MLB: Major League Baseball’s attendances have been up this season
PHOENIX – Even with home run races involving Aaron Judge and Albert Pujols this season, Major League Baseball hasn’t been able to fill its stadiums at the same rate as before the pandemic, although attendances have still been up from 2021.
MLB’s 30 clubs drew nearly 64.6 million spectators, up from the 45.3 million who attended games in 2021, according to baseball-reference.com. The total figure for 2022 is still lower than the 68.5 spectators who passed through the turnstiles in 2019, the last season which was not affected by the pandemic.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and their 111 victories led the Majors with 3.86 million spectators, an average of 47,672 per game. The Oakland Athletics, who have lost 102 games, play in an aging stadium and are constantly subject to relocation rumors, finished dead last, attracting just 787,902 fans for an average of 9,728 per game.
The St. Louis Cardinals finished second with 3.32 million, followed by the New York Yankees (3.14 million), defending World Series champions Atlanta Braves (3. 13 million), and the San Diego Padres (2.99 million).
The Toronto Blue Jays saw the biggest increase in ticket sales, rising from 805,901 fans in 2021 to some 2.65 million spectators. They were followed by the Cardinals, Yankees, Seattle Mariners, Dodgers and New York Mets, all of which drew more than a million more spectators than last year.
It must be said that in 2021, only the Texas Rangers started the campaign by being able to fill their stadium at 100% due to sanitary measures to counter COVID-19. The 30 teams did not reach this threshold until July. Fans were unable to attend games in person in 2020.
Major League Baseball’s attendance had been declining since 2007, when it peaked at 79.4 million. The 64.6 million tickets sold this year are the lowest number for a year unaffected by COVID-19 since MLB expanded to 30 teams in 1998.
Box office losses were, however, somewhat offset by higher viewership. Streaming service MLB.TV earned 11.5 billion minutes of viewing in 2022, a record high and up nearly 10% from 2021.