St. Louis Cardinals: Home Record Corresponds With Home Attendance
By Nathan Grime
After Monday’s ten-inning loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, the St. Louis Cardinals’ record fell to 12-13 to begin the season. At Busch Stadium, they’re 8-7 through fifteen games on home turf.
Early returns on the 2017 St. Louis Cardinals are similar to the narrative surrounding the 2016 team. The Redbirds haven’t been able to shake the defensive errors and baserunning errors that plagued the team throughout the previous season. One stat in particular that stood out on last year’s team was their losing record at home.
The 2016 team finished the year 86-76. At Busch Stadium, they went 38-43. It was the first season in the history of Busch Stadium III where the St. Louis Cardinals didn’t win more games than they lost. On the road, however, they went a league-best 48-33. As the team struggled at home last season, attendance at Busch Stadium dipped.
Maybe it was too subtle to notice, but average attendance for a game at Busch in 2016 was 42,525, down from 43,000+ in 2014 and 2015. In 2014, average attendance at home was 43,712 per game, second only to 2007 when the defending World Series Champions drew an average crowd of 43,854 fans per game at Busch Stadium.
The 2014 team was defending National League Champions. The 2015 team won 100 games.
Monday night, St. Louis Cardinals beat reporter Derrick Goold had this to say about the attendance in the series opener against the Brewers:
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The official attendance was later updated to 36,339, but still, that seems somewhat low for a franchise that prides itself on exceeding the 40,000 threshold with regularity. The official capacity of Busch Stadium is 43,975. That doesn’t include seats at Ballpark Village in the AT&T Rooftop and the Budweiser Brew House.
That means Monday night, the Cardinals sold about 83% of the tickets they had available. As Goold pointed out, it was a cool evening on a school night. Attendance is sure to rise once the usual St. Louis summer sweeps in and schools begin their summer break.
However, it’s worth pointing out that for a team that missed the playoffs for the first time in six years last season, attendance was down towards the end of the season especially in 2016. You’d like to see the Cardinals return to the home dominance they’ve enjoyed with regularity since the third edition of Busch Stadium opened its gates.
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Through fifteen home games this year, the Cardinals actually rank first in the National League in average home attendance, at 42,602 tickets sold per game. That number will trend up if the Redbirds clean up their play and string together wins, especially at Busch.