Back in 2004, the Chicago Cubs toppled the 3 million attendance mark at Wrigley Field for the first time in franchise history.
Since then, they’ve done it nine more times, including, it seems … this season!
Thank you to the 3,199,562 who passed through our gates this season!
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) October 1, 2017
As the Cubs point out, this is the fourth highest mark in team history, behind only 2016, 2007, and 2008:
- 2008: 3,300,200
- 2007: 3,252,462
- 2016: 3,232,420
- 2017: 3,199,56
- 2004: 3,170,154
While that mark may be slightly behind last year’s total, I think that’s perfectly understandable given how historically great the Cubs were last season and how, frankly, bad they were at the beginning of this year (plus the whole, marching towards the first World Series in 108 years thing).
But even with the slight dip vis à vis 2016, the 2017 Cubs attendance total this year ranked fifth best in all of baseball – just barely behind the Toronto Blue Jays and San Francisco Giants, and a fair bit behind the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers. The Cubs averaged 39,500 per home game this year.
Strong attendance remains an important factor in the Cubs’ revenue picture, which, in turn, is an important factor in how much money the baseball operations department has available each year. Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts has said repeatedly that, after expenses, whatever the team brings in the door goes right back into baseball operations. If the Cubs want to sustain a payroll near the luxury tax cap, while also spending aggressively in other ways, strong attendance (and good media rights deals) is a huge factor.
That reminds me … I’ll just leave this list of 2018-2019 MLB Free Agents right here.