I like to play this little game when the Phillies are doing poorly and Citizens Bank Park is empty: find the completely empty section– no fans, no ushers, no young couples trying to find some blue-plastic-ed privacy. Even when only 25,000 or so (right around this year’s average) are down at the game, it’s rare there’s a section in the stadium that’s completely empty. Yesterday, it probably wasn’t that hard.
Last night, the Phillies announced a paid attendance of 15,125 – and the number of people who actually showed up is probably much, much lower. I wrote before about how the astonishing attendance drop over the past few seasons has begun to hurt scalpers and food/shirt sellers outside the stadium, but barely cresting 15,000 is a new low, in more ways than one. The park was only 35% full last night. You could have taken last night’s crowd, added the average Flyers home crowd, and still had enough seats left (over 9,000) to fit last night’s actual attendance again. That’s embarrassing, but it was the perfect storm of sadness. It was Labor Day. People were away on vacation or getting ready to send the kids back to school. It was hot. The Braves are also terrible. What remains to be seen is if this record can still be broken this season. They’ll have a few shots at it.