After MLB completed a most unusual 2020 season,  played in empty stadiums, it was a relief when the 2020 World Series welcomed fans at 25% capacity.  Many wondered if we would see stadiums at full capacity anytime soon.  Throughout 2021 the pandemic marched on.  Yet in early November, we finished a post-season with many games featuring full stadiums!

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It may not surprise you to learn that every MLB team averaged lower attendance in 2021 compared to 2019.  The smallest disparity in average attendance was from three teams with some of the best young players and most exciting potential.  The Padres, Braves, and White Sox were three of the four teams to lose less than 10% off the 2019 attendance figures.  The Rangers, playing at their new Globe Life Field, were the other team for which average home attendance was above 90% of the 2019 level.

Crowd at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. (Photo by Kenneth Han)

For another perspective, let’s look at attendance in terms of percentage of stadium capacity.  This will compensate somewhat for the variation in stadium size.  The top five teams in order were Atlanta, San Diego, Texas, Houston , and the Dodgers.  That was quite an accomplishment with Dodger Stadium far and away the largest stadium and California’s early season COVID restrictions.  The Dodgers led MLB in total home attendance during the 2021 season.  Remarkably, that is something the Dodgers have done in every full season since 2013!