26,000 at the ballpark last night…helluva showing, Baltimore (sarcasm)

September 27, 2012 | Drew Forrester

Playoff fever sure has gripped Baltimore’s baseball community.

Unfortunately, it must have strangled everyone’s wallet and purse.

26,000 people crammed their way into Camden Yards last night for what was about as close to a “must-win” game as the Orioles have encountered since 1997.

That’s it, huh?  26,000…

Through 78 home games, the Orioles are averaging 26,067.

In other words, 26,000 is the “normal” crowd for a home game.  And 26,000 showed up last night.

I’m aware, fully, of all the excuses.

1) Ravens game on Sunday night.  2) 31,000 at the doubleheader on Monday  3) 30,000 at the Tuesday night home game.  4) Ravens game on Thursday night.  5) Everyone who wanted Orioles playoff tickets had to play the common “extortion game” all sports teams play by making you put down a deposit for season tickets that you don’t want for the NEXT season in order to get post-season tickets THIS season.

All of those excuses are reasonable.

They’re also excuses.

31,000 for the doubleheader on Monday night for a team on the verge of making the playoffs isn’t great.  It’s good.  Not great.

Same for 30,000 on Tuesday night.  Nothing special there.  It’s only a few thousand ahead of the team’s average attendance.

And then, last night, 26,000 in the place for a game the Orioles absolutely had to win.

I just don’t get it.

Are you all that disconnected with the baseball team that you can’t go out to these meaningful games?  Or is it as simple as this — “I’m just staying home and watching the games on TV”?

My guess is you’re just staying home to watch the games on TV.

But that doesn’t help the team on the field, in the stadium.

The place will be packed this weekend when the Red Sox come in to get b-slapped for three straight games.  But I’m sure we’ll see a large turnout of “Bah-stun” fans who won’t be able to watch their beloved baseball team this October…so this is their final chance to see Bobby Valentine manage the Red Sox before he gets canned next Thursday afternoon.

I expected more from Baltimore.

For the first time since 1997, these games matter.  And 26,000 of you found it important enough to show up last night.

What a shame.

31 Comments For This Post

  1. bill Says:

    Here’s a promotion the Orioles should have tried for the three Toronto games. Throw eggs at Drew in a booth out in left field. That would have drawn another 20,000 or so. (DF: You forgot to mention “You suck, Drew.” You’re getting soft on me, Bill.)

  2. OVER40DON Says:

    Hey Bill crawled back out from under his rock! Welcome back D*@KHEAD!

    My 2 cents is the Thurs. night Ravens game cuts into the overall series turnout.

  3. unitastoberry Says:

    Money is tight. Gas and food come first. I pay MASN every month. I have a 45 min drive to work and home 5 days a week.

  4. dave hittinger Says:

    Doh! Nope actually it’s a Baltimore tradition. 1966 -1971 (the good old days), average attendance was about 13,000 per game, and several playoff games failed to sell out. (DF: You should know better…but you don’t. So I won’t engage you on this. I know you’re just trolling.)

  5. Dan Says:

    If only I made the Money you make Drew, I could shell out $80 to $100 2 or three times a week. Your the man! (DF: What seats are you sitting in? I went to the game last night for $9.00. And you’re right…I AM the man.)

  6. Fat Daddy Says:

    What does Angelos care? They already have sold the seats, who cares if people are in them? He makes $ whether you are at the game or watch them on MASN. And Drew, it was a school night at the beginning of the school year. All of the fans paying private school tuition aren’t having their kids miss a teat the next day!

  7. Adam Says:

    People forget that the last time the Orioles were selling out the ballpark on a regular basis with a playoff-caliber team, there was no competition 30 miles down the road. The fact is that the constant losing and ineptitude in the front office have made a lot of Orioles fans hop on to the Nats bandwagon and they’ve lost a generation worth of fans who are now sitting in Dundalk, actively rooting for the Yankees to beat the Orioles for the division title. This isn’t your pappy’s Orioles team or fanbase anymore DF.

  8. tsnamm Says:

    Hey Drew…it shows how far this franchise has fallen. 14 years is a long time to give people a sub standard on the feild product, and the response to this years turn around shows it. The Orioles have built up a lot of bad will during that time. The Ravens on the other hand have no problem attracting fans on a weeknight, so apparently all the excuses for why people don’t go do not apply to them. And that reason is that they are a fan friendly, suscessful, consistantly winning franchise. Camden Yards is no longer a must have ticket or a “place to be” anymore. I think it can be again if the winning continues for more than 1 season and isn’t simply a 1 time fluke. We will see…

  9. Dan Says:

    Let me help you with the Math ( Your a hell of a good sports talk show host ), however, you math skills are another subject,
    now follow along if you can?

