A Lesson in Attendance
JUNE 20, 1948 Guess which major league team set the attendance record for a regular season game on this date in 1948 (the dateline kind of gives it away)? It wasnt the New York Yankees? It was the Cleveland Indians. They drew 82,781 fans to
Clevelands Municipal Stadium to watch the Indians sweep a doubleheader from the
Cleveland drew exceptionally well that year which saw them win the American League Pennant and beat the Boston Braves in the World Series. The team of Lou Boudreau, et al. drew 2,620,627 fans in 1948.
Cleveland Municipal Stadium -Google images
The attendance record for any major league game was set during the 1959 World Series when the Dodgers and White Soz drew 92,720 to the Los Angeles Coliseum for game 5.
Speaking of major league baseball attendance, it has been on pretty much an uphill slant since the late 1800s, with some downturns for major catastrophes such as World Wars. For example, the average attendance dropped during the two World Wars, though more during World War I than II, and the Great Depression. Attendance spiked, however, when those events resolved:
World War I
5,215 War goes on but
United States not involved.
4,186 United States enters World War I
3,032 War still going during the season, ends in November.
5,843 1st season after the Armistice
The Great Depression
7,802 Stock Market crash in October, but takes 2 to 3 years for depression to reach its worst
8,211 Record set for the highest average attendance up to that point. Economic downturn not fully felt yet
Depression sets in
Depression at its worst
5,694 Some recovery seen
5,982 More modest recovery
More modest recovery
Recession sets in last through most of 38
World War II
Pearl Harbor attacked in December
6,988 War continues
6,031 War continues
7,063 War continues, but attendance increases from previous year
Japan surrenders in August, war ends
14,914 Attendance boom in 1st full season after war ends