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Attendance at Dodger Stadium continues to plunge

Ih28s3kf The Dodgers are coming! The Dodgers are coming!

Are you?

Well, you haven’t been, at least not in robust Dodgers-esque numbers. The Dodgers return home Friday, but no one is expecting a giddy sellout to await them.

Whether a boycott against the McCourts, fear of safety or simply uninspired with the team after last season’s sub-.500 effort, attendance is plummeting at Dodger Stadium.

Empty seats are everywhere, at every level. Even field level seats seem only dotted with fans. Some entire sections routinely sit empty.

Baseball’s 30 teams are down 635 fans per game thus far into the season (through Wednesday) or 2%, but the Dodgers are their big drag.

Through their first 18 home dates, Dodgers are down 7,268 fans per game, compared to last year -- the biggest drop in baseball.

And remember, baseball announces tickets sold, not actual attendance. It does not release no-show numbers, but they are significant at Dodger Stadium. Several games, the old ballpark hasn’t even looked half full.

Tickets sold for the Dodgers currently are down 16.5% over last season. And it’s noticeable.

Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly admits it bothers him to look up and see a half-empty Dodger Stadium.

"A little bit," he said. "I mean, you’d like to see the place full. Just for the guys’ standpoint.

"You just get kind of spoiled here, seeing the place full. From the guys’ standpoint, when you start playing really hard and guys are busting it, you want people to see it. I think the way we remedy that is to win."

The Dodgers are 9-9 at home this season, but Mattingly doesn’t think the smaller crowds have had an impact on the team’s play.

"I don’t think so, but it’s nice when there’s an energy," he said. "I don’t think we’re losing anything because of it. I want people to see us play, to see what these guys can do."

Normally, not a problem. The Dodgers traditionally are one of the top two or three teams in MLB attendance. Currently, they rank eighth with an average of 36,672 tickets sold per game. For the first time, they are on track to trail the Angels in attendance.

The McCourts once immodestly set a goal of 4 million in season attendance. This season, the Dodgers are not on pace to reach 3 million.

Most who leave comments here, say they’re not coming out as a protest to the McCourts’ ownership. Some -- many -- promise not to return until there is a new owner.

The loss of 7,268 fans per game has to hurt the McCourts financially. That’s a lot of parking not paid for, a lot of hot dogs left unsold, a lot of souvenirs left for sale.

And an embarrassing number of empty seats.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodger Stadium. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

 
Comments () | Archives (147)

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Not only I am not going to see the my beloved Dodgers at Dodgers Stadium, I am not watching them on Fox. Keep this up guys. Let McBroke dream about his 3 billion TV deal when no one is watching his product.

I still fully support the Dodgers, just not the McBroke.

If I must go, I will go with free tickets.
If I must go, I will go to Union station and take the bus to stadium.
If I must go, I will bring my own food.

All McBroke will get from me is the the waste I left with you in the restroom. That's what you deserve.

I've gone to 10 games a year since the late 80's. This year I will go to none. I won't go until a new owner is in place. I want to see a farm system like the Rays and a payroll in the Top 5. The Dodgers shouldn't be fielding lineups with Tony Gwynn and Aaron Miles talent.

And this is a huge surprise to who?

Staying away is tough-love. Short-term pain, long-term gain.

Boycott.

That is correct. I will not give my money to the McCourts. However, don't worry Donnie - we're watching the guys play...on TV. Go Blue!

Good

LA fans are the worst. First they can't support an NFL team and now that they dodgers are having a bad year and they won't support them either. I bet if the Dodgers were in first place attendance would be up.

Good job Dodger fans. Honestly. I am an out of state fan so I can't get to the ballpark. But I wish I was there so that I could NOT GO with you guys. For the first time ever an Fan Boycott is sort of working.

Good! Good good good good good. This is good news. The players will get paid anyhow, and I hope the McCourts suffer a massive financial hit this season. I live in Maryland so I won't be attending any games anyhow... but I also won't be buying any Dodger gear for my son (as I otherwsie would have) until there is a new owner. Keep boycotting, fellow fans!