    Myself, my wife, my two kids: 4 x $9 = $36
    A hotdog, a soda for each: lets say = $40
    Oh and an adult beverage or 2 for myself = $16
    Parking = $10
    total = $ 102.

    I rest my case, a battle of witts with you is like swatting a fly with a Buick!

    (DF: You don’t have to spend $40 on food (I didn’t) and you don’t have to drink two beers (I didn’t).
    Let me help you with the word: it’s called “optional”. You’re spending money on food and booze that you don’t need to spend. If you want to go to the ballgame, it could cost you roughly $50. By the way, it’s “wits”, not “witts”. Nothing like a battle of “wits” with someone who can’t spell “wits”.)

  10. Robert Says:


    I think you’ve glibly dismissed Hittinger’s comments. What the luke-warm attendance proves to me is that the O’s brass have dug a hole far deeper than they realize & they will have to do much more (ie. halt same-day & premium game surcharges) if they hope to have a chance at getting the fans back. Cheers.

  11. justafan Says:

    Maybe if we can somehow keep Obama from being reelected, the economy will improve and people will be able to get out to the ballpark in greater numbers.

  12. Dan Says:

    Ok Drew,
    You Win! I am the fly today!

    (DF: I’ll take a win any way I can get it.)

  13. NC Orioles Fan Says:


    Take a look at my user name and you know why I am not there, unless you want to get permission from my boss for 2 days off work to drive 7 hours to/from Baltimore, pay for my gas at about $3.70/gal, provide me overnight accomodations at the Hilton across from OPCY and FREE admission to a box seat behind the Orioles dugout for the entire series.

  14. waspman Says:

    I could write a long comment on how attendance is a lagging indicator — witnessed by the Orioles drawing 2.6 million in 2005 which was their 14th year at OPACY (not new anymore plus 15 MLB ballparks had opened since then), 8th straight losing season (no big surprise like 2012 has been and some of the early losing seasons were), and it was the Nationals’ first season in DC (another tired excuse put out by the know-nothing’s).

    I could write how walk-up attendance is the least reliable way of getting attendance — well behind season ticket sales and advance sales. Heck, if I took the time to fetch real numbers rather than just shoot from the hip complain like Drew, I think the number of walk-up sales and short term advance sales would be extremely favorable sign of attendance for the Orioles.

    But instead I would rather compliment Drew on getting one thing right. You just don’t get … is right. Congrats on at least recognizing that. (DF: Too bad you didn’t write something legit. I would remind you that I sold more tickets in my life than you’ve had hot meals. I forgot more about selling tickets than you know. That’s what I would have written in response to your drivel. You people crack me up. 26,000 folks show up for a Wednesday night game in September for a team on the verge of making the post-season for the first time since 1997 and you somehow think that’s acceptable. Shame on you. You’re part of the problem.)

  15. BudIce05 Says:

    I live 3 1/2 hrs away(north of Baltimore so I am subject to a-hole Yankass Fans and front running Phillies fans) and still manage to make a 1/2 dozen games a year and yes 26K is brutal for a team contending for a division title after so many crap seasons. However this website is so one sided to the Ravens, even with the O’s being in contention the Ravens to O’s articles are a 4-1 ratio. Even that rag the Sun covers the O’s more in detail. (DF: My guess is your number is accurate. For every single person in town (1) who says, “I’m an Orioles die-hard” there are four (4) fans who say, “I’m a Ravens die-hard.”)

  16. Christian Says:

    There’s gonna be 70K strong at tonight’s Ravens game and about 90% of the tickets to that game will be more expensive than a ticket you could’ve bought to yesterday’s game or any other Orioles game this season not against the Yankees or Red Sox. If it wasn’t for the fact that I had a night class I would’ve gone to the game, but I went to the doubleheader and many other games this season. Do people just really hate Dictator Peter that much or do they just not care about baseball anymore in this city?

  17. Theblackdog Says:

    Two words: Peter Angelos. You really expect a lot of us to reward him and his cronies ineptitude and uncaring attitude towards the fans after so many years?

