Braves attendance is up. Why is that, you think?

The Braves have only played 12 games at home this season – entering a seven-game home stand that opens on Friday at Turner Field. But so far the returns in attendance are up.

The Braves’ average home attendance has increased by 20 percent from about this time last year, according to figures in a recent Wall Street Journal article. The Braves’ increase is second only to Minnesota for the biggest increase in Major League Baseball through games of May 8. And the Twins, whose attendance is up 57 percent, are playing in a new ballpark, Target Field.

The Braves have drawn 347,995, or an average of 29,000 through their first 12 games this year. They averaged 24,193 through their first 14 games through May 8 last year.

Here’s a look at the top increases:

Minnesota 57 percent

Atlanta 20 percent

Baltimore 16 percent

Texas 16 percent

Pittsburgh 9 percent

Colorado 8 percent

San Francisco 7 percent

Here are the top decreases:

Cleveland 29 percent

Toronto 24 percent

NY Mets 17 percent

San Diego 15 percent

Florida 15 percent

White Sox 14 percent

Oakland 13 percent

So what do you think it’s about? Is Jason Heyward having that big an impact? Or is it because this is manager Bobby Cox’s last season? Or is it because of good weather or that three-game series against the Cubs to open the season?

239 comments Add your comment

Angus

May 13th, 2010
12:46 pm

I’d say J-Hey and BC’s farewell have helped.

I’d also say that there was a good deal of optimism for this season, because of 2nd half last year.

It’s funny though that I’ve been to only weekday games this year and keep thinking, “dang, there’s hardly anyone here.”

zeeee Nachos

May 13th, 2010
12:51 pm

Bleeeeeeeeeeh!

I hate Chipper Jones

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

May 13th, 2010
12:51 pm

Ditto to Angus- the Young Phenom and the Aging Future HOF- plus the fans were sold on a “solid team” this year. I do feel a little more optimistic after the Brewers series but i still need more results to buy what they’re selling.

HTF

May 13th, 2010
12:51 pm

Jason. Heyward.

simplejimmy

May 13th, 2010
12:52 pm

maybe because it was so damn low last year that 20% up isn’t that big of a deal…..

Braves73

May 13th, 2010
12:54 pm

Two words…Jason Heyward!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bob

May 13th, 2010
12:57 pm

Heyward Heyward Heyward Heyward Heyward.

Matthew

May 13th, 2010
1:00 pm

Can’t explain it. WHo would want to fight the nation’s worst traffic, pay the exhorbitant prices to watch such frustrating baseball??? Hell the best player on the team is a 20 yr old rookie!!!!!

shawn

May 13th, 2010
1:00 pm

Jason Heyward brother…and It is certainly not Bobby Cox..

SP

May 13th, 2010
1:03 pm

Half of it is Heyward and half of it is the opener vs. Cubs with maybe a little good weather and Bobby’s last season sprinkled in.

If you take out that record-setting opener our avg. attendance would only be up 9.6% over last year.

n

May 13th, 2010
1:03 pm

This is a baseball town and region. And 20% increase is not small.

n

May 13th, 2010
1:03 pm

meanwhile teams that used to sell out game after game such as Baltimore, Cleveland, Toronto struggle to put 11,000 fans in the seats.

wheelz007

May 13th, 2010
1:04 pm

1.) Jason Heyward
2.) Bobby’s last year
3.) Fans think team have a chance this year

Tami

May 13th, 2010
1:04 pm

I’d say Jason is first & foremost the reason. Although I haven’t yet gotten down to the ballpark this season, it’s one of my main reasons to go see a game — maybe even this homestand. I think all the other reasons probably factor in as well. I’m glad to hear that attendance is up. Now if the DOT will just hurry up & complete all their connector projects so we don’t have to deal with the horrific traffic accompanying it, then maybe attendance will increase even more!

Fresh

May 13th, 2010
1:05 pm

The Braves currently have the Lebron James of baseball in Jason Heyward, this increase is solely because of him and nothing else. If anyone thinks different, they’re retarded or refuse to grasp reality.

