A tale of two attendance tallies: St. Louis near best, KC close to worst at MLB midseason
Summer is well underway, and Major League Baseball is halfway through its 162-game season. The Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals have both had seasons to forget on the field up to this point. However, despite both having losing records, Missouri’s MLB teams have markedly different attendance numbers.
The Cardinals rank second in attendance to this point, averaging more than 41,000. They trail the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have averaged a gargantuan 48,000 fans this season so far.
The Royals have drawn the third-worst average attendance so far this season to Kauffman Stadium. Through 40 home games, the Royals averaged just over 16,000 fans per game.
The only teams the club has outdrawn are the Miami Marlins, who historically have poor attendance, and the Oakland A’s, who are in the midst of a fan boycott amid a planned move to Las Vegas.
By percentage of capacity, the Royals (42.5%) keep their third-worst spot. The Cardinals (92.5%) fall behind both the San Diego Padres (99.2%) and the Atlanta Braves (94.3%).
MLB attendance was up 4.5% through the first half of the season. Almost every team saw rise, with some exceptions. As of June 28, the Cardinals' attendance had risen about 2,000 fans per game, while the Royals' attendance had fallen about 33 fans per game.
MLB’s attendance spike has largely been attributed to the rule changes in place this season. In an effort to make the experience more enjoyable for fans, MLB instituted a pitch clock that limits the time between pitches, made the bases slightly bigger and banned defensive shifts.
On average, the duration of MLB games is down 26 minutes this year, to 2 hours and 40 minutes. If that average holds, it would be the shortest average time of game since 1984.