The All-Star Break is typically a time for MLB teams to take stock of their situations, and the league is doing the same, starting with one glaring issue: declining attendance.
The league averaged 26,409 tickets sold per game in the first half of the season, down 5% compared to the same period in 2019.
- Should the trend hold, this year would be the eighth in a row in which MLB attendance dropped, not counting 2020 and 2021, in which attendance was severely limited due to pandemic-related restrictions.
- A 5% decline in attendance would be the largest since the 6.9% dip in 2009.
Compared to last season, when many teams restricted ticket sales, attendance is up 113%.
No team’s attendance has tumbled more since 2019 than that of the Oakland A’s, who drew an average of 20,521 that year and have so far averaged an MLB-low 8,637 this season.
“The condition of the Coliseum is a really serious problem for us,” Manfred said Tuesday, referring to the A’s RingCentral Coliseum. “It is not a major league-quality facility at this point.”
He noted that A’s owner John Fisher must either make a deal with the city of Oakland on a new $12 billion ballpark and surrounding development — or relocate.
Manfred also said that he believes the Tampa Bay Rays may be best suited for Tampa, as opposed to their current home in neighboring St. Petersburg, but there are a number of factors at play.