If you recall last week in this space I threw a bunch of information up on a graph and made bold claims about the nature of fandom and the need for more than just "on-field success". Lots of interesting discussion arose in the aftermath, much of it revolving around my decision to use percentage of tickets sold rather than raw tickets sold. The difference in stadium size seemed to be the main sticking point. Selling 100% of a small stadium is the same as selling 60% of a huge one!!11!
After a little research, I can say it breaks down like this with a little more confidence: there are 6 stadiums with capacities under 40000, with Oakland's listed as smallest at 35067. It should be noted that Network Associates Coliseum, like two of the other "undersized" stadiums, has a much larger true capacity. The clubs simple rope off massive sections of the park to avoid looking ridiculous. These are also three teams that rank at the bottom of the attendance % anyway, so I don't think it skews the numbers. Also, the arthimetic mean capacity is 43772, so the difference between any two stadiums isn't really that great.
The way the information was presented wasn't exactly perfect (or perfectly clear) so I took a slightly different approach. Using 81 wins (50%) as one baseline and the median attendance percentage (63.5%) as the other to create four quadrants: well supported good teams, poorly supported good teams, lovable losers and apathetic crapfactories. The results are mildly interesting as you can see below.
Click here for a break down of which teams sit where. Some highlights:
- There is a real glut of teams right around the center (circled them in red). They all hover around the .500 mark and hover around the median attendance numbers. Mainly teams, like the Jays, with middling success and moderate to impassionate fanbases.
- Of the 90 or so instances of good teams with good attendance, 1/3 are Red Sox, Yankees or Cardinals.
- The number of good teams with good attendance is nearly identical to the number of bad teams with poor attendance.
- The Twins! Lo, the role model Twins sit in the over .500 record but sub-median attendance a whooping 7 times! The A's are the other stalwart successful team with poor gate numbers. Both of these teams qualified for post season play on multiple occasions in the last decade and should serve as giant red warning beacons.
- Bad teams with loyal fans? The Cubs, Orioles, and Giants feature the most patient fanbases, though the Orioles support dwindled greatly as the decade wore on.
- As stated above the Red Ring of Death is a real village of the damned. Drifting and bobbing in the vast sea of ambivalence. The Marlins (the two years after they won the World Series) the Reds, the Mets, and your 2007 Toronto Blue Jays.