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Brewers Early Attendance Even With Record Pace

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I dropped this note into yesterday's Mug:

They're (the Brewers) averaging 33,347 through ten home dates, which puts them on pace to draw 2.7 million fans in 2011.

The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that number is misleading. Teams typically draw smaller crowds in April as school, cooler weather and other commitments keep some fans home. Attendance typically picks up when school gets out, then sees a second surge in September if the team is contending (or a nosedive if they're not).

So here's a different way to look at it: Considering only attendance from the first eleven home dates, the Brewers are ahead of the pace set during many of the highest-attended seasons in franchise history, including the 2008 record-setting year:

Season Attendance Through
First 11 Games
Average Season Attendance Average
2010 403,071 36,643 2,776,531 34,278
2009 370,054 33,641 3,037,451 37,499
2011 369,269 33,570 ? ?
2007 357,115 32,465 2,869,144 35,422
2008 353,382 32,126 3,068,458 37,822
2001 350,765 31,888 2,811,041 34,704
1983 254,263 23,115 2,397,131 29,594

Some notes on the numbers:

  • Clearly, 2010 is the cautionary tale here. The Brewers had high expectations and got off to a record pace attendance-wise, but ticket sales nosedived when the team fell out of contention early.
  • The 2001 numbers were likely inflated by the opening of Miller Park, but even they got off to a slower start and picked up later.
  • 1983 was the highest-attended Brewer season at County Stadium. I included those numbers just to show how much things have changed since the Brewers moved into Miller Park.