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PHOENIX — Even with home runs this season involving Aaron Judge and Albert Pujols, Major League Baseball hasn’t been able to fill its stadiums at the same rate as before the pandemic, though attendance is still up through 2021.
MLB’s 30 clubs drew roughly 64.6 million viewers, up from the 45.3 million attending games in 2021, according to Baseball-Reference.com. The total figure for 2022 is still lower than the 68.5 spectators who went through the turnstiles in 2019, the last season that was not affected 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, which has lost 102 games, plays in an aging stadium and is subject to constant relocation rumors, finished last, drawing just 787,902 fans for an average of 9,728 per game.
The St. Louis Cardinals ranked 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, growing from 805,901 fans to nearly 2.65 million spectators in 2021. They were followed by the Cardinals, Yankees, Seattle Mariners, Dodgers, and New York Mets, all of which attracted more than one million viewers over the previous year.
It must be said that in 2021, only the Texas Rangers started the campaign being able to fill their stadium 100% due to the sanitary measures taken to combat COVID-19. As of July, 30 teams have not reached this threshold. In 2020 fans could not attend the 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 are the lowest number for a year unaffected by COVID-19 since MLB expanded to 30 teams in 1998.
however, the box office loss was somewhat offset by higher viewership. Streaming service MLB.TV sees 11.5 billion minutes watched in 2022, a record high and up nearly 10% from 2021.