|Adley Rutschman - C||Corbin Carroll - RF|
|Gunnar Henderson - SS||Ketel Marte - 2B|
|Anthony Santander - RF||Lourdes Gurriel - LF|
|Ryan O'Hearn - 1B||Tommy Pham - DH|
|Ryan Mountcastle - DH||Alek Thomas - CF|
|Cedric Mullins - CF||Pavin Smith - 1B|
|Austin Hays - LF||Jace Peterson - 3B|
|Ramon Urias - 3B||Jose Herrera - C|
|Adam Frazier - 2B||Geraldo Perdomo - SS|
|Jack Flaherty - RHP||Zac Gallen - RHP|
Hispanic Heritage night and a jersey giveaway helped pull 34,118 fans to Chase Field last night, not far off double the crowd for the series opener on Friday (18,248). But attendance generally has been up at Chase. The team passed the total for all of 2022 in the final home game of August, and it’ll be interesting to see how close they come to pre-pandemic figures by season’s end. That, of course, has been a situation slow to rebound across all of baseball. In 2019, the average crowd was 28,204 per game. After fans were excluded entirely the following year, and limited in 2021, only this season have numbers reached what they were. The current 29,151 average will be the highest since 2017.
Across all of baseball, attendance is up 2,488 per game. I suspect the new rules may have played a part, with the game now more appealing as entertainment, like a movie which has gone through tighter editing. The average contest this year runs about 25 minutes less than in 2022, with no reduction in actual content. It’s simply more entertaining to watch. The D-backs have gone up by more than that though. They are up 4,605 over the same point last season, which is the biggest increase in the NL West - yes, even more than the Padres, with all their spending. [The Giants and Rockies are both among the six teams to have seen attendance decline in 2023]
It seems safe to presume that a significant part of the improvement is simply because the D-backs haven’t sucked, and are playing significant baseball into September, for the first time since before the pandemic, as we discussed yesterday. Attendance in Arizona has always been very strongly correlated (albeit slightly lagging behind) the team’s performance. I’d be the first to admit, Arizona has a high percentage of fair-weather fans, who are likely to be drawn in by success. The fact that the Cardinals and Coyotes suck, while the Suns also managed to disappoint this year, probably leaves some unspent leisure dollars there for the taking among Valley sports fans.