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The Nats' record-low crowd


(By Evan Vucci - AP)


Kilgore pretty much nailed the whole Nats attendance question in this blog post, the night after the franchise's worst-ever attended home game in D.C. And Adam Dunn pretty much nailed the question in this post-game quote:

"It would be tough for me as a fan to come out and come watch us when we're playing bad. I feel like sometimes watching us would be, as a fan, pretty entertaining. We have a lot of entertaining guys. But you look at our record and stuff, why would you come see us?"

But a picture is worth 22 inches plus an accompanying blog post, and here's one picture. Kind of cheap, since those upper sections are often empty in a bunch of parks, but it's still a striking image. So is the one below, from The Post's Cathy Taylor, taken in the eighth inning.

Still and all, the Nats rank 22nd in attendance, with an average draw of 23,165.

(If you're curious, they averaged 33,446 for Strasburg's seven home starts, and 22,058 for the other 65 games. Take Strasburg out, and they only drop one spot in the rankings.)

And there seems to be a strong correlation between attendance and record. Of the seven worst teams in MLB, six rank in the bottom 10 in attendance. Meanwhile, four of the top six teams in attendance have been in playoff chases for most of the season.

Anyhow, here's the more disturbing Nats stat. On Aug. 1, they were 14 games ahead of the Orioles. With two weeks to go in the season, the gap is down to 2 games.

(Also, buy one ticket for this Astros series, get one free.)


(By Cathy Taylor)

By Dan Steinberg  | September 21, 2010; 10:19 AM ET
Categories:  Nats  
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Comments

The Orioles are a better team than the Nats, playing in a much tougher division. I think it's pretty hard to argue with either of those statements (especially now with Strasburg gone for who knows how long.)

Posted by: agl132 | September 21, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Also, with an infinitely better manager.

Posted by: agl132 | September 21, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Here come the O's! Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Posted by: dkitsou | September 21, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

The Orioles are a better team than the Nats, playing in a much tougher division. I think it's pretty hard to argue with either of those statements (especially now with Strasburg gone for who knows how long.)

Posted by: agl132 | September 21, 2010 11:00 AM

yet a lot of their fanbase has moved to the Nationals. They may not go to games, but they've swapped the orange and black for red and blue.

Posted by: bzerante1 | September 21, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

The season-ending slump isn't a bad thing. It gives this franchise another high draft pick which they sorely need.

Posted by: CapsNut | September 21, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Nats + Astros = crap sandwich.

At least we have a real good idea of that season ticket number now though.

Posted by: tha_prophet | September 21, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

It's baseball. Never going to have huge attendance numbers anywhere unless the team is really good, or it's Fenway/Yankees/Wrigley. There are 81 home games compared to 8 in the NFL, 41 in hockey, or 5-7 in NCAA football.

Plus, baseball isn't the "national past time" that people over 60 think it is. Terribly boring to watch on TV and not that much fun in person if you're watching a game that means absolutely nothing (1 of 162 = nothing).

It's still fun to go to a game or two with family or friends, but even that is limited to Summer when people can take off work and families don't have kids at school. What do you expect on a Monday night a week after school starts in a game that means zero? I'm surprised anyone went!!

Posted by: Section104 | September 21, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

"The Orioles are a better team than the Nats, playing in a much tougher division. I think it's pretty hard to argue with either of those statements (especially now with Strasburg gone for who knows how long.)

Posted by: agl132 | September 21, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Also, with an infinitely better manager.

Posted by: agl132 | September 21, 2010 11:01 AM"

Yet the Orioles still fail to outdraw the Nationals at the gate. Even with the Yankees and Red Sox fans taking over their ballpark 18 days a year.

Posted by: FeelWood | September 21, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I was at the game (as I am every home game). When a Nats fan in my section threw back the catcher's home run, an usher kicked him out of the game. I understand he was following the "rules" but with a record low attendance, why alienate one of the few remaining fans for showing some team spirit?

Posted by: hbweck | September 21, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

In defense of O's fans... (1) It is now 13 years of below .500 ball, so yea attendance tends to fall when that happens; (2) the switch to the Nats was not surprising for a number of O's fans given that you don't have to drive 45 minutes up 95 to get to a not metro-friendly stadium; (3) easy with the "Yankees and Red Sox taking over their ballpark 18 days a year" (see Phillies at Nats attendance). I do NOT support any 'fan' who switched to become a Nats fan from the O's but you can see why it happened. Don't dump on O's fans b/c it is hard enough being a fan as it is. I mean, I now have to share my O's fanbase with Ravens fans, who are just an awful group of people in general.

Posted by: jtheisman | September 21, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

The Astros buy one, get one deal link just says...

"Please wait while we process your request"

Looks like it might be showing an email?

Posted by: WorstSeat | September 21, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

"Anyhow, here's the more disturbing Nats stat. On Aug. 1, they were 14 games ahead of the Orioles. With two weeks to go in the season, the gap is down to 2 games."

Where are all of you Nats fans now?? A few months ago all of you quacks were on here running your mouth about the O's being the worst team in baseball. Well who is laughing now?? The O's play in a MUCH better division, and are on there way to a better record. The O's are the better team, period.

Signed,

Lifelong DC resident, and LOYAL O's fan.

The ORIGINAL HTS...Wiz, Caps, Skins and O's!!! Stay true!!!!

Posted by: cj658 | September 21, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Orioles are the better of the 2 franchises.

Oriole fans are the better of the 2.

Those are facts.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 21, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

yet a lot of their fanbase has moved to the Nationals. They may not go to games, but they've swapped the orange and black for red and blue.

Posted by: bzerante1

Judging by the above picture and article, I don't know how big "alot" is. Considering the orioles have been absolutely miserable since 1997, I'm actually kind of surprised that the Nationals haven't done more to capitalize on the market for quality baseball since 2005. Although considering both have been pretty equally terrible, whatever team returns to respectability the fastest will have the larger fan base-just the way it is.

*Just as an aside-the Orioles sold out every game from 1992 through 2000.

Posted by: jbanks979 | September 21, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Those are facts.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop

-------------------------------------------
Another fact: Your name is Poop.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | September 21, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

I was at the game (as I am every home game). When a Nats fan in my section threw back the catcher's home run, an usher kicked him out of the game. I understand he was following the "rules" but with a record low attendance, why alienate one of the few remaining fans for showing some team spirit?

Posted by: hbweck |

that pisses me off beyond anything reasonable. Throwing back an opposing home run is one of the few gestures you can make as a fan to show your favorite team how much they mean to you. I grew up going to orioles games and every yankee home run would bring a chant of "throw it back"

This seriously makes me not want to go to nationals park

Posted by: trousers | September 21, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

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