I for one, would not go to another game undre Frank's ownership!!!!

I can't hardly watch them on TV why should I pay for $4.25 gas, $20 for a coke and food, and $70 for a ticket, $15 for parking.....so it costs me more than $100 per game and I'm not going to give this money to a man who has spent it on his life style and not on our team......we should have the best and until the best is back in LA, I'm not coming out!!

Absolutely...I will not return to a Dodgers game until the team is no longer owned by the McCourt's. I have been a Dodger fan since the 50's and attended several games at the Coliseum during the '60 and '61 season. I am disgusted with what they have done to one of the most respected franchises in MLB history. The sooner they are gone, the sooner the fans will return.

Plain and simple. We are boycotting McCourt, not our boys in blue.

If Dodgers can promise me that Lakers Odom and Bynum won't be there, I'll come....less chance I'll get "mugged".

We refused to renew our Dodger season tickets this season to protest the McCourts! However, we bought tickets for every away game this season and are spending our money in the other stadiums. We're still cheering for our Dodgers! Go Blue, the fans will always love you!

McCourt leaves = Attendance increase

I will not support his lifestyle.

It will only get worse too. Sorry, this team and lineup just don't excite me.

I wanted the Dodgeer cooler bag giveaway from 2 weeks ago, and I bought one online for $16.

Had I gone to the game it would have cost me $100 at least. Tix, food, parking, etc....

This stadium will fill up again once McCourt is gone.

Pateince is a virtue for Dodger fans, but unless Selig blows it big time, we should have a new owner by next year.

wow, this is THE GREATEST news abt the duds in a lonnnnnnng time, as nothing will bring about the necessary change(s) as this will, as deff. impact on the "bottom-line"!!!!

way to go fans, & keep up the good work, by staying away from the ballpark!!!

By not going, we, LA, are winning, and so are the Dodgers, therefore, in the long-term. Which with MLB ready to pay the bills and seize the team from its fading owner, long-term is looking very short.

As is just, McCourt is the only loser here. And what a loser! The idiot who blew up his own personal jam-packed ATM.

Does Donnie not get it that it has much less to do with the players on the field than it does boycotting McCourt? Not that I'd want to spend hard earned dollars watching this rag-tag bunch of drifters, but even the awful teams of the past drew attendance. I like to see the stadium a varitable wasteland until McCourt leaves, then have a sellout first game under new ownership. Screw you Frank.

....and yet, he still refuses to believe he's the cause and effect.

Put one more down for boycott until he is no longer owner of the Dodgers, the stadium and the parking lot.

The boycott is working...spread the news!

If it hurts the McCourts then I am all for it!

The team doesn't care, so why should the fans?

I have not been to a Dodger game in 2 years, I used to attend about 20 games a year...the reason, Frank McCourt. I will return once the team has new ownership.

Yup, and will continue to boycott. Can't wait to hear the McCourts are gone so I can see my Dodgers for the first time this year!

I have been a Dodger fan for more than 50 years and grew up listening to "Vinnie" on my transistor radio. I used to attend Dodger games several times a year but decided a few years ago that it just wasn't safe anymore to take my children or grandchildren. The parking also sucks and this guy McCort does too. I don't know who is advising him about good public relations but he had an excellent opportunity to step up and do the right thing for the Giants fan who got beat up, but failed to do so. They should've set up a long term trust fund for the guy and his family that dodger fans, who wanted to, could've donated to on line via a web site. As much as I hate to say it I think the only dodger games I will be attending anytime soon will be either in Phoenix or San Francisco.

McCourt is a classic narcissist and likely believes if he weathers the storm fans will eventually forget and return. I will not. Both he and his skeletal wife have ripped Los Angeles and Dodger fans off with total disregard. They should be carried from this city on a log covered in tar and feathers.

keep up the good work. Continue the boycott until we have a new owner.

Michael J Cox leave this conversation for real sports fan. A true fan votes with their wallet, not by supporting the con artists running this team.

