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Is it really a head scratcher why MLB attendance is down?

Fox has a big story up this morning about how major league attendance is down across the leagu It lumps the Cardinals, Cubs, Twins, Brewers and Royals into a pot of Midwestern teams deemed to be the most disappointing.

The Cardinals, according to the report, are down an average of 1,160 people per game so far this season.

I find it interesting that the Cardinals were specifically mentioned while the Reds, who are down 1,990 people per game were not. Especially since St. Louis draws a whole heckuva lot more people than Cincinnati in the first place. Wouldn't the higher percentage loss by the Reds be more newsworthy, not to mention more vital to that particular team's bottom line?

I'm guessing the folks at Busch Stadium are pretty pleased with attendance as the Cardinals have averaged 40,555 people per home date this year, good enough for third in Major League Baseball. That's an average of 93 percent of a sellout every game. Cincinnati is 17th in MLB attendance at 28,441 sold per game. That's slightly less than an average of 68 percent of a sellout at Reds home games.

The only team with a higher percentage of tickets sold than the Cardinals is the San Francisco Giants. They average 99.4 percent of a sellout, not an unusual circumstance because they're the defending World Series champions so support for the team should be at an all-time high.

What's really remarkable is how the sheeplike fans of the Cubs have stayed away in droves. The Wee Bears are averaging 32,453 fans per game at home, which is 78.8 percent of a sellout. Don't tell me the Cubs, who typically host full houses even in the leanest of years, aren't drawing because they stink.

I don't think there is any question that it's the weather that has caused the Cardinals -- and other Midwestern teams -- to sell fewer tickets.

The Cardinals sell about three-quarters of their tickets to season ticket holders, so there's going to be remarkable consistency from year to year. The difference in their numbers seems to a small portion of walk-up fans who decided they didn't feel like freezing their butts off or getting rained on for three hours -- paying a couple hundred bucks for the experience including the price of admission, parking, snacks and beverages and gas.

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