Brava

May 13th, 2010
1:05 pm

I agree with Angus. A combination of optimism from last year’s near WC bid, Jason Heyward and Bobby’s final year.

KPH

May 13th, 2010
1:05 pm

Cox and Heyward.

Dan

May 13th, 2010
1:06 pm

Y’know, upper deck seats are really pretty cheap, and you can move around the upper deck almost at will.
The worst part is the traffic/parking.

By the way, I agree with the obvious answers: J.H. and initial optimism. I don’t think it’s Bobby.

Sandy

May 13th, 2010
1:08 pm

I dont go unless theres a reason. The reason for me this year is Jayson Heyward and Tommy Hanson. I want to see these kids play. As for the rest of the team, I think Chipper is way over matched these last two years and the utility player turned starters is really getting old.

This year I have watched as this team is being beat by number 4-5 pitchers who have era’s of like 15. This team in a whole is not pulling in fans but Heyward and Hanson are. I would like to know whos pitching on the nights that attendence is up. My guess it is Hanson.

GEORGIA97

May 13th, 2010
1:09 pm

Personally, I think it’s either a) the joy of sitting in traffic for an hour to get to the stadium and pay for overpriced parking; or b) the unparalleled adventure of taking MARTA to Five Points and running the gauntlet through Underground without getting stabbed or pick pocketed. The experience is only topped by a trip to Wally World to see Marty Moose.

Fresh

May 13th, 2010
1:09 pm

n,

Contrary to popular belief. This is a really good town for all sporting events (football, baseball, basketball, and maybe hocky). Give the people a quality product and they will show up to see it. It’s that simple.

Brava

May 13th, 2010
1:09 pm

Well, Fresh, then I’m retarded and refuse to grasp reality because I attended the season opener and have tickets to five more games already and although, I love watching young Jason play, I’m also there because I believe we will play in the post-season and want to support Bobby in his final year as manager.

Wendy

May 13th, 2010
1:12 pm

A nice combination of Jason Heyward, Tommy Hanson, Bobby Cox and the hunger to get back to October.

Tuba Man

May 13th, 2010
1:12 pm

Jason Heyward and I have to say that the ticket prices in Atlanta are one of the cheapest tickets in MLB. So ticket prices aren’t the reason people aren’t going to the games traffic maybe. But you can tickets for a dollar.

gayle

May 13th, 2010
1:14 pm

Six Flags is closed?

Clay

May 13th, 2010
1:14 pm

I think it’s because going to Turner Field is a good activity. I also think Heyward is having an impact. We’ll be there Saturday and June 1, so we’re doing our part.

t

May 13th, 2010
1:14 pm

you are right on sandy. i try really hard to make sure that either hudson or hanson are pitching when i plan to go to a game.

Steve From Dalton

May 13th, 2010
1:15 pm

It’s kind of like an old western, The young gunslinger (Heyward) and the old veteran Sheriff (cox). One is riding into the sunrise and the other into the sunset. One is the future and the other is the past.

ExecutiveStinger

May 13th, 2010
1:15 pm

I agree Fresh, give Atlanta fans something of quality and they will come out. It if ain’t quality, however, don’t count on ‘em. We’re hardcore only about college football, as in we’ll be there whether the team is good or not. Not so with pro sports.

The Braves numbers are up for every reason you mentioned Carroll. Fans want to see J-Hey, they realize this is their last chance to see Bobby manage and possibly get ejected, the weather has been good, the economy is slowly getting better, and I tip my hat to the Braves’ marketing dept. for a job well done this season. Continued winning never hurts either.

stoned Mountain

May 13th, 2010
1:18 pm

Jason Heyward

His hitting, decision making, base running, style, exuberant personality.

James

May 13th, 2010
1:18 pm

Matthew, you can go to a Braves game for $5 and ATL traffic isn’t even top 5 in the nation when dealing with congestion.

jz23

May 13th, 2010
1:19 pm

Chicks dig the 1-2-3 inning.

