Orioles' attendance at Camden Yards for Yankees series exposes bandwagon fandom

Oh no! Here come the angries!
Oakland Athletics v Baltimore Orioles
Oakland Athletics v Baltimore Orioles / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

Sorry but ... when your stadium is empty for the better part of a decade and ranks 20th in MLB to start the 2024 season, there's no other conclusion to draw. For years, whenever the New York Yankees visited the Baltimore Orioles, Camden Yards was packed with Bronx Bomber supporters. That's just the way it's always been.

Fast forward to 2024, after the O's captured their first division title since 2014, and now all of a sudden the Baltimore faithful decide to show up in raucous fashion when the Yankees are in town. Hey, good for you guys! It's legitimately awesome. But don't pretend it's always been this way.

When the Orioles were legitimately the worst team in the league, losing 100+ games in 2018, 2019 and 2021, they had Rays-esque attendance. Proof in numbers:

  • 2018: 26th in attendance (20,053 fans per game)
  • 2019: 28th in attendance (16,347 fans per game)
  • 2021: 26th in attendance (10,169 fans per game)

How about when the O's were a contender in 2012, 2014 and 2016?

  • 2012: 20th in attendance (26,610 fans per game)
  • 2014: 13th in attendance (30, 805 fans per game)
  • 2016: 20th in attendance (26, 819 fans per game)

We know Baltimore is a small city, but it's the 29th largest in the US and they got lapped in attendance by markets like Milwaukee (30th largest city in the US), Cleveland (33rd), Kansas City (35th), Atlanta (37th), Oakland (44th), Minnesota (45th) and Anaheim (55th).

So when The Athletic penned an article this week titled "Yankees fans no longer rule Camden Yards, thanks to surging Orioles," it does nothing but make us think, "Oh, so all it took was the Orioles winning some games to get their 'fans' back at the ballpark?". They were still only 21st in MLB last year when they won 101 games! That 13th mark in 2014 was their highest attendance over the past decade.

Meanwhile, the Ravens have mostly been top 10 in attendance in the NFL over that same timeframe, so, clearly, there are sports fans here! The difference? The Ravens are always a contender and the Orioles are not.

Orioles have had fun with their trash talk this week, from clowning on Yankees fans for complaining about the Camden Yards renovations (for the record, every baseball fans has been complaining about this when visiting the O's) to attempting to shut Juan Soto up for staring down Dean Kremer after his Tuesday night home run.

Maybe worry about getting fans through the turnstiles or getting past the first round of the postseason before you start acting like the top dog. Just a thought.