What can we expect for Rangers attendance in 2011?


What can we expect for the Ranger's attendance in 2011?  If a major league baseball player hit 19, 22 and 25 hrs in consecutive years, in year four we would naturally expect to see some regression.  Yet, with approximately 1.9 million, 2.2 million and 2.5 million in attendance over the past 3 years in 2008-2010 for the Rangers, we can be virtually certain that the upwards trend will stay intact in 2011.

I took a look at the attendance of each team that has made the World Series between 2001 and 2009.  I looked at attendance in the base year, in which they made it to the World Series, and in the year following the World Series appearance.  Some teams returned to playoffs in year two, others were never in contention.  Some started from extremely low attendance bases, others were already among the best drawing teams in the league.  Four teams made the World Series on multiple occasions during the period. Yet, out of eighteen World Series teams, there were eighteen whose attendance increased the following year.


                                                                           yr. 1                         yr. 2                   pct. change

2001 Diamondbacks                                     2,744,433            3,200,725            16.6%

2001 Yankees                                                  3,264,777            3,461,644            6.0%

2002 Angels                                                     2,305,565            3,061,094            32.8%

2002 Giants                                                      3,253,205            3,264,628            .4%

2003 Marlins                                                    1,301,214            1,723,105            32.4%

2003 Yankees                                                  3,465,640            3,775,292            8.9%

2004 Boston                                                    2,837,304            2,847,888            .4%

2004 Cardinals                                                3,048,427            3,538,988            16.1%

2005 White Sox                                               2,342,833            2,957,411            26.2%

2005 Astros                                                      2,804,760            3,022,763            7.8%

2006 Cardinals                                                3,407,114            3,552,180            4.3%

2006 Tigers                                                      2,595,937            3,047,139            17.4%

2007 Red Sox                                                   2,971,025            3,048,250            2.6%

2007 Rockies                                                   2,376,250            2,650,218            11.5%

2008 Phillies                                                     3,422,583            3,600,693            5.2%

2008 Rays                                                         1,780,791            1,874,962            5.3%

2009 Phillies                                                     3,600,693            3,647,249            1.3%

2009 Yankees                                                  3,674,495            3,765,807            2.5%

2010 Rangers                                                  2,505,171            ?????

aggregate  2001-2009                                   51,197.046          56,039,946          9.46%


If the Rangers attendance were to increase by 9.46% next year, it would increase to 2,742,160.  But, that estimate is too low.  As we saw, the average increase among the 18 teams was 9.46%.  But, assuming that the best you can do is a sell out of every game at 100% of capacity, it stands to reason that a team would have had to have drawn no better than 91.5% of capacity in year 1 in order to be able to increase attendance by 9.46% in year two.  While every team, even those that were already at or near 100% capacity managed an increase, unsurprisingly, those with year one attendance at or above 91.5% of capacity increased at a much lesser rate.

Teams falling into that category were:

                                             pct capacity year 1           pct. increase yr. 2

2003 Giants                                       98.4%                                  .4%

2004 Red Sox                                    96.8%                                  .4%

2007 Boston                                     101.4%                                2.6%

2008 Phillies                                      97.1%                                  5.2%

2009 Phillies                                      102.2%                                1.3%


While it is certainly impressive that the 2007 Red Sox and 2009 Phillies managed increases despite having already been over 100% capacity in the year they made the World Series, it is clear that as a group these teams are outliers on the low side for percentage of increase.  Just as clearly, the Rangers, having drawn 63.0% of capacity in 2010, don't belong in this company.


subtracting the results for these teams leaves us with:

                              year 1 aggregate              year 2 aggregate              pct. increase year 2

                              35,112,236                         39,631,238                         12.87%

  So, let's take that as our working estimate.  An increase of 12.87% would mean total attendance in 2011 for the Rangers of 2,827,587.  That would be the most fans they've drawn since Arod joined the 2001 Rangers and they drew 2,831, 021, a bit more than 100,000 behind the 1997 franchise record of 2,945, 228, and about 400,000 behind the approximately 3.2 million they might have drawn in 1994 if the strike hadn't intervened

As this is already plenty long for a fanpost, I will post part two, where I look at this issue from another angle, in a few days.

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