Wendy

May 13th, 2010
1:20 pm

Prices. b!tch b!tch b!tch.. it’s a Major League Ball Club.. what do you expect? If you’re that concerned run your lazy arses through the drive through and hit up the dollar menu. Traffic.. wah wah wah. Any ball club that is worth a darn is going to have to deal with traffic. If you know your way around Atlanta then the traffic thing is pointless. The last time I dealt with game traffic was Greg Maddux’ HOF induction which was expected. So to the cry babies: Quit cryin. If it’s that big of a problem for head and your pocketbook.. stay at home and watch the game on horrid peachtree tv.

18 Wheels of Love

May 13th, 2010
1:21 pm

It’s the tapioca rice rolls

kurula

May 13th, 2010
1:22 pm

i say it’s the first series of the year. they really benefited from playing the cubs on opening weekend. the subsequent games have been very lackluster in attendance.

bboyd3301

May 13th, 2010
1:24 pm

at this point, i don’t think it is bobby. i think during the second half is when people really will start coming out for bobby. right now i think most of the people are coming out for jason heyward and tommy hansen. when i looked at the probables for this weekend, i saw kawakami pitching friday night and eliminated that one right off the rip. opted for saturday when hansen was pitching!!

Cadbury Turnbuckle

May 13th, 2010
1:26 pm

Why question it in a negative way? Just be happy that attendance is up. Maybe a lot of people go for the fun of it and to support their team – I used to go back in the ’80’s, pay $3 for a ticket, and join about 2000 other people there on a weeknight. After the 3rd inning they encouraged everybody to fill in the seats behind home plate (no matter how much you paid for a ticket) so that it would look good when the TBS cameras panned the seats behind the batter (they never showed the empty upper level). The TV audience thought it was a packed house for every game! Smart, Ted, very smart.

SPX

May 13th, 2010
1:27 pm

Joshua Barlowe

May 13th, 2010
1:28 pm

Jason Heyward. What’s sad is that the Braves screwed the pooch when they built their stadium in south Atlanta. If Turner Field was on the Northeast side of town they would be sold out nearly all the time.

Bob

May 13th, 2010
1:29 pm

Heyward. Heyward. Heyward. Heyward.

Ron

May 13th, 2010
1:31 pm

Pretty simple people. Most home games have been on the weekends and the Cubs series helped a lot. Had they been at home on weeknights for most of these 12 games it would be much lower. Heyward and Bobby have nothing to do with it. The real test will start this weekend now that colleges are out and all school will be out soon

Knuckle Sandwich

May 13th, 2010
1:32 pm

H-E-Y-W-A-R-D

Terry Forster

May 13th, 2010
1:32 pm

The Nachos, the Hot Dogs, the Pizzas, the Chicken Fingers, the Chicken Wings, the Cotton Candy, the Barbecue, the Popcorn, the Frozen Yogurt, and that Tomahawk Ale out in right field.

stoned Mountain

May 13th, 2010
1:32 pm

Joshua, you can see the Gwinnett Braves!

Ron

May 13th, 2010
1:32 pm

Joshua Baelowe, I agree 100%. Almost everyone who goes to Braves games who are from here live on the northside of town. Their average would be closer to 35,000 a game if it were not in the ghetto. Almost every stadium I have been to is in a nice area, has a lot to do around the stadium, has normal employees working there, etc. Too bad we can’t have that here.

rebeldawg

May 13th, 2010
1:32 pm

Watching people make whoopie in the bed of a truck in the blue lot is the reason I go.

CJ

May 13th, 2010
1:32 pm

This year we’ve played Cubs, Rockies, Phillies and Astros. Last year it was Nats, Marlins, Cards, Astros. Much bigger pull from the teams we’re playing against. Typical Atlanta sports crowd.

Terry Forster

May 13th, 2010
1:34 pm

What….Somebody just told me there is a Buffet in the SunTrust level?!?!?!?

atlanta cub

May 13th, 2010
1:34 pm

The Cubs opened the season here so you were guaranteed not only a huge opening day crowd but large crowds for games 2 and 3 as well

stoned Mountain

May 13th, 2010
1:36 pm

Ron, the Gwinnett Braves have seats available. And racists are more than welcome.

