Jun 7, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Fans line up at the first base ticket gates before the game between the New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Is 2 Million Fans Going to Happen?

Several months ago I discussed the possibility of 2 million fans going through the Kauffman turnstiles this year, and as we come down the stretch we can now see if it might actually happen.  The fan base seems to have bought in after more than 90,000 showed up over the past weekend, but there is still work to do.

In 2013 the Royals had 1,750,754 fans show up at home games for an average of 21,614 and change.  This year’s team is outpacing that number by a significant amount.  Through 60 home games the average attendance has been 23,512 and the total attendance is sitting at 1,410,734.  It is almost a certainty that they will out draw last year as they would only need to draw a little over 16 thousand per game the rest of the way.  That said, they are pacing for less than 2 million as 23,512 per game will only get them to 1,904,491.  To crack the 2 million mark they will need to average 28,060 the rest of the way.

To this point in the season the Royals have had a home crowd of more than 28,000 in 15 games, or 25% of the time.  That seems like it puts that out of reach, but six of those games have been in the last 15 games, so recently it has happened at a greater frequency.  Let me lay out the case for how the Royals could get above the mark.

We start by going to the last home series of the season.  Detroit will be in town, and if things hold up, it might be the most important series since 1985 in Kansas City.  That series also happens to fall on a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday where we see the biggest crowds.  Last year the team was in worse position with Texas in town for the final series and drew a little over 85,000 which is less than what we saw last weekend.  I think the Detroit series sells out if the two teams are still battling to cinch up the AL Central.  That is 120,000 fans in one series.  Now the average for the other 18 games (including this afternoon’s) will need to be 26,070.

These last three days the team has averaged 23,246 per game, granted with a t-shirt Tuesday in there.  Three more times the team will play a Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of a week and let’s say they can match that number as we get closer and fans get more excited though without t-shirts to spike any particular game.  Now we have 9 other games that are going to need to average 28,895.  Those games are one today which will certainly not draw that many and 2 games each on a Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (again already took final Detroit series out).

Unfortunately none of those games are going to be against playoff contenders unless Cleveland goes on a tear.  Boston and Minnesota have already waived the white flag.  Last weekend showed that this could still be very attainable though.  Thursday through Sunday with Minnesota and 3 against San Francisco drew 28,727 per game which is very close. Assuming the Royals stay in or very near playoff contention I could easily see them drawing more than 30,000 per game for those 8 games.

It is not definitely going to happen, but this team has the opportunity to bring more than 2 million fans out to The K this season for the first time since 1991.  Maybe that will help David Glass keep pushing payroll up?

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