Phillies improved performance in 2018 helps attendance rise

The Phillies saw a major boost in attendance in 2018, almost a quarter of a million more than the previous season (Peter Bond)

The Philadelphia Phillies have struggled with attendance numbers throughout the last few seasons, usually ranking in the bottom 10 in that category for the past three seasons.

However, as Phillies president Andy MacPhail pointed out in his season-ending press conference Tuesday, that number, along with the team’s television ratings, saw an increase in 2018:

“A quarter of a million more people went through our turnstiles this year than did last year. USA Today had an article on baseball attendance that’s diminishing, we were the second highest percentage gainer in all of baseball behind the Astros, and they were the world champions. Our TV ratings finished up twenty-sixth percent from what it was before. So when I talked about meaningful significant measurable progress, it’s not just the fact we won fourteen more games than we did the year before. It’s that our TV ratings and that quarter of a million people that came through our turnstile, more than last year, that wasn’t on a presale. It wasn’t on the bet of what was going to come. It was based on what they saw on the field in ’18.

The Phillies average attendance a game in 2017 was 24,118, which ranked 24th in all of Major League Baseball. They drew a total number of 1,905,345 fans. In 2018, the Phillies average attendance per game was up to 27,318, which ranks 16th in all of baseball. The Phillies also drew a total number of 2,158,124 fans this season, good for 17th in Major League Baseball.

As for TV ratings, the Phillies had a rating of about 3.45 in mid-July, when they were in first place. That was a 17 percent rise from 2017 through the same number of games. At the All-Star Break, the Phillies TV rating was about 3.54. For reference, a 1.0 rating equals 29,480 households.

The argument that the Phillies product on the field is why they had an attendance boost is very sound. In 2017, when the Phillies were averaging 24,000 a game, they went 66-96. As the Phillies improved by 14 games this season, and sat in first place in the National League East for almost a month, naturally attendance rose. However, it dipped towards the end of the season as the Phillies declined in play.

While the Phillies still aren’t anywhere close to the attendance numbers they set back in 2011, when they lead the league in total attendance, it’s clear that Philadelphia is slowly climbing up the attendance report as the team continues to perform better.

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