The First 20 2015 Baseball Playoff Games Were All Sellouts

Don't you people know there's a perfectly good football game to watch?

The first 20 baseball playoff games in 2015 were all sellouts

It’s no surprise the Cardinals and Cubs packed the aisles at Busch Stadium. The enthusiastic reception for mid-inning break dancing, however, was.

If you’re an Atlanta Braves fan who happened to stumble upon a baseball playoff game recently while sadly scrolling through the 200s, undoubtedly you had two question: What the hell is “Fox Sports 1,” and why are all those empty seats disguised as people?* It’s football season, for god’s sake. Nobody cares about baseball, right?

Tom Brady taking a poop on the NFL Network might get higher ratings than any MLB game, but fans in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, St. Louis, Toronto, Houston, Dallas (sorry, “Arlington”), Kansas City and Pittsburgh don’t seem to have gotten the memo. Going into last night’s ALCS, there had been 20 postseason contests so far. Guess how many were sellouts?

That’s right – 20. In fact, only Los Angeles failed sell more seats than it had, but the three crowds at cavernous Dodger Stadium – the biggest in baseball – rank as the three largest in the playoffs. See for yourself:

  1. Oct. 15 – Los Angeles – 54,602 (97.5 capacity)
  2. Oct. 10 – Los Angeles – 54,455 (97.2)
  3. Oct. 9 – Los Angeles – 54,428 (97.2)
  4. Oct. 11 – Texas – 50,941 (105.9)
  5. Oct. 6 – New York Yankees – 50,113 (101.0)
  6. Oct. 8 – Toronto – 49,834 (101.1)
  7. Oct. 14 – Toronto – 49,702 (100.9)
  8. Oct. 9 – Toronto – 49,716 (100.9)
  9. Oct. 10 – St. Louis – 47,859 (105.4)
  10. Oct. 9 – St. Louis – 47,830 (105.4)
  11. Oct. 12 – Texas – 47,679 (99.1)
  12. Oct. 12 – New York Mets – 44,276 (105.6)
  13. Oct. 13 – New York Mets – 44,183 (105.4)
  14. Oct. 11 – Houston – 42,674 (101.5)
  15. Oct. 13 – Chicago – 42,411 (103.6)
  16. Oct. 12 – Chicago – 42,411 (103.6)
  17. Oct. 12 – Houston – 42,387 (100.8)
  18. Oct. 7- Pittsburgh – 40,889 (106.6)
  19. Oct. 8 – Kansas City – 40,146 (105.9)
  20. Oct. 9 – Kansas City – 40,008 (105.6)

Hey, baseball may still be dying, but apparently it’s going to take a helluva a lot of people with it.

  • The Braves went a long way toward helping create the narrative that baseball is so dead its own fans don’t even care about the playoffs. That’s because in seven postseason appearances since 2001, Atlanta sold out only five of 16 home games. Before that, when they went to the NLCS and World Series with regularity? Even worse – six of 24.
  • Included were four games in the mid-2000s where Atlanta had nearly 10,000 empty seats. Theories abound as to why: The soon-to-be-abandoned Turner Field, with a capacity of 50,096, is the third-largest stadium in the sport (those non-sellouts of 45,000 don’t look too bad on the list up there). Everyone knew the Braves, who lost all seven series with a combined record of 9-19 – including a putrid 5-11 at home – weren’t going to win, so why bother?
  • Whatever the reasons, the franchise dismantling rebuilding that began last season assures there will be no more attendance embarrassments for the team or league (at least not in the playoffs). And there is a silver lining: The 54,357 who attended the NLDS deciding Game 5 in 2003 is the largest crowd in Braves history and a record that will almost certainly never be broken considering Atlanta had the good sense to make its new stadium about 9,000 seats smaller.
  • About a third were Cubs fans, and, yes, the Braves lost. But who’s counting?