  18. Allen Roody Says:

    Soory Drew. Gotta disagree with you on this (and I normally agree with your points of view). I don’t think they’re are enough available fans to sell out (or even 35,000+) fans for every game. Yes, the Ravens will sell out, but it’s only 8 home dates. All the playoff games are already sold out (Hmm, got Atlanta-much bigger market) beat.

    Yes, we lost a lot of fan base with the Nats. We can blame Pete for some or most of this, but many would have changed anyway. Hell the Nats sucked too until this year.

    I went to a bunch of games this year and have tickets for two more. You just can’t make em all.

  19. Allen Says:

    please remove my last name or use labaseball on my last email…oops.


  20. NC Orioles Fan Says:

    Drew, here are some ideas to draw more fans to OPCY:

    tell the owner to drop the day-of surcharge.

    tell the owner to stop gouging fans $99 for a handicap seat that I bought on Opening Day.

    tell the owner to stop labeling the Redsox and Yankees as “prime” games and get this, this upcoming last home series with the “prime” Redsox has been labeled as “Fan Appreciation” Weekend. What team gouges their fans on Fan Appreciation Weekend except the Orioles? Hypocrisy as its’ worst.

    QUIT blaming fans for NOT showing up at the stadium or clone yourself 48K times and then every seat will be filled and Angelos’ heart will be content to hear everyone chant “let’s go O’s.”

  21. justafan Says:

    NC Orioles Fan, You are right. The Red Sox are no longer worthy of the “prime” label. Actually, the ticket prices should remain the same for all of the teams on the schedule, including the Yankees. Eliminate the “prime” charges and the surcharge applied to walk-up ticket sales. It is like you are being PUNISHED by the ball club for not buying tickets in advance. Eliminate the price discrimination and maybe fans will start coming out to the ball park.

  22. John in Westminster Says:

    Guilty as charged. Baseball should end on August 31 and not overlap with football! And its a little more than $9 when you add in 60 miles in gas, parking, food & beverages, and 6 hours of my time.

  23. Dave Says:

    The Orioles aren’t going to get fans back over night. And rightfully so. Let’s say you own a restaurant. For 14 years, your restaurant gets horrible reviews, has horrible food, horrible wait staff, etc. You think people are going to come flocking to eat at your establishment the moment you start getting good reviews, good food, good service, etc.? No, it’s going to take a few years. Taking away the day-of-game surcharge and premium surcharge would help a little bit, but that’s far from the only problem.

  24. charlie Says:

    drew, do you remember the yankee series — i think it was in 1978 — when o’s attendance made a paradigm shift upwards? it was before oriole magic, but it was then when folks started to pack in. . . the orioles have to do many things to win back the fans, but winning is a great start. if we can avoid a typical angelos fiasco (like, say, firing buck showalter because it’s peter’s team, not buck’s, or something like that) and keep lord peter locked up in whatever broom closet they’ve got him in, then things could get better and stay that way.

    i, for one, sure hope they do. and if the orioles get good and stay good — in terms of behaviors as well as wins & losses — what will it take to get you back into the fold?

    at a certain point — if (and it’s still a big if) the o’s stick to their improved ways — you’ll have to decide to forgive them for treating you poorly or to stick w/hating them. i hope it’s a choice you have to make, because that would mean that this season is more than a flash in the pan. (DF: Yeah, I “hate” the team. That’s why I spent $2,400 on tickets last year. I swear, some of you people are f**king amazing.)

  25. waspman Says:

    The fact you sold tickets in your past is not relevant to the analysis of overall ticket sales. I have looked and analyzed more economic data than you have ever sold tickets. And since name-calling is a specialty at ‘NST, I will call you out for putting out drivel.

    Gameday walk-ups rarely are huge number-producers. You may have the Orioles 1-23 game of 1988, Fernando-mania or similar with Fidrych or Carlton, but those are selected single games.

    The Orioles still had an extensive season ticket base in 2005. That means people pre-planned their social events around attending a game they already were invested in. The season ticket base has evaporated since then. To expect a walk-up of 80,000 fans or more (it was a three-game series) mid-week is unrealistic. Simple logic would dictate most walk-ups (like me since you ignorantly called me part of the problem without knowing crap) will be a walk-up for one of those games–not all three.

    And since you ignorantly called me out as part of the problem, I was a 29-game turned 81-game season ticket holder for decades. My schedule including my work schedule revolved around attending games. I am no longer a season ticket holder. I may become one again since I attended something between 13 and 29 games this year, but I have to change my budget to do that. In the meantime, selecting which game(s) I can go to in a given home series revolves around what I scheduled or had scheduled for me months ago.

