments on the year-to-year front.

Here's the final tally for attendance this season for Major League Baseball teams. We list both the total attendance and the average per-game attendance. Our comparisons are based on the average attendance, and we give both the 2012 and 2011 averages for points of comparison. Remember: these numbers cover tickets distributed, not turnstile counts.

  TEAM LGE TOTAL GMS AV 2011A  +/-
1 Philadelphia NL 3,565,718 81 44,021 45,440 -0.03
2 NY Yankees AL 3,542,406 81 43,733 45,107 -0.03
3 Texas AL 3,460,280 81 42,719 36,382 0.17
4 San Francisco NL 3,377,371 81 41,695 41,818 0.00
5 LA Dodgers NL 3,324,246 81 41,040 36,236 0.13
6 St. Louis NL 3,262,109 81 40,272 38,196 0.05
7 LA Angels AL 3,061,770 81 37,799 39,090 -0.03
8 Boston AL 3,043,003 81 37,567 37,703 0.00
9 Detroit AL 3,028,033 81 37,383 32,617 0.15
10 Chicago Cubs NL 2,882,756 81 35,589 37,258 -0.04
11 Milwaukee NL 2,831,385 81 34,955 37,918 -0.08
12 Minnesota AL 2,776,354 81 34,275 39,112 -0.12
13 Colorado NL 2,630,458 81 32,474 35,923 -0.10
14 Washington NL 2,370,794 79 30,010 24,877 0.21
15 Atlanta NL 2,420,171 81 29,878 30,037 -0.01
16 Cincinnati NL 2,347,251 81 28,978 27,327 0.06
17 NY Mets NL 2,242,803 80 28,035 30,108 -0.07
18 Miami NL 2,219,444 81 27,400 19,007 0.44
19 Arizona NL 2,177,617 81 26,884 25,992 0.03
20 Baltimore AL 2,102,240 79 26,610 21,943 0.21
21 San Diego NL 2,123,721 81 26,218 26,457 -0.01
22 Pittsburgh NL 2,091,918 90 26,148 24,255 0.08
23 Toronto AL 2,099,663 81 25,921 22,445 0.15
24 Chi. White Sox AL 1,965,955 81 24,271 24,705 -0.02
25 Kansas City AL 1,739,859 80 21,748 21,289 0.02
26 Seattle AL 1,721,920 81 21,258 23,411 -0.09
27 Oakland AL 1,679,013 81 20,728 18,232 0.14
28 Houston NL 1,607,733 81 19,848 25,518 -0.22
29 Cleveland AL 1,603,596 81 19,797 22,726 -0.13
30 Tampa Bay AL 1,559,681 81 19,255 18,878 0.02

 Some interesting things to note:

  • Winning equals bodies in the seats -- usually. The top gainer on the attendance front, the Miami Marlins, achieved a 44 percent growth in attendance based on a new ballpark. After that, we saw the biggest gains on the attendance front from the Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles (each 21 percent), the Texas Rangers (17 percent) and the Toronto Blue Jays and Detroit Tigers (each 15 percent). All those teams spent a lot of time in contention this past season. On the flip side of that. the Cleveland Indians were down 13 percent and the Chicago White Sox down 2 percent despite being in contention much of the season.
  • You've got to give Oakland A's fans credit: despite a team owner with an open scorn for the market, the team was up 14 percent in attendance this season. Again, the power of winning.
  • We can see the power of losing in Houston (down 22 percent) and Minnesota (down 12 percent), where last-place finishes clearly impacted the bottom line.
  • New ownership ended up boosting the Dodgers fortunes: after a very slow start, the team ended up 13 percent in average attendance. Fans in LA like a commitment to winning; a big trade certainly helped expand crowds down the stretch run.

Here another interesting way to rank attendance: by winners and losers on a percentage basis:

  TEAM LGE TOTAL GMS AV 2011A  +/-
1 Miami NL 2,219,444 81 27,400 19,007 0.44
2 Baltimore AL 2,102,240 79 26,610 21,943 0.21
3 Washington NL 2,370,794 79 30,010 24,877 0.21
4 Texas AL 3,460,280 81 42,719 36,382 0.17
5 Toronto AL 2,099,663 81 25,921 22,445 0.15
6 Detroit AL 3,028,033 81 37,383 32,617 0.15
7 Oakland AL 1,679,013 81 20,728 18,232 0.14
8 LA Dodgers NL 3,324,246 81 41,040 36,236 0.13
9 Pittsburgh NL 2,091,918 90 26,148 24,255 0.08
10 Cincinnati NL 2,347,251 81 28,978 27,327 0.06
11 St. Louis NL 3,262,109 81 40,272 38,196 0.05
12 Arizona NL 2,177,617 81 26,884 25,992 0.03
13 Kansas City AL 1,739,859 80 21,748 21,289 0.02
14 Tampa Bay AL 1,559,681 81 19,255 18,878 0.02
15 San Francisco NL 3,377,371 81 41,695 41,818 0.00
16 Boston AL 3,043,003 81 37,567 37,703 0.00
17 Atlanta NL 2,420,171 81 29,878 30,037 -0.01
18 San Diego NL 2,123,721 81 26,218 26,457 -0.01
19 Chi. White Sox AL 1,965,955 81 24,271 24,705 -0.02
20 NY Yankees AL 3,542,406 81 43,733 45,107 -0.03
21 Philadelphia NL 3,565,718 81 44,021 45,440 -0.03
22 LA Angels AL 3,061,770 81 37,799 39,090 -0.03
23 Chicago Cubs NL 2,882,756 81 35,589 37,258 -0.04
24 NY Mets NL 2,242,803 80 28,035 30,108 -0.07
25 Milwaukee NL 2,831,385 81 34,955 37,918 -0.08
26 Seattle AL 1,721,920 81 21,258 23,411 -0.09
27 Colorado NL 2,630,458 81 32,474 35,923 -0.10
28 Minnesota AL 2,776,354 81 34,275 39,112 -0.12
29 Cleveland AL 1,603,596 81 19,797 22,726 -0.13
30 Houston NL 1,607,733 81 19,848 25,518 -0.22

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