Stone

May 13th, 2010
1:36 pm

they’ve barely played at home and opened w/ the Cubs.

that’s the reason

California fans are terrible

May 13th, 2010
1:40 pm

The Padres have gone down in attendance by 15% percent with one of the best records in baseball? What’s it going to take to please those hippies!? Send that franchise to Birmingham, Alabama – they deserve a ball club. Call them the Birmingham Saban worshippers.

PJ

May 13th, 2010
1:41 pm

We’ll see what the attendance is like after this homestand including one weekday day game.

Mitchell

May 13th, 2010
1:42 pm

Jason Heyward.

Bob Horner's Blonde Mullet

May 13th, 2010
1:43 pm

They’re coming out to see if Kawakami can go defeated this year.

Jeff

May 13th, 2010
1:46 pm

Liberty Media is loving this. More fans show up to watch this crappy team. They get increase revenues while keeping costs down. Zero chance the owners will make any changes as long as people keep going to games. If Braves fans want a better team they need to stop going to the ballpark, stop buying jerseys, and stop watching the Braves on tv.

Mitchell

May 13th, 2010
1:47 pm

Turner Field is not in the ghetto. It’s ghetto adjacent.

It really is in a bad location though. There’s nothing down there. There’s no reason to be there other than to go to the game. There are no restaurants or bars or anything. It’s nowhere. It’s like a ghost town.

It’s also a huge stadium. You can have a decent crowd and it might still look small. I never really noticed until recently just how big it is. It’s hard to fill that place.

Bad location. Big stadium. Average team.

John65

May 13th, 2010
1:48 pm

It must be because people are finally beginning to forget about the players strike. Or, perhaps its the younger generation that doesn’t remember the players strike. Goodness, let’s cut teacher salaries some more and increase the sports entertainers take. Who is worth more to society, a baseball player or a high school teacher? Which do you need for your child?

Pachoo

May 13th, 2010
1:49 pm

It helps that our first 3 games were versus the Cubs, which always sell out.

sugarfoot

May 13th, 2010
1:50 pm

The weather has been better.

Jerry Willard

May 13th, 2010
1:51 pm

It will be interstig to see the attendance numbers of the new Marlins Stadium once the newnwss wears off. It is being built on the old Orange Bowl site. Fans from the north (Broward, Palm Beach County) will not want to drive into that area.

Jerry Willard

May 13th, 2010
1:51 pm

Jamie Moyer

May 13th, 2010
1:54 pm

good, now lets spend some cash get a big bopper by july 1st

David

May 13th, 2010
1:54 pm

Its J-hey and the weather…last year..It seemed every time i went to a friday night game it rained by the 4th inning…it was nuts…i was glad that it didnt rain on the friday game against the astros finally…we got some good heckling on pence that night had sign and everything for him…shout out to all the 135 people getting rowdy!

NikkiFree

May 13th, 2010
1:56 pm

It’s Jason Heyward. Make no mistake abt that.

Hoosier Aaron

May 13th, 2010
1:58 pm

It’s Heyward. I think Heyward will more than make up for the extra money it will eventually cost the Braves by not making him get “Triple A experience”.

I’m gonna go out on a limb and say the Nationals attendance will go up when Strasburg learns to “slow down his delivery from the stretch”. People laugh but honestly, the first time I saw him pitch I thought that exact thing….”If this kid would just slow down his delivery from the stretch he would start making hitters look absolutely foolish instead of completely foolish”.

smitty

May 13th, 2010
2:03 pm

I think it is mostly due to Jason Heyward, then partly Bobby Cox and lastly even though they’ve got a terrible road record they’re playing well at home (8-4).

Mr. Turnip-Green Jeans

May 13th, 2010
2:04 pm

It’s all about Heyward at this point. Bobby is well loved, but I don’t believe people will come just for Bobby till the end of the year.

william

May 13th, 2010
2:04 pm

Ask me again when the Braves are not a bunch of semi-professional players by an ancient coach. Bobby Cox is ten years too late for retirement.

C from Marietta

May 13th, 2010
2:05 pm

Hey Jeff,

Be the typical fair weathered Atlanta fan. I for one have fun at The Ted win or lose. No wonder everyone thinks Atlanta is a crappy sports town. Because it is a crappy sports town. Thanks to people like you.

