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MLB Attendance Pops Up, But Falls Below 2019 Levels

  • MLB attendance rose from 2021, but still lagged behind 2019 levels.
  • The league expects revenue to top 2019's $10.7 billion.
MLB
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Baseball attendance was still down in 2022 from its pre-pandemic marks — but there’s hope that the hangover won’t last. 

A total of 64,556,678 announced fans attended MLB regular-season games in 2022, bringing the per-game average to 26,843.

  • The league showed marked improvement from 2021’s 18,901 per game, when crowds were restricted in many stadiums.
  • Attendance this season was down 5.7% compared to 2019’s 68.5 million — 28,339 per game — a drop that MLB chief revenue officer Noah Garden attributed to pandemic caution early in the season. 
  • Even before the pandemic, MLB attendance was on a steady decline from 2007’s peak of 79.5 million fans.

It wasn’t all bad news for MLB: The league is expected to top 2019’s $10.7 billion in revenue.

Playoff Bump

With the postseason’s four wild card series starting on Friday, MLB could get a strong boost. The eight top-drawing teams all made the playoffs..

The league is debuting a new playoff format this season, with six teams in each league qualifying for the postseason —two receive first-round byes, while the remaining four will play best-of-three series.

Disney holds the broadcast rights to the first round as part of its seven-year extension with MLB signed last year. Games will appear on ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2.

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