When the Philadelphia Phillies take the field in the first game of the World Series against the Houston Astros on Friday, they’ll have a lot more than glory at stake.
The Phillies’ attendance has fluctuated wildly since their last World Series win in 2008 — and so has their on-field performance.
- The four seasons following their championship were the Phillies’ best attended, drawing 3.6 million to 3.8 million in each.
- The team posted a losing record every season from 2013 to 2018, which corresponded to an attendance drop of more than 500,000 fans each season from 2013 to 2015.
- Attendance lingered below 2 million from 2015 to 2017. The team drew 2.3 million fans this season.
Despite the wobbles in performance, the team’s value rose steadily each year from 2017 ($1.65 billion) to the present ($2.3 billion).
The Phillies set a record for merchandise sales among pennant winners in the 24 hours following the team’s pennant win.
The Astros hit a 13-year attendance peak following their 2017 World Series win, when the team drew just under 3 million fans. They also reached the World Series in 2019 and 2021.
The Astros’ 2017 win was called into question after they were found to be cheating. MLB fined them $5 million, removed draft picks, and suspended executives.
Houston’s value saw a similarly steady climb since 2017 ($1.45 billion) to this year’s $1.98 billion, with the largest leap coming after its World Series win.