AppalachiaBrave

May 13th, 2010
2:06 pm

Who knows why? There is alot of crazy stuff going on in the world…But I do know this, going to a Braves game is not worth the money you have to pay for tickets, food, parking….etc…..I’ll just catch the highlights on ESPN! FO SHO! Ballplayers making 20 million a year…Now that is a joke….FO SHO!

GTFan1

May 13th, 2010
2:06 pm

I’d say the Cubs series helped. I for one was embarrassed at the turnout in Phillies

Pete*

May 13th, 2010
2:07 pm

Congrats STONED; took you less than 1 hour to play the race card. Sweet.

Loyal Homer

May 13th, 2010
2:08 pm

kevin

May 13th, 2010
2:10 pm

First of all the cubs series kinda doctored the attendance increase for us. Second notice how many seats are empty in right field behind heyward . I tried to get seats in right field a few times this season and none were available. Also from one persons comment i was reading i agree completely. I think the stadium is too big for us. We need a place that holds 40K or a little more and it would look alot fuller.

Leo Blows

May 13th, 2010
2:10 pm

Charlie Leibrandt.

Pete*

May 13th, 2010
2:10 pm

Mitchell agree; first thing that comes to mind after the game is getting the heck outta there. Meanwhile Cubs, weather and JH have really helped so far, but 12 games is a mighty small sample.

Manny

May 13th, 2010
2:11 pm

Heyward, plus of the 12 games only the Cubs (opening series) and the Phillies have been weekday games. Weekday games in April and May have always been dismal attendance.

Mike

May 13th, 2010
2:11 pm

Maybe it’s the great “Traffic & Parking Plan”.

Nah. Never mind.

Jaba

May 13th, 2010
2:12 pm

It’d be nice if you would use statistics that are comparable. 12 game avg this year versus the first 14 games last year? Why not use the first 12 games of last year? Skewing statistics is an insult to our intelligence. 2009’s Games 13/14 were Mon/Tues games versus the Mets. Monday attendance (Game 13)- 19,204 … Tuesday Attendance (Game 14) – 21,072. The 2009 12 game average was 24,877. The 2009 14 game average was 24,193. That’s a difference of 684 people. Accuracy is usually important to journalists … but I’ve never considered you one. More of a gossip columnist. Why didn’t you use games 15 and 16 from 2009? That’s because the weekend attendance for those games against the Diamondbacks was 32,593 and 30,162. That would not have helped your argument at all. But games 13 and 14 sure did help your argument. How convenient! The attendance is still higher this year through 12 games … report that. Don’t feed me crap though … you don’t know any different though. Funniest part of this is that I did more research in 15 minutes than you did the entire time you wrote the article … and it’s YOUR JOB!!!

hello

May 13th, 2010
2:13 pm

could be a sign of the economy. What are our number in relation to years that were not impacted by an economic down turn? say like 2005-2006? Economy and fact that ticket prices didn’t go up for a change?

David Justice

May 13th, 2010
2:15 pm

There are a lot of you showing up at these games, but you aren’t loud enough!! I want to hear some noise…

Hinske Da Man

May 13th, 2010
2:16 pm

It is J-Hey hands down. I think fans are ready to see Cox leave so its not Bobby Cox.

Hinske Da Man

May 13th, 2010
2:17 pm

Surprised that there is a increase in attendance as well seeing as though the Braves have underachieved thus far making fans unhappy.

Mr. Turnip-Green Jeans

May 13th, 2010
2:18 pm

There may be some folks (including the critically ill) who’ll drag themselves to games just to avoid Chip Caray’s overactive larynx.

Easy Jaba

May 13th, 2010
2:19 pm

This is in reference to a WSJ article. Don’t shoot the messenger

Pete*

May 13th, 2010
2:20 pm

Jaba: “It’d be nice if you would use statistics that are comparable. 12 game avg this year versus the first 14 games last year? Why not use the first 12 games of last year?”
Well said Jaba; was getting ready to post the same question. So DOB, why 12 vs. 14 last year? Even though youre using per game averages, it still doesnt make sense because small sample sizes can greatly skew the averages.

