MLB attendance for the 2018 season totaled 69.67 million - a whopping four percent decrease from last season and its worst in 15 years - according to Darren Heitner.
MLB attendance in 2018 = 69.67 million. Not good.— Darren Heitner (@DarrenHeitner) October 8, 2018
It's a 4% drop from 2017 & the lowest attendance since 2003.
Blue Jays had highest drop from 2017 - 878k less attendees.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants rounded out the top four in attendance for a second consecutive year, per ESPN.com attendance figures.
But as Heitner noted, the Toronto Blue Jays saw a massive decrease in attendance. After the Yankees, Toronto had the best attendance among all American League teams with 39,554 per game - a total of of just over $3.203 million for the season.
This year, the Blue Jays ranked just fifth among AL teams in attendance, averaging a mere 29,066 fans per game in 2018. The Baltimore Orioles (4,989 less fans per game compared to 2017), Kansas City Royals (7,198), Texas Rangers (almost 5,000), and the Detroit Tigers (5,449), are among the teams who saw attendance drop significantly in 2018.
Once among the top teams in the AL, the Jays, Orioles Royals, Tigers and Rangers are among the worst teams in the majors now. The fans simply weren't willing to shell out money to see bottom feeders, which obviously hurt MLB attendance.
It also didn't help MLB in that most division races and playoff spots virtually locked up heading into September, meaning most fans had lost hope in seeing their teams chase down postseason berths. Without much to cheer about, some fans had good reason not to help up MLB attendance in 2019.
Bloomberg.com projected that MLB lost about $93.7 million in ticket revenue alone for the 2018 season. Fans and pundits can project multiple factors for lost revenue and attendance, but it simply came down to many of these teams not displaying a winner on the field, and the fans simply didn't want to watch.
MLB also endured a woeful decline in offense, with the MLB average BA finishing at .248, the lowest since 1972, per Baseball Reference. Games averaged just 4.45 runs per contest, compared to 4.65 a year ago.
Perhaps too many losing teams and a lack of offense drove baseball fans away from the park in 2018. It's their worst attendance in 15 years, but perhaps the league will get back on track for the 2019 season.