It’s been an exciting start to the Blue Jays season. They’ve been winning ball games with ease and have come up with big hits when needed which make people take notice that the Toronto Blue Jays are here to stay. You’d think everyone in Toronto would be going crazy over this team, right? Not so much.
Personally, I love going to the Rogers Centre to see a game. It’s a unique, fun atmosphere that’s right in the heart of my hometown. The food is great, the tickets are reasonable, and the baseball is always entertaining. This year though, others don’t seem to share that sentiment.
According to BaseballReference.com, the Blue Jays currently sit 19th in the majors in average attendance per game with 24,741 and sit 16th in the league in total cumulative attendance with 247,410. This is a far cry from last season when they attracted an average of 39,554 fans per game despite finishing up the season with a losing record.
So why has the attendance dropped so suddenly?
First of all, the Jays have played the majority of their home games on weekday afternoons, a time slot that notably doesn’t attract big crowds. It’s simple, Tuesday afternoon games against cellar dwellers aren’t going to bring in fans the same way a Saturday contest against the Yankees will.
One could also point to the absence of franchise legends like Jose Bautista who recently signed a minor league contract with the Atlanta Braves. Replacing Joey Bats with Randal Grichuk as well as bringing in somewhat unknown (yet still productive) bats like Yangervis Solarte and Aledmys Diaz don’t help in that regard either.
There’s another big factor at play here: the weather. Any Canadian will tell you that Southwestern Ontario has been hit by some unprecedentedly cold April weather. For those unaware, the dome was hit by a piece of ice falling off the CN Tower which caused a hole to form in the lining of the roof. While almost comical, the incident illustrates a big reason why many fans haven’t shown up to games.
Whatever the case may be, it’ll be interesting to see how big the crowds are once the sun comes out and the days get longer. The Jays are known for having excellent promotional games in the summer. When you combine that with an open roof, something we have yet to see this year, it’s hard to imagine many blue seats left untaken.
As fans, all we can do is continue to support the boys in blue as they prepare for a long summer of baseball. So get out there, head down to the dome and enjoy exciting baseball while it’s still here.