Attendance at Major League Baseball games is down across the board, which isn’t a surprise. The world is still dealing with a global pandemic and various restrictions that were in place the last two years have only fully been lifted.
Specifically, for the Yankees in New York City, the mandate for vaccination requirement to attend games was lifted in late June of last year, which was the first time the stadium returned to full-capacity attendance since 2019.
So we’re not sure why anybody’s talking about the Yankees’ 2022 attendance being “bad” after just a handful of home games. Maybe it’s just because the Yankees and the results aren’t above and beyond what anyone expected.
These “takes” were formulated after just 16 home games (with 65 more to go!), two of which were postponed on a Friday and Saturday (both were forced into a doubleheader on Sunday and the third game was pushed to Monday afternoon) due to inclement weather. Somehow, it’s being viewed as “bad” that the Yankees have admitted nearly 536,000 guests and have averaged 33,474 fans per game?
Yankee Stadium’s capacity is 54,251, so, sure, it’s not exactly what you want, but during their 103-win 2019 season, the Bombers averaged 40,795 fans per game. We’re only a few thousand off after a historically cold April and a rushed return to the sport following a 99-day lockout.
Slow start? You can call it that. Reason to worry about the overall attendance for 81 games? Not at all … especially with series against the White Sox, Angels, Rays, Astros and Red Sox on the docket before the All-Star break.
Why are we worrying about Yankees’ attendance after 16 games?
So far, the Yankees trail only the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Angels in overall attendance through the first month. The Braves have held 16 home games; the Dodgers have held 12; the Padres have held 15; and the Angels have held 17. The only “real” concern here is the Dodgers absolutely lapping everyone despite having at least three fewer home games.
Attendance isn’t just going to recapture its pre-pandemic form. There are many people out there still concerned about large gatherings. Others have simply adapted to a more reclusive lifestyle as a result of being stuck indoors for the better part of two years. Some simply may not have the money to attend an expensive day at the ballpark. It’s not cheap, folks!
Call us in July if there’s another downturn in attendance, or if the Yankees, say, drop out of the top five. Better yet, give us a ring in October and let us know how you’re feeling when not a single seat is unoccupied for playoff baseball.
Yankees fans always show out in droves. It’ll only get better when the weather turns for good and baseball is in full force.