It’s finally happened…
The fan bases for both the Royals and the Chiefs have fallen dramatically the last few years. The Royals attendance numbers are misleading due to their many low dough promotions to attract people to the games. The Chiefs have done far less give-aways thus far, but those look to be coming as well.
The Royals have been near the bottom in attendance in the American League – 12th of 14 teams. They’re in a freefall, and with the team’s record they deserve to be.
An average game with season ticket holders (many of whom are no shows) draws around 19, 972 fans. Again, with far fewer actual butts in seats than the "reported" number. To give you an example of how things have changed, in 1989 the Royals drew 2,477,000 fans with an average of 30,500 per game.
And that’s with allmost no giveaways.
Oh and by the way, they came in second with a record of 92-70. In case you’re wondering, in 1985 – the year the Royals won it all – they drew 2,162,000 fans with an average of 26,375 and were 5th of 14 teams in attendance. This year they’re already over 1 million by a nose and remain close to the bottom in attendance.
The Chiefs are far better, but are also in a major free fall.
Last year with a division title, they drew 541,380. Counting season ticket holders (again many of whom do not show up) they averaged 67,672 per game. In 2009 it was almost the same with total attendance at 540,000 for a 67,514 average. The Chiefs were as high in attendance as third in the league just a few years back in 2005.
They stunk but still drew.
Yes, the economy is a factor. Yes, televised home games are a factor for both teams.
But mostly it’s a case of fans being pissed off at all of the losing – that’s the biggest factor.
Are we headed towards downsized stadiums like Sporting Kansas City‘s new LiveStrong? Sure Dallas built a monster stadium but they are the NFL’s number one draw and have a large enough population base to put other big events in the park.
We don’t. Very few.
I noticed last weekend – both Friday and Saturday – that the Royals played the who cares Detroit Tigers and drew well, in the mid 20,000’s per game. I was impressed since we are one of baseball’s worst teams ever. Then I was told, "Oh yeah Friday was Buck Night, dollar hot-dog night.
What’s next? See a Naked Monkey Night? Watch THE HANGOVER on the scoreboard night?
Giveaway after giveaway after giveaway…
A real game attendance – without the free stuff – was Sunday. The number of fans there? My brother took his son Jake and they sat in the front row because nobody else cared. Even though they had like $15 tickets.
Eric Hosmer made a great play at first late in the game and was looking for a little kid to toss the ball to. He looked and looked and looked. And finally he saw Jake and tossed it to him. Jake was thrilled. But see, there were hardly ANY KIDS AROUND. Nobody was there, my brother said. Maybe – and I mean maybe – there were 4,000 people.
"It looked empty like a clean up the park day," Jeff said.
How empty was it? CNBC wanted a photo for its how hot it was story and wanted a kid in it. They used my nephew Jake with a Royals towel on his head. Yep, it was that quiet. Oh, and we lost. Hey, it’s only July and already 100 losses are just around the bend.
Next year, SAME THING. Enjoy.