Friday, November 22, 2013

Are Phillies fans becoming just fans who love baseball?


Love Park - Philadelphia   /wikipedia



Many years ago in the periods of time that the Phillies weren't a good team, you could find a small but supportive crowd gathered at Veterans Stadium no matter what happened with this Phillies team. I emphasize that the crowd was very much smaller.

 Yes, there's been talk about how bad the Phillies team has been in the past two seasons, not so much that bad, but certainly a lot worse than we seen them from 2007 to 2010. One of the best periods of time that this team has seen in a long time seems like it's well past now.

What is different now is that the fans are hanging in there. When you're a GM or upper management of a baseball team, that's something that you look at, if there are fans in the seats night after night, they must be doing something right.

The Phillies managed to put just over 3 million fans in the seats last year. That's not a small number. It's a lot smaller that the previous couple years, but a small cry from the days when the Phillies only managed 1.6 million or 1.7 million fans per year during the lean years at Veterans Stadium.

This begs the question, if the Phillies aren't really good anymore, then, is Philadelphia just becoming a city that has fell in love with baseball?

A town that loves baseball a whole lot would be Chicago, and specifically Cubs fans. The Cubs drew 2.6M fans last year, and they have finished dead last in their division for 4 years now. You can only explain that by saying that the town is still supporting the Cubs and probably they really love the game of baseball.

Here's the attendance for the Cubs for the past 10 seasons:


Rk Year W L Finish Playoffs Stadium Attendance Est. Payroll
1 2013 66 96 5 Wrigley Field 2,642,682 $61,647,500
2 2012 61 101 5 Wrigley Field 2,882,756 $80,422,700
3 2011 71 91 5 Wrigley Field 3,017,966 $136,547,329
4 2010 75 87 5 Wrigley Field 3,062,973 $146,609,002
5 2009 83 78 2 Wrigley Field 3,168,859 $139,652,000
6 2008 97 64 1 Lost LDS (3-0) Wrigley Field 3,300,200 $120,345,833
7 2007 85 77 1 Lost LDS (3-0) Wrigley Field 3,252,462 $101,670,332
8 2006 66 96 6 Wrigley Field 3,123,215 $94,424,499
9 2005 79 83 4 Wrigley Field 3,099,992 $87,032,933
10 2004 89 73 3 Wrigley Field 3,170,154 $90,560,000
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/22/2013.


That's an impressive fan base in Chicago just looking at the past 10 years of ticket sales, never mind the sky high prices now that the MLB teams are starting to realize from television and other revenue sources.

If we look at a similar chart of Phillies attendance to the games of the last 15 seasons at Veterans Stadium, and all the years attendances at CBP  we can see that the support has been increasing especially when the Phillies moved to CBP in 2004:


Here's the last 15 years at Veteran's Stadium

Rk Year Lg W L Finish Playoffs Stadium ▾ Attendance Est. Payroll
1 2003 NL East 86 76 3 Veterans Stadium 2,259,948 $70,780,000
2 2002 NL East 80 81 3 Veterans Stadium 1,618,467 $57,954,999
3 2001 NL East 86 76 2 Veterans Stadium 1,782,054 $41,663,833
4 2000 NL East 65 97 5 Veterans Stadium 1,612,769 $47,513,000
5 1999 NL East 77 85 3 Veterans Stadium 1,825,337 $31,897,500
6 1998 NL East 75 87 3 Veterans Stadium 1,715,722 $36,297,500
7 1997 NL East 68 94 5 Veterans Stadium 1,490,638 $36,656,500
8 1996 NL East 67 95 5 Veterans Stadium 1,801,677 $34,314,500
9 1995 NL East 69 75 2 Veterans Stadium 2,043,598 $30,555,945
10 1994 NL East 54 61 4 Veterans Stadium 2,290,971 $31,599,000
11 1993 NL East 97 65 1 Lost WS (4-2) Veterans Stadium 3,137,674 $28,538,334
12 1992 NL East 70 92 6 Veterans Stadium 1,927,448 $24,492,834
13 1991 NL East 78 84 3 Veterans Stadium 2,050,012 $22,487,332
14 1990 NL East 77 85 4 Veterans Stadium 1,992,484 $13,740,167
15 1989 NL East 67 95 6 Veterans Stadium 1,861,985 $10,779,000
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/22/2013.


Here's a chart of the first 10 seasons at Citizen's Bank Park, yes it's hard to believe but CBP is 10 years old already:


Rk Year Lg W L Finish Playoffs Stadium Attendance Est. Payroll
1 2013 NL East 73 89 4 Citizens Bank Park 3,012,403 $150,860,000
2 2012 NL East 81 81 3 Citizens Bank Park 3,565,718 $171,501,558
3 2011 NL East 102 60 1 Lost LDS (3-2) Citizens Bank Park 3,680,718 $172,976,379
4 2010 NL East 97 65 1 Lost NLCS (4-2) Citizens Bank Park 3,777,322 $141,928,379
5 2009 NL East 93 69 1 Lost WS (4-2) Citizens Bank Park 3,600,693 $115,479,046
6 2008 NL East 92 70 1 Won WS (4-1) Citizens Bank Park 3,422,583 $97,879,880
7 2007 NL East 89 73 1 Lost LDS (3-0) Citizens Bank Park 3,108,325 $89,428,213
8 2006 NL East 85 77 2 Citizens Bank Park 2,701,815 $88,273,333
9 2005 NL East 88 74 2 Citizens Bank Park 2,665,304 $95,522,000
10 2004 NL East 86 76 2 Citizens Bank Park 3,250,092 $93,219,167
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/22/2013.


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