The 16.5% decline in attendance at Dodger Stadium likely represents a 25% decline in ticket revenue over 2010 due to the deep discounting of some seats. The "$30" seat promotion which may attract a crowd of 40,000 but only generate actual ticket revenue of 30,000. It's all a bit of trickery of course as a family of four is still going to put $200+ in McCourt's pocket for a game at Dodger Stadium.

Such weak excuses. Real fans stick with their team through thick and thin. Dodger fans= Bandwagon Fans. With a city the size of LA, this is just down right pathetic! The real reason you dodger fans are not showing up is that the Dodgers are not very good this year. Quit using the McCourts as an excuse for being bandwagon fans. At least try and use the traffic as an excuse for not attending.

Here is a silver lining:
.
While ticket sales are down...
.
my paper bag sales in designer colors are UP!!!

I'm going to FEWER games. Not no games, but I get the tickets off stubhub (that are already sold), so my money is going to the ticket-holder selling the ticket. DON'T LET MCCOURT SPEND YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY ON HIS RIDICUOUS LIFESTYLE!!!

This is such a conundrum for me. On one hand, I'd love to see McCourt get ousted as fast as possible and this seems to be an effective method to do so. On the other hand, though, I love going to the games and just enjoying myself there. Perhaps a winning team and a committed owner would be helpful.

Attendance and performance are not one in the same, is Mattingly thinks more rear ends in the seat will help his team play, look at the Cleveland Indians, ten games over .500, in first place, drawing 15,000 per game. Dodgers problems are much larger, the suckers, er, fans are speaking, loudly, with their absence.

This is the best news of the season, so far! The Dodgers are also very boring to watch on the tube.

DO NOT buys Dodgers tickets until McCourt is GONE!

Clearly the boycott is working, whether organized or not. Fans instinctively know when to stay away from a smelly situation. I feel for the fellas in uniforms (and those working @ the stadium), but even they know what's up. I do watch the games on Fox (I'm 500 miles away from LA), but likely won't when Vin hangs it up. Good on the Angels for achieving excellence at the Big A ... and their owner does what good owners do (pay top salary, stay out of the headlines, treat the fans right).

I'm a 10-15 game a year guy. My dream has been to be able to afford season tickets and watch the team from April to October at least for one season some day. But the McCourt situation has changed everything. Last year I went to two games, and they were both early in the season. This year, unless someone lays free tickets on me, I won't go to any. If I get free tickets, I'll park outside the stadium grounds and walk in. I'll eat either before or after the game and I'll bring an unlabeled bottle of water in to drink. McCourt doesn't get it. He had an opportunity to build a winning tradition. He did some of the right things (bringing back franchise nostalgia, getting current and former players involved in the community, making sure guys like Tommy LaSorda got the respect they deserve from the fans and have the ability to take a significant, visible role in the franchise.) It's just a shame that it seems like these things are for show and geared toward driving up profits. How dare this man exploit the franchise's tradition in order to exploit its fanbase for profit...(and then he doesn't even make a profit, even as our hundreds of millions come flowing his way! He blows it on himself and his wife.)

Don't get me wrong, as the owner of the franchise, McCourt is entitled to draw some form of personal salary from the team's income. But he has abused the privilege many times over. What person draws $150 million from their business for personal use and DOESN'T PAY A CENT OF TAX ON IT? Meanwhile, as Frank takes his millions upon millions out of the Dodgers, ticket prices go up. His quality of life, at least in the short term, became vastly improved while our game day experience and ability to afford tickets suffered. The team, players, and fanbase suffer because of it. Some of us have just chosen not to suffer anymore.

If Frank McCourt continues to own the franchise, it will only get worse. If Frank McCourt is forced to sell the team but is able to retain ownership of the ballpark and the parking low, people will still stay away, especially with $20 parking and no security. The fans will come back when Frank McCourt is gone. Otherwise, we know there's a proposal for a football stadium on the Convention Center's north hall, but a city-financed 55,000 seat state-of-the-art baseball stadium with improved connections to a rapidly-expanding mass transportation network and convenient access to hotspots at L.A. Live could fit there just as well. A new owner in a new stadium if McCourt manages to hang onto the land despite losing the team doesn't sound like a bad idea.

