Thursday, March 19, 2009

Winning and MLB attendance

People like to watch winning teams, but how much does winning actually influence attendance? It depends.
Someone on Athletics Nation took a look at MLB attendance figures and the number of wins that a team needs in order to achieve league-average attendance. Success on the field tends to correlate with success in attendance, but the strength of that correlation varies greatly from team to team.
In order for the Oakland A's to attract a league-average number of fans, they need to win about 100 games, which is obviously very difficult to do. Pittsburgh, Florida, and Tampa Bay also struggle to attract fans regardless of how well they perform.
On the other end of the spectrum sit teams that attract lots of fans regardless of how they perform. The Dodgers, for instance, would attract league-average attendance by winning just 42 games. In recent decades, the Yankees, Boston, Toronto, and Colorado all have had robust attendance regardless of their win-loss record.
On average, new parks increase attendance and decrease a team's reliance on wins, which shouldn't be a huge surprise (though some teams, like the White Sox and the Reds, have suffered lower attendance in their newer stadiums).
Read the whole thing!