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April 20, 2010 [LINK / comment]

Lagging baseball attendance

I was disappointed to see that attendance at Nationals home games has not exceeded 20,000 since their opening series against the Phillies. In the game against the Rockies on Monday night, only 11,623 paid to get in, the lowest ever recorded for Nationals Park. The problem exists in a number of other cities, however, and it may be a reflection of economic hard times. USA Today focused on the poor attendance this year for the Cleveland Indians, Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays.

Citi (center) Field

Cody Gobbell reminded me that the Mets altered the center field fence in Citi Field this year, reducing the height from 11 feet to 8 feet. Cody thinks they may have built a new wall in front of the old one, but from what I can tell from photographs, that's not the case. Can anyone who has seen a game there tell us for sure whether or not there is a gap between the new wall and the old wall?

Another alteration at Citi Field is that they reoriented the bullpens, which used to be parallel to the right-center fence, and visiting team pitchers could hardly see the field from where they sat. After a series of complaints, the bullpens are now perpendicular to the right-center fence, so both teams have direct visual access to the field.

Target Field pic

James Matthes sent me a fabulous panoramic photograph of Target Field on Opening Day last week, so I have posted it. James is the proud sponsor of that page. And by the way, how 'bout those Twins?!! They are leading the AL Central Division, one of the first two teams to have won ten games so far this year.

Target Field panorama

Target Field Opening Day panorama; click to see a larger-size version.

COMMENT by: Chris J, of Harpers Ferry, WV on Apr 22, 2010 21:21 PM
I'm not too worried about the Nats attendance so far. If they can hang around the .500 mark by the time Strasburg comes up, I'm sure the attendance will rise. Go Nats!

COMMENT by: Andrew Clem, of Staunton, VA on Apr 23, 2010 20:30 PM
You're right: If the Nationals could recreate the incredible excitement of May & June, 2005, when they took first place in the NL East, attendance could go over 30,000 on a regular basis. It's a very real possibility!

Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 23 Apr 2010, 8: 30 PM

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The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:

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