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Will we ever know had badly Dodgers' attendance is down?

July 29, 2011 |  9:16 am

Oh, we know it’s down. Have evidence that it’s way down.

But the published numbers don’t tell the full story; not even close.

Buoyed by a pair of 50,000-plus bobblehead crowds (for Andre Ethier and Fernando Valenzuela), the Dodgers are averaging 36,623 per game.

That’s 8,102 fewer fans than last season, and actually better than the 9,319 it was down earlier this season. The Dodgers' total attendance is off 453,694 for the season.

But baseball uses tickets sold for its attendance figures, and not actual turnstile attendance. And that’s the number that would really be scary.

The number of no-shows is what makes the crowds at Dodger Stadium so shocking. I’d estimate at least  25% are not showing up most nights, and sometimes close to a third. That's a lot of empty seats between fans.

The Dodgers announced a crowd of 29,976 for Wednesday night’s game against the Rockies, and there might not have been 20,000 actually there.

Maybe actual attendance will come out in some court filing, but for now all you can do is look at that sea of empty seats and estimate.

And those are the fans easy to identify as boycotting. If you’re really boycotting, you’re not only not using your tickets, you’re not giving them to anyone else to use, either.

-- Steve Dilbeck

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