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Cardinals near top of attendance charts

A month into the season the Cardinals rank near the top of the Major League Baseball attendance charts.

According to ESPN figures, the Birds are fifth in home draw, trailing only teams from much larger cities with 39, 122 paying customers per game. The Dodgers rank first overall with 45,805 per game, which is a bit of a surprise since their ownership cut the payroll for 2010 and the club finds itself mired in last place in the NL West. Second are the Phillies at 45,112. The Yankees are drawing 44,708 and the Angels are fourth at 39,491.

A pair of former attendance powerhouses are bringing up the rear. Toronto, where they used to pack the Sky Dome when the Blue Jays were competing for World Series titles in the early 1990s, averages only 15,237 per game now. That's well less than a third of the ballpark's total capacity. Cleveland is just ahead of the Jays with 15,519 fans showing up per game.

The Cardinals have sold 83.5 percent of the tickets available to their home games so far. That figure is likely to increase as the season goes on. Typically, April games are the most poorly attended in St. Louis because of unpredictable spring weather and the fact that kids are still in school.

By the end of the 2009 season, the Cardinals averaged 42,353 fans per game, or slightly better than 90 percent of the available tickets sold.