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October 3, 2010

Attendance low reached at Camden Yards

As expected, the Orioles officially set a Camden Yards’ season-attendance low for the third consecutive year.

The 2010 final attendance for 80 home dates (Friday’s doubleheader is counted as one admission) was 1,733,019. That's the lowest since the 1988 Orioles, who lost a franchise-record 107 games, drew 1,660,738 at Memorial Stadium.

For the third straight year the Orioles failed to hit 2 million after reaching or surpassing that mark for 19 consecutive seasons. The club began 2010 with a 2-16 start on its way to a 13th straight losing campaign.

“It’s somewhat disappointing, but certainly understandable,” said Greg Bader, the club’s director of communications. “The team got off to an extremely poor start, which greatly reduced advanced sales during the early months. We hope to improve on this year’s figure as we head into 2011 with optimism and momentum."

The Orioles’ record improved drastically after Showalter took over, but the attendance actually dipped. That’s likely a byproduct of a schedule with few draws – besides three games each with the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox – in the final two months.

In 51 home games before Showalter took over on Aug. 2, the Orioles drew an average of 22,262. In the 29 dates after he was hired, the average attendance was 20,610.

Posted by Dan Connolly at 3:50 PM | | Comments (13)


Do Not underestimate the effect making ticket prices higher for game day sales, had on attendance. It truly alienated many fans at a time when the Orioles needed to win them over. I hope the O's are smart enough to rethink that one for 2011.

The Orioles also lost considerable attendance because of the game-day ticket purchase fee that they added to price of tickets. The Orioles management seems to do all it can to dissuade attendance rather than encourage it.

1.7 million is remarkable considering the long string of losing years adn the way teh team played before buck took over. if the team can play .500 next yr attendance will be at least 2.3. million. baltimore is a really good baseball town.

Dan - I expect that trend to change for the better next year, especially if the team can sign a big name player and they get off to a good start.

I think over 1.7 million in attendance is a compliment to O's fans. For Pete's sake, they lost our interest after 60 days into the season. I mean really. Are you inclined to pay $25 for ticket, $7.00 for a beer, $10 parking, etc. to see the Mariners on a Tuesday night ? Multiply that scenario by 40 plus games and you tell me. Does that make sense in this economy ? I went to one game before Buck and watched Trembley blow another game with his handling of the pitchers. When Buck came and I saw a spark and someone who knows how to use the bullpen I drove down from Jersey 4 more times. I'll be back a lot more next year. Hey! look at Tampa trying to get 20,000 fans during the last week of the season fighting for the Division Title. Nothing wrong with O's fans. Also do newspaper columinists pay for their tickets? I don't think so.

gotta agree. The walk-up "fee" was a massive pile of poo. It defiantly affected my attendance this year. Boo Orioles....

where does our attendence figure stack up with the rest of major league,both average attendence and up or down with last year.when the organization continues to put such a poor product on the field year after year we as fans can only take so is so much easier to sit at home and watch the game and plan something else for the evening as you know on most nights we would be out of the game by the first inning.yes much of that changed late in the year. lets see some big changes during the off season and i am sure we will see big changes at the gate.

For the first time since 1959 I did not attend an Oriole game.I did go to Hagerstown, Bowie, Reading and Philadelphia to see baseball. Thank you, Mr. Angelos. You did a wonderful job.

Once again, the Orioles raised prices in a down economy and presented us with a sub-standard product. This is the first year in 20 + years that I didn't attend a single game and I did miss it. However as the organization implements stupid policies like fees for buying a ticket day of game, they have less and less loyal fans who are willingly to fork it over to see a bad outcome. Maybe walk up fees in NY, Boston or St. Louis make sense but not here. The organization needs to get a clue.

In the past, I was almost always a walk up attendee to games. I would attend between 10 to 15 games per year. With the add on fee I stopped going.

In spite of whatever lame attempts may be made to salvage the man’s name, Peter Angelos will go down in the history books as one of the worst professional sports owners in history. This shouldn’t be shocking to anyone. He made his millions in asbestos lawsuits, not baseball or marketing. Being from Highlandtown isn’t going to help him sign a big name player or sell very many seats. This is just another piece of wood to throw onto the fire. Give the fans a player they want to see and it will sell tickets. Give them a team they want to watch and it will sell tickets. Make tickets affordable and the games fun and it will sell tickets.
Going to an Orioles game and paying extra too see Boston or New York is going to drive people away. Then you get them in the stands and they feel like outsiders when the visiting team is more alive than the O’s fans, you’ve gotta wonder why would someone go to one of those games?
Sadly we are now dawning on a new generation of adults who have never known the Orioles to field a winning team. Brooks Robinson may as well be Babe Ruth for all the difference it makes anymore. The roots of the attendance problem have grown so deep it would almost make sense to treat this team as an expansion team and give them a HUGE makeover. This is a great baseball town, hungry for a winner. You give that to them and the problem will quickly resolve itself. Quickly, though perhaps not immediately.

put fannies in the seats behind the tv camera angles on the pitchers. this is negative advertising EVERY PITCH of EVERY HOME GAME. Also would do a lot of discounted tickets for the upper deck to fill those up. winning and an improved economy probably best formula.

It's sad how baseball has changed. I am 51 and I remember going to Memorial stadium as a kid with family or other relatives. We'd get there early and the players would come out and sign autographs. This was in the golden years of 1968-71, too, when the O's won the AL pennant each year. I remember patting Paul Blair on the shoulders and the friendly banter the players had with the fans. Brooks, Merv Rettenmund, Don Blair, I could name more. These guys are Hall of Famers and they came out and talked to the fans. Baseball was personal back then. What the hell happened I'll never know, but wnen a nobody player just out of the Minors won't give your kid an autograph because he has a contract with a baseball card company it doesn't give me very much incentive to go back. It wasn't this impersonal before. The magic has been leached out of baseball and I don't think it will ever come back. I'm not a pessimist, I'm a realist. iT'S ALL ABOUT MONEY NOW. Well, guess what? I'm not all about money. Why should I pay ten times more money for ten times less product? Call it what you want but baseball has changed for the worse.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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