MLB draws over 70M fans for 1st time since 2017
NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball attendance topped 70 million for the first time in six years.
Total attendance of 70.75 million was up 9.6% from last year's 64.56 million, and the average of 29,295 was up 9.1% from last year's 26,843, the commissioner's office said Monday.
The total and average were the highest since MLB drew 72.67 million in 2017 for an average of 30,042. MLB set its record attendance in 2007 with a total of 79.5 million and an average of 32,785.
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred credited the pitch clock, balanced schedule and expanded postseason for part of the increase, the largest in a season since expansion in 1993.
MLB drew 69.63 million in 2018 and dropped to 68.49 million in 2019, the last season before the coronavirus pandemic.
The shortened 2020 season was played without fans in attendance. Only Texas started the 2021 season at full capacity due to pandemic restrictions, and all 30 teams weren’t at 100% until July in a season that drew 45.3 million.
Eight teams topped 3 million for the first time since 2013 and 17 drew 2.5 million, matching MLB's high. Twenty-six teams had increases, all except for the Chicago White Sox, Washington, St. Louis and the Los Angeles Dodgers, though the Dodgers led the major leagues at 3.84 million and their decrease was less than 25,000.
San Diego was second at 3.27 million, just ahead of the New York Yankees (3.27 million) and St. Louis (3.24 million).
Oakland, which has proposed moving to Las Vegas, drew a major league-low 832,000.
Games on MLB.TV were streamed for 12.7 billion minutes, up 9% from 11.7 billion last year. MLB said the number of games watched in their entirety increased 17%.
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb