Dodgers attendance is not what it seems

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Based on how it was teased by the reader who emailed it to me, I kept reading this article about Dodgers’ attendance figures, waiting for something scandalous to come out.  There really isn’t anything like that, but it’s an interesting read about the business of ticket sales and attendance anyway.  The upshot:  the Dodgers sell a lot of tickets, but they have a lot of no-shows too and it paints a somewhat deceptive picture of how they’re doing at the gate.

But there were some interesting tidbits in the piece. For instance, the Dodgers have lost 14% of their season-ticket base in the past two years. This despite the fact that the team has made the playoffs. I’m assuming every team is down due to the economy — and I wish we had a baseline for other teams’ losses in the article — but my gut reaction to that is that it’s high for a team that has been winning.

The other thing that was interesting was that, while the Blue Jays are always cited as the first team to sell 4 million tickets, the Dodgers actually did it in 1982, a decade earlier than the Jays did. Except back then then NL counted attendance based on how many people actually went through the turnstiles, not on tickets sold as the Jays did in 1992 and all teams do now.