Breaking news via Maury Brown at Biz of Baseball: Major League Baseball's attendance numbers have dropped for the second year in a row! But before you start rending your garments and gnashing your teeth about the idea of Jerry Reinsdorf not being able to afford that gold-plated shofar he's been eyeing, fret not. The average attendance figures dropped by only 259 warm bodies per game, and most of it was the Mets' fault.
Fred Wilpon's sadsack team has drawn over 400,000 fewer fans over the first 64 games of 2010 as compared to the same period in 2009; we can only expect that differential to increase since the Mets have run themselves out of the playoff race. No more important games and no more bobblehead giveaways mean that the trains to Flushing will either be full of tennis fans or pleasure-seeking Philly folk.
Almost all of the teams who saw a decline in ticket sales are teams that are down in the dumps this year, except one notable exception: the Rays. The team that has flirted with the best record in baseball all season long has seen just 22,679 fans show up per game, down over 1,000 from last year's third place team. Still, this team should see an slight uptick in average attendance once the Yankees come to town next week.
Most of the good news on the list stems from the Twins' new ballpark. Minnesota drew an average of 11,000 extra fans per game to sold-out Target Field than they did to the final season of baseball at the Hankiedome. The novelty of outside baseball is a huge draw, but we all know that folks just want to see Jim Thome swat taters while chowing down on foodstuffs-on-sticks.
Pat yourself on the back if you attended the Walkoff Walk 2010 Field Trip to PNC Park in Pittsburgh: you helped the Pirates increase their average attendance by a whopping 3.3% over last year's figures! If the Pirates want to continue to put butts in seats, we HEIST folks think they should probably stop having George Thorogood postgame concerts and just get to the damn fireworks already.