Follow all series matchups in the American and World Series with RDS and RDS.ca
PHOENIX – Even with home runs by Aaron Judge and Albert Pujols this season, Major League Baseball has not been able to fill its stadiums at the same rate as before the pandemic, although attendance is still up from 2021.
According to baseball-reference.com, MLB’s 30 clubs drew nearly 64.6 million viewers, up from 45.3 million in 2021. The total for 2022 is still less than the 68.5 spectators who walked through the ramps in 2019, the last season unaffected by the pandemic.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and their 111 wins led the Majors with 3.86 million viewers, an average of 47,672 per game. The Oakland Athletics, who have lost 102 games, play in an aging stadium and are constantly subject to relocation rumors, finished last, drawing just 787,902 fans for an average of 9,728 per game.
St. Louis Cardinals finished second with 3.32 million, followed by the New York Yankees (3.14 million), the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves (3.13 million) and the San Diego Padres (2.99 million).
The Toronto Blue Jays saw the largest increase in ticket sales, from 805,901 fans in 2021 to about 2.65 million. Followed by the Cardinals, Yankees, Seattle Mariners, Dodgers and New York Mets, all of whom drew more than a million more viewers than last year.
It must be said that in 2021, only the Texas Rangers started the campaign by being able to fill their stadium to 100% due to the sanitary measures to contain the COVID-19. 30 teams did not reach this threshold until July. Fans could not attend the 2020 games in person.
Major League Baseball attendance has been declining since 2007, when it peaked at 79.4 million. The 64.6 million tickets sold this year is the lowest number in a year without the impact of COVID-19 since MLB expanded to 30 teams in 1998.
Losses at the box office were somewhat compensated by higher viewership. Streaming service MLB.TV earned 11.5 billion minutes watched in 2022, a record high and nearly 10% more than 2021.