The local paper that does not have a beat writer for the Texas Rangers featured a column this morning from one of their sports columnists bemoaning the fact that the Rangers are playing great baseball, but are only 14th in attendance.
I guess when your schtick is to bitch about things, and the team is playing so well you don’t have anything to bitch about in that regard, you have to try to find something.
I’m not going to link to the column, but as T.R. Sullivan noted, 1) school just let out, which usually results in higher attendance, and 2) the bump in attendance usually comes after a successful season, not before.
That being said, as others have pointed out, the team spent the bulk of May on the road, and so there hasn’t been much time for the impact of a winning team to show up in the attendance figures yet.
However, if we look at the trends so far this season, we can see that, yeah, more fans are showing up as the season goes on.
Currently the team is averaging 28,343 per game. 12 teams are averaging at least 30,000 per game, and the Rangers are part of a group of five teams in the 27-29K range, before there is a big drop off to #18, Minnesota, who is averaging a little over 21K per game.
The Rangers’ opening weekend saw them draw an average of 32,042 fans per game against the Phillies over three games. Of course that’s opening weekend and that always draws well.
That was followed up by a Monday-Wednesday series against Baltimore where they averaged 16,898. Interestingly the highest attended game was the day game on Wednesday, with 18,650 — a midweek day game being the highest drawing game of a series probably says something about the effect of the retractable roof.
The next series was a M-W series against the Royals in early April. The Rangers were 5-4 at the start of that series, and the average attendance was 17,857 for that series.
After winning 5 of 6 on the road, Texas came home for a Friday through Sunday series against Oakland. Average attendance was 32,026 — basically the same as the season opening series that included Opening Day, and against a team that is not exactly a big box office draw.
Texas got swept in Cincinnati and came home to a four game series against the Yankees, from Thursday through Sunday. Its the Yankees, so you would expect to see a boost in attendance — and the team averaged 36,693 per game in that series.
The Rangers followed that up with a Tuesday night game against Arizona that drew 23,086 and a Wednesday day game that drew 21,427. At this point, we are starting to see an uptick compared to the midweek games earlier in the year.
The Rangers were then on the road for almost two weeks, returning to play a M-W series against Atlanta. The Rangers were 25-15 at this point, and were leading the division. They drew an average of 26,691 per game — almost 10,000 more than their first midweek series of the year against Baltimore. And yes, you can point to the fact that Atlanta is a really good team and is going to draw better, but you also have the Rangers playing like a pretty good team as well.
Atlanta was followed up by Colorado for a F-S series. Colorado is bad. No one comes to see the Rockies play on the road. And the Rangers averaged 32,665 for that series.
After the banger of a road trip, Texas just finished up a three game series against Seattle at home this past weekend. Average attendance for those three games was 34,205.
So yeah...coming off a very disappointing season, attendance numbers early on were underwhelming. With the team winning, fans are turning out. A third of the home games the Rangers have played were in the first 12 games of the season, before anyone has a read on how good the Rangers were going to be in 2023.
But if you actually look at how attendance is changing as the season is going on, you will see that, with the team winning, fans are turning out.