Sarah

May 13th, 2010
2:20 pm

Why is attendance up in 2010 at Turner Field?

As a long-time Braves Season Ticket Holder who goes to every game, I can tell you why from first-hand experience and observation.

A certain demographic that has not been coming to the ballpark in very large numbers at all over the past decade is now coming out of the woodwork in DROVES due to a certain rookie outfielder.

Can you guess why?

Goonies 2 Dang It!

May 13th, 2010
2:23 pm

The summer movie season hasn’t gotten into full swing yet :(

JTH

May 13th, 2010
2:23 pm

They’re drunk.

Thurston Howell, the Third

May 13th, 2010
2:24 pm

Lovey and I have been going to more games since out investments are once again showing a great return – we were able to re-hire the chauffeur and take the Bentley out of the garage once again. After he drops us off at the door, he keeps the car idling during the game so it is nice and comfortable for the drive home. Last week, we had so much fun “tailgating” as you call it, popping some Cristal in the green lot and eating some beluga caviar with it. Most exemplary!

Pete*

May 13th, 2010
2:24 pm

EASY, doesnt matter the source; its pretty easy (no pun intended) to compare 12 games vs. 12 games to make things more accurate. Instead of a 20% increase, it would be 16.6 if you do 12 vs. 12 games. Still a nice increase, but its not 20%

Melky sucks

May 13th, 2010
2:24 pm

30k a game? no wonder the owners dont want to spend money. Phillies, Yankees, etc are almost filled to capacity. Traffic is not an excuse take MARTA. If we attended games maybe the Owners will spend money. I have already been to 4 games this season.

third strike

May 13th, 2010
2:24 pm

2 words…. Jason Heyward

Feeanch

May 13th, 2010
2:30 pm

J-A-S-O-N H-E-Y-W-A-R-D. Only game I’ve been to was opening day. I decided to go last minute and paid $100 to sit in Golden Moon Casino Suite (also included $30 F&B credit, not a bad deal).

And the ONLY reason I did so was to see J-Hey crank his first ML AB over the wall. Heyward is the reason, pure and simple.

Anyone going because they want to see Bobby in his last year is a moron. Besides, there’s a STRONG possibility he’s gonna get thrown out of the game. He’s been known to incite a few of those through the years…

Jay H.

May 13th, 2010
2:31 pm

Reason #10 Braves’ attendance is up: Stick it, A-Rod!

RK

May 13th, 2010
2:31 pm

Fletch

May 13th, 2010
2:32 pm

Considering that there were games last year when only 1000 “fans” showed up, anything above that is good news. The real question should be, why is this “sport” still around? Watching over-weight guys who pull a hamstring everytime they run past firs isn’t entertaining, it’s pathetic. The game is way to long, no passion (unless its the playoffs, if your team makes it), too many games…way too many games, it’s slow, most teams are elimated from the playoffs by the all-star break…shoot Baltimore is already elimated and it’s only the second month of the season, over-paid for what they do, it’s the only “sport” in the world where you do not have to be an athlete or be physically fit (being a big guy who has big muscles isn’t considered physically fit), cheating isn’t a big deal since everyone is doing it, sleeping during the game is just sad KEN GRIFFREY! The majority of the games don’t even matter where as other sports each game is very significant to how your season will end and how your team will be for the next season. All these reasons are why it’s basically only played in the USA. If they took alcohol out of the stadiums there wouldn’t be any fans.

Mike

May 13th, 2010
2:33 pm

Jaba, the article said through May 8th. So we had 14 home games then and 12 now. Guess what even if you include that, it is a 17% increase which would still place us 2nd. Watch as that numbers goes up with Jason Heyward being back tomorrow. This is #1 a result of all the hype surrounding Heyward. Then I think it is a mix of last years success and Bobby Cox’s last year. Heyward Braves merchandise in the 1st week or so matched that of Jeff Francoeur as well.

Imthereason

May 13th, 2010
2:33 pm

JASON HEYWARD no discussion is necessary. Everyone wants to get a glimpse of him crushing the ball. He’s the biggest thing since Mike Vick

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