A few people have suggested that attendance is down because the team is not in first place. Well, the fans realize that as long as McBroke is the owner, this is the kind of roster the Dodgers will be playing with because Fox deal or not, McBroke will always find a way to be in debt and have little left for the stadium or team. Dodger fans are boycotting McBroke - plain and simple.

How can you not make payroll 2 months into the season?!?!

Keep boycotting Dodger fans! I like the first game without McBroke sell out idea!

I will join the boycott, until McCourt is gone and the parking fees are not so obnoxious.

Steve, Doe's Mr. Mccourt read the blogs or do you e-mail them to him? Also, have you talked to any fans whom talked to Mccourt up in the right field pavilion a couple of weeks ago?

Why would anyone want to buy a jersey under the current ownership anyways? If Andre Ethier continues to hit the way he is hitting the ownership won't want to pay him the money he will be entitled and he will sign as a free agent somewhere else. This is extremely discouraging for a Phoenix Dodger fan who has watched Andre since HS and ASU.....

This is not at all about how the team is playing. True fans don't let the standings determine whether or not you attend a game. Go back and look at all of the attendance records that the Dodgers hold and the assumption that fans are not attending because of the quality of the team does not hold up. Some of the biggest season attendance occurred when the team was sub-par. In 1992 their record was 63-99 and they still drew 2.5M fans which was half a million more fans than the league average. Fans are not going because they do not have any faith in the ownership of the team. Why pay inflated prices to pay off the McCourt divorce?

Mr. McCourt, please sell the team. No real fans believe your mea culpas and ridiculous excuses for being broke. I have listened to all of your interviews recently and tried to keep an open mind, however your sincerity was just nonexistent. Fans are not upset with you for what has happened over the course of the last year and a half, fans have memories that go much further back than that. We remember all of the empty promises and boasting that goes back seven years and five mansions ago. We remember how you treated Ross Porter and Joey Amalfitano for their years of service. Couldn't even give them a phone call. What happened to the payroll that was always going to be in the top 5 of baseball? What was that statement you made? Why spend $100M for 100 wins when $90M can get you 92 wins? As far as this fan is concerned the only smart player deal that you made was getting rid of Milton Bradley and acquiring Andre Ethier. Even that deal worked well for you since you were able to dump payroll.

Please do us all a favor and SELL THE TEAM!

When McCourt is gone I will start going to games...but not until he's gone

It's unfortunate that the players and coaches lack the normal amount of support from the stands, but it is the right thing to do, to bring McCourt down. It would be great if no fans showed up, just to expedite his exit.

The Dodgers organization is going through major changes right now, and with the help of MLB, this team will turn things aroung. Good things happened for the Rangers with MLB, good things happened for the Rays with help from MLB, and I believe the same will be true for the Dodgers.
Since McCourt has been owner, Parking has doubled, ticket prices have skyrocketed, souveniers are overpriced, AND WORST OF ALL, the talent level has remained the same.
Various GMS over the years have made some VERY bad decisions, choosing to pay 20-25 million dollars to ANDRUW JONES??!! and Manny Ramirez?

If the Dodgers can mae a legitimate bid to get Pujols this offseason, fans will return to the stadium with excitement and energy.

does mccourt or his guys read this stuff? has there been one positive comment anywhere? hopefully he will get the picture. this is starting to get real ugly with this guy and his family

Good job Dodger fans. Honestly. I am an out of state fan so I can't get to the ballpark. But I wish I was there so that I could NOT GO with you guys. For the first time ever an Fan Boycott is sort of working.

Posted by: Tom Andrews | 05/13/2011 at 08:07 AM

=====

Fan boycotts worked for the Minnesota North Stars and Charlotte Hornets. Yeah, they lost the teams for the short term, but ultimately got new teams with owners that weren't hated.

 
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