As all Angel fans probably know, our beloved team has drawn 3,000,000+ fans for 9 straight seasons from 2003-2011 and as of July 6, 2012 the Halos are once again on pace to hit that coveted 3,000,000 attendance figure. While the Angels went through an absolutely horrific** period at the beginning of the season (both on the field and at the gate), it seems as if the team's attendance has now stabilized and as long as the team stays in contention, there should be at least 35,000+ at every game from here on out. The Angels bad attendance numbers at the beginning of the season don't come without consequences though: they have dropped from fifth in attendance last year to ninth, but if the current upward trend continues, it is not out of the realm of possibility to see the Angels pass the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox and end up finishing the season seventh in the majors.
Now, you may be asking why should you care? There is no real reason other than pride. I would like to be able to say that despite missing the postseason in 2010 and 2011, the Angels still got their tenth straight season of 3,000,000+ fans in attendance. Only the Angels and Yankees have had 3,000,000+ people go through the turnstiles at their respective parks for nine straight seasons and it seems likely that both franchises will be able to say 10 straight after 2012.
ANGELS ATTENDANCE AS OF JULY 8:
Average Attendance: 37,213 (80.97% capacity at Angel Stadium)
Total Attendance: 1,600,174
Projected Total: 3,014,281
As you can see, there is a dip of around 2,000 (2011 average: 39,090) in terms of average attendance from 2011 to 2012, but considering the fact that we had a few games early in the season with announced crowds of around 27,000, I would have to say that we are now in pretty good shape.
Below is a graph of Angels attendance figures for home games 1-43:
The blue line represents the Angels average attendance figure while the grey circles represent the Angels actual attendance figure for each of the first 43 home games. The black line is situated exactly at 37,037, the minimum attendance average figure that is needed to reach 3,000,000.
As you can see, after a steep drop off after Opening Weekend, attendance figures have stabilized and have been going up slowly and after last Friday's announced attendance of 42,716, the Angels are now officially on pace to hit 3,000,000. Basically, as long as the Angels average at least 37,037 from here on out, they are guaranteed to hit that coveted 3 million mark.
According to ESPN's attendance figures, the Angels currently sit at #9 behind the MLB leading Phillies, AL leading Rangers, Yankees, Cardinals, Giants, Dodgers, Red Sox and Cubs. Here are my comments for a few of those that are ahead of the Angels:
1. Philadelphia: They led the majors in attendance in 2011 and are on pace to do it again in 2012. If the Phillies remain in the cellar of the NL East though, I doubt they will hold onto that position in 2013. As a matter of fact, they are in danger of dropping out of the top 5 or even 10 if they don't put together a respectable run in the second half.
2. Texas: It only took them two World Series appearances to get to this point. The Rangers bandwagon is full to the max and I fully expect people to start jumping ship when the following two things happen: 1) Cowboys training camp begins, and 2) when they don't win the American League championship for the third straight season.
6. Los Angeles: This is surprising. I figured the Dodgers would have a slight uptick in attendance after a horrible season last year, but they have rebounded quite nicely. I do believe, however, that if the Dodgers didn't have 11,000 more seats than the Angels for big games (Giants, Angels especially), then the Angels would probably have better attendance figures than their neighbor to the north.
7. Boston: IMO, we must end up beating those damnable chowds. Period.
As far as I can tell, the Angels have respectable numbers this year. They aren't as good as they were just a few years ago, but I am very happy with how Angels fans have continued to come out and support their team. The reason why I tend to focus so much on attendance, is the fact that I hate the ideas that 1) the Angels fan base is full of frontrunners (I hate frontrunners), and 2) that LA/Orange County fans are bad fans. As someone who runs Bring Back the Los Angeles Rams, I come across these false ideas every day and it drives me absolutely crazy. Sure attendance isn't the only gauge of fan support, but if the numbers are high, they can help shut up the east coast honks for at least a few seconds.
Another interesting tidbit that I found out: it seems as if Arte is expanding Angel Stadium. Capacity has listed at 45,050 from 1998-2005, 45,262 from 2006-2007, 45,281 from 2008-2009, 45,389 from 2010-2011, and according to the 2012 Angels Media Guide, the official capacity of Angel Stadium is now 45,957. I'm not quite sure why they keep upping capacity, but as long as Angel Stadium never hits 64,593 for baseball again, I am happy.
**Horrific by Angels standards. Many other teams (cough Tampa Bay, Cleveland cough) would kill to have an average of 27-28,000.