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Sunday, July 14, 2024

MLB Attendance Continues to Trend Up in the Pitch Clock Era

  • MLB announced its most-attended weekend since August 2008.
  • The pitch clock has spurred attendance growth throughout the past two seasons.
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

MLB recorded its best-attended weekend in 16 years over Father’s Day, the league said.

  • A total of 1,688,731 fans attended 45 games, which averages to 37,527 per game.
  • Both figures are the highest they’ve been for an MLB weekend since Aug. 22, 2008.
  • Sunday alone drew the most fans the league has seen since Sept. 28, 2008.

The weekend featured plenty of big matchups, including Yankees–Red Sox and Royals-Dodgers. Some of the league’s worst-drawing teams—the A’s, Marlins, Rays, and White Sox—were all on the road.

MLB attendance has been growing out of the COVID-19 pandemic, which coincides with the league’s new pitch clock. The average game time dropped to 2 hours and 40 minutes last season, 24 minutes shorter than the year before, and the first month of this year saw games taking an average of 2 hours and 36 minutes.

The pitch clock, along with new rules issuing larger bases and restrictions on certain defensive shifts, helped create more action in the games, and attendance has been trending up since last year. The 2023 regular season saw the MLB’s largest number of fans since ’17. The league had nine weekends with 1.5 million fans by mid-August, when it had averaged just one over the four prior seasons.

Earlier this season, the league announced its best April weekend (non–Opening Day division) since 2017, with 1,460,736 fans coming to 46 games over April 22–24.

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