Why Is Mets Attendance Down?

Yesterday, I examined why Braves attendance is up. Today, I examine why Mets attendance is down. Michael Schmidt reports in the NY Times:

A year after moving into a sparkling new $800 million stadium, the Mets have the most home victories in the major leagues, but neither their stadium nor their record is translating into box-office success.

After 22 home games, attendance at Citi Field is down 6,852 fans a game, the largest decline by number in Major League Baseball. That translates to an average of 31,892 fans at games this season compared with 38,744 last season.

Here is a list of attendance by home games through May 13 of 2009 and 2010 (there appears to be a small disparity between the Baseball-Reference numbers and the numbers used in the story).

 
2009						2010			
Gm#	Date		Opp	Attendance	Gm#	Date		Opp	Attendance
7	Monday Apr 13	SDP	41,007		1	Monday Apr 5	FLA	41,245
8	Wednesday Apr 15SDP	35,581		2	Wednesday Apr 7	FLA	38,863
9	Thursday Apr 16	SDP	35,985		3	Thursday Apr 8	FLA	25,982
10	Friday Apr 17	MIL	36,436		4	Friday Apr 9	WSN	28,055
11	Saturday Apr 18	MIL	36,312		5	Saturday Apr 10	WSN	33,044
12	Sunday Apr 19	MIL	36,124		6	Sunday Apr 11	WSN	33,672
16	Friday Apr 24	WSN	40,522		13	Monday Apr 19	CHC	27,940
17	Saturday Apr 25	WSN	39,960		14	Tuesday Apr 20	CHC	27,502
18	Sunday Apr 26	WSN	40,023		15	Wednesday Apr 21CHC	25,684
19	Monday Apr 27	FLA	38,573		16	Thursday Apr 22	CHC	28,535
20	Tuesday Apr 28	FLA	38,546		17	Friday Apr 23	ATL	32,265
21	Wednesday Apr 29FLA	39,339		18	Saturday Apr 24	ATL	36,547
26	Wednesday May 6	PHI	37,600		19	Sunday Apr 25	ATL	27,623
27	Thursday May 7	PHI	37,295		20	Tuesday Apr 27	LAD	32,012
28	Friday May 8	PIT	38,496		21	Tuesday Apr 27	LAD	32,012
29	Saturday May 9	PIT	39,769		22	Wednesday Apr 28LAD	29,724
30	Sunday May 10	PIT	39,871		29	Friday May 7	SFG	34,681
31	Monday May 11	ATL	40,497		30	Saturday May 8	SFG	36,764
32	Tuesday May 12	ATL	39,408		31	Sunday May 9	SFG	35,641
33	Wednesday May 13ATL	40,555		32	Monday May 10	WSN	29,313
						33	Tuesday May 11	WSN	31,606
						34	Wednesday May 12WSN	33,024
								
				Difference	
		2009	2010	Absolute %
Overall	Mean	38,595	31,897	-6,698	-17.35%
					
Weekday	Games	11	13		
	Total	424,386	403,442		
	Mean	38,581	31,034	-7,547	-19.56%

Weekend	Games	9	9		
	Total	347,513	298,292		
	Mean	38,613	33,144	-5,469	-14.16%

Wash	Total	120,505	94,771		
	Mean	40,168	31,590	-8,578	-21.36%

There are few things to look at. First, the Mets have played two more weekday games than weekend games this year, compared to an equal number in 2009. However, when comparing the average of games weekday to weekday and weekend to weekend, attendance is down 20% and 14%, respectively. When comparing the 2009 and 2010 series with the Washington Nationals, which were both over a weekend, attendance was down 21% over last season. The bias in the 2010 sample doesn’t seem to explain much of the difference.

Some of this difference is to be expected, as the luster of a new stadium has diminished. In the 2000s, attendance declined by approximately 7% in the year following the introduction of a new stadium. Attendance seems to be down beyond what would be expected; but, I think it’s too early to read much into these numbers. The first month of last season saw very big crowds when the stadium was its youngest, and the crowds dwindled over the course of the season. The season is still early, so it will be interesting to see how the numbers stack up at the end of the year.

5 Responses “Why Is Mets Attendance Down?”

  1. Jay says:

    It’s a poor place to watch a baseball game and the tickets are way too expensive. They took a cookie cutter HOK design, added a few fake character items like overhangs and what not (which ended up creating too many obstructed view seats and poor viewing angles) and tried to pass it off as a big city park with big city prices. And it plays like Yellowstone. You can’t get away with that stuff in NY.

  2. mattmaison says:

    I agree with Jay. It’s a cookie cutter stadium that they put some weird angles in to make it less cookie cutter, but it only made things worse.

  3. rich says:

    the team f-ing sucks right now. if you throw out what seems to be a fluke of a ten day span they would be fighting for last place again. They arent hitting and their big free agency fix for that has been pretty close to a bust right now. Maybe the new manager can help!

  4. bmurf says:

    fans that go there deserve to be robbed at least you can bye your hub caps back when you leave after paying 20 to park. the stadium should be called Gimmick field.After 50 years a fan I have seen enough and won’t return I have had enough of the Flushing los mets. The wilpons have pimped there old fan base, the old die hearts. may they never get out of the cellar

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