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Dodger Stadium attendance: Are this season's true numbers even more alarming?

July 23, 2010 |  6:24 am
The Dodgers announced a crowd of 42,299 Thursday night, and it only took me two innings to stop laughing.

Seriously, a Comedy Central gig is waiting for these guys. Charity functions would beg for them to guess jelly beans in a jar.

The New York Mets were in town, and Dodger Stadium appeared half full. There must have been 15 completely empty sections. And most of those where fans did sit looked almost half empty.

Thanks to the McCourts ongoing divorce, more court documents have been uncovered by The Times’ Bill Shaikin showing the difference between the paid attendance and actual turnstile attendance the last four years has been about 20%.

That in itself is a lot of people choosing not to use some pretty expensive tickets. Yet I maintain the amount of no-shows has dramatically increased this season. It is simply my personal observation.

When I first wrote about this back in May, Dodgers spokesman Josh Rawitch said the amount of no-shows this season was consistent with previous years.

Interestingly, when Shaikin approached Rawitch for The Times' current story, the Dodgers spokesman refused to comment. Me, I’m reading something into that.

Yet if the no-shows were running at 20% again this season, then Thursday’s actual crowd would have been about 34,000. I don’t think so. I estimated 30% in May, and that would have put Thursday’s crowd at a more realistic 29,600.

The unanswered question, of course, is if the number of no-shows are up this season -- why? Is it the economy, a reaction to the McCourts living large, an uninspiring team, a continued erosion to the Angels, the Mayan calendar?

Every fan who doesn’t show makes for a lot of parking fees lost, hot dogs and beer and souvenirs not purchased.

That’s a lot of lost revenue. That’s a lot of jelly beans.

-- Steve Dilbeck