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MLB Attendance Dipped Significantly From Pre-Pandemic Numbers

For much of the 21st century, Major League Baseball could count on two numbers when it came to attendance.

Total attendance would be somewhere north of 70 million fans, and average attendance would top 30,000 fans per game.

Nowadays, those numbers seem far, far away.

Major League Baseball drew 64,556,678 fans in announced attendance in 2022. The average MLB game drew 26,843 fans this year. Both numbers are significant increases on 2021, but last season saw teams face capacity restrictions and slow sales because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. This is the first year since 2019 where teams were free to sell a 162-game schedule to stadium capacity. The season was delayed by a lockout that also wiped away much of spring training.

When compared to 2019, the numbers are significantly down. In 2019, MLB drew 68,494,895 fans with an average per game of 28,339. That 2019 number was the worst number of the 21st century at the time and was a decrease of more than four million fans from just two years before in 2017.

Total attendance plays less of a role in MLB team revenue than it used to, as teams have leaned into dynamic pricing as a way to maximize revenue. But the decreases are significant. In 2007, MLB set an attendance record with 79,503,105 fans.

Looking on a team by team basis, more than two-thirds of MLB teams have seen a decrease in average attendance when compared to 2019. The biggest attendance gainer was the Toronto Blue Jays, while the Oakland A’s have seen the largest decrease.

RkTeamDifferencePct Change
From 2019
1Toronto Blue Jays11,15651.63%
2Seattle Mariners6,46929.24%
3San Diego Padres7,29724.66%
4Atlanta Braves5,86217.88%
5Chicago White Sox3,38115.78%
6Miami Marlins1,18811.86%
7New York Mets2,7769.09%
8Baltimore Orioles1,1957.31%
9Detroit Tigers9264.93%
10Los Angeles Dodgers-1,394-2.84%
11New York Yankees-1,620-3.87%
12St. Louis Cardinals-1,974-4.59%
13Tampa Bay Rays-807-5.48%
14Texas Rangers-1,501-5.70%
15Houston Astros-2,078-5.89%
16San Francisco Giants-2,779-8.31%
17Boston Red Sox-3,698-10.24%
18Washington Nationals-2,882-10.33%
19Colorado Rockies-4,486-12.14%
20Kansas City Royals-2,525-13.65%
21Chicago Cubs-5,902-15.45%
22Philadelphia Phillies-5,213-15.48%
23Pittsburgh Pirates-2,889-15.69%
24Milwaukee Brewers-5,811-16.10%
25Los Angeles Angels-6,933-18.60%
26Minnesota Twins-5,809-20.51%
27Cincinnati Reds-4,882-21.86%
28Cleveland Guardians-4,957-22.52%
29Arizona Diamondbacks-6,547-24.83%
30Oakland Athletics-10,548-51.40%

The Los Angeles Dodgers were the overall attendance champ in 2022 in both average and total attendance. The Oakland Athletics became the first team to draw fewer than 10,000 fans per game in a season other than the pandemic-affected 2020 and 2021 seasons since the Montreal Expos did so in 2004. The A's total attendance of 787,902 fans was also the lowest for a non-2020/2021 season since the Expos drew 748,550 in 2004.

Los Angeles Dodgers47,6723,861,408
St. Louis Cardinals40,9943,320,551
New York Yankees40,2083,136,207
Atlanta Braves38,6413,129,931
San Diego Padres36,8822,987,470
New York Mets33,3082,564,737
Houston Astros33,1982,688,998
Toronto Blue Jays32,7632,653,830
Colorado Rockies32,4682,597,428
Boston Red Sox32,4092,625,089
Chicago Cubs32,3062,616,780
San Francisco Giants30,6502,482,686
Los Angeles Angels30,3392,457,461
Milwaukee Brewers30,2802,422,420
Seattle Mariners28,5912,287,267
Philadelphia Phillies28,4592,276,736
Washington Nationals25,0172,026,401
Texas Rangers24,8322,011,381
Chicago White Sox24,8072,009,359
Minnesota Twins22,5141,801,128
Arizona Diamondbacks19,8171,605,199
Detroit Tigers19,6941,575,544
Baltimore Orioles17,5431,368,367
Cincinnati Reds17,4471,395,770
Cleveland Guardians17,0511,295,870
Kansas City Royals15,9711,277,686
Pittsburgh Pirates15,5241,257,458
Tampa Bay Rays13,9271,128,127
Miami Marlins11,204907,487
Oakland Athletics9,973787,902
Chase Davis Photo By Zac Bondurant Icon Sportswire Via Getty Images

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