    You people with a major in microphones, journalism or whatever crack me up. You people (you’re almost as good as Glenn Clark at this) like to put words in my mouth. I never said it was acceptable. Acceptability is an opinion. My explanation was saying it was understandable. I used FACTS to illustrate this.

    If it makes you feel better to name-call me or call what you don’t understand drivel, have at it. The angry tone of you and ‘NST in general is without cause and getting very, very old. (DF: Yeah, I guess 17 years working for a sports team and selling tickets and marketing a franchise aren’t “relevant”. Maybe I should have waited tables in order to have an expertise in sports marketing. Likewise, your tomes and lengthy missives are getting very, very old, too. The only way you could say less would be to write more. Give it a rest. You’re not a ticket expert. You’re someone with a degree who wants to one-up everyone with your Harvard’ish approach. It’s simple, really. The team isn’t selling enough tickets to these games because people in town aren’t interested in going to the games. 14 years of bad business haven’t been forgotten.)

  26. charlie Says:

    well, drew, i didn’t mean to be “so f***ing amazing” (that’s what SHE said!). so let me restate: you — and i, and lots of other fans who’ve been aware of and disgusted by the team’s lousy management, arrogance, and contempt for us, — will have to decide whether your (and our) displeasure at angelos is greater than your/our fondness for the team.

    don’t think i’m your enemy here. you & wnst are my favorite source for baltimore sports, after all. but the fact is that the o’s got good all of a sudden, and we’re all sitting here figuring out what this means now and for the future.

    like i said, this will only be an issue if the team stays good beyond this season. i hope they do, because i like having a good team to root for. but i’m still not exactly clamoring for an angelos statue downtown, and if they won the world series this year, i’d have to take my irony pills while watching angelos accept the trophy.

    it’s not that different from what happened with the colts. there turned out to be ways to keep on loving the team while hating irsay, but plenty of fans simply said, “this whole outfit isn’t worth it.’ that was a valid choice, too. but i think if the orioles actually stay on the course correction and bring us winning seasons and better behavior, fans’ll come back, but won’t embrace peter, ever. (DF: You used the word “hate” in your first comment. If you’ve listened as much as you say you have, you know for certain I do not hate the franchise. I don’t like what the franchise has become, but in no way have I ever hated the franchise. And $2,400 worth of season tickets last year should prove that.)

  27. NC Orioles Fan Says:

    “(DF: Yeah, I “hate” the team. That’s why I spent $2,400 on tickets last year. I swear, some of you people are f**king amazing.)”

    Man oh man, why did you even write this column if you’re going to swear at your fans? Wow!

    Don’t swear at the fans, swear at Angelos for alienating fans/Baltimore from ‘his’ Orioles.

  28. NC Orioles Fan Says:

    P.S: Drew, since you spent $2400 for tickets, would you kindly buy me only 1 Club seat at the “prime” price for Sunday’s game so I can get a JJ hardy bobblehead and bring it back to NC? Thanks.

  29. charlie Says:

    incidentally, since the $2,400 figure now becomes totemic, i hope that you’re deducting that sum since, as a sports commentator, it’s certainly germane to your profession.

    there, see, i’m not such a meanie, drew. no need to curse at fans, i’m looking out for ya!

  30. waspman Says:

    You win, Drew. I can’t keep up with your anger. And I don’t want to. Your resume would be relevant had you learned something from it. Your last sentence at me was the closest to reality you have been, but you draw the wrong conclusion. So, don’t state facts. Just name-call. And insult. And alienate. I’m quite certain you have been doing that for even longer than 17 years, and that’s why you’re so good at it. And you will have the last word, too — your measure of making your point and your measure of winning. Enjoy.
    (DF: I love winning. It’s way better than losing.)

  31. bill Says:

    Yeah $2,400 as a tax write off (business expense)…shut the F$%k up and stage a walk out or something you idiot. “YOU PEOPLE”…GAWD, someone change this nobody’s diaper…Oh and Baltimore Blast (really marketed that well genius)…waterboys and towel boys dont sell tickets. We know the truth so stop with revisionist history…THIS COMMENT IS SURE TO BE DELETED LIKE THE OTHERS THAT SPOKE THE TRUTH and Dumb F can’t handle the truth…(DF: Another so-called fan who hasn’t bought a ticket…disrespecting someone who HAS bought tickets. Funny how that works…)

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