Originally Posted by kittle42
...the Cubs' woeful (for them) attendance.
Supply and demand is catching up with them. They've had declining turnouts over the last couple of disappointing years, but the perceived demand kept advanced ticket sales (by both fans and ticket brokers) going strong until now.
People like to believe the myth that the Cubs "always draw 3 million fans no matter what." But, the reality is that this has only been going on for the last 15 years and started with the Sosa/McGuire HR mania in '98. Since then, the Cubs have had enough good years over that time to keep attendance from slipping much.
In 1997, they drew 2.19M fans. After that, they had the 1998 playoff berth/HR race and then Sosa was a huge draw for several years afterwards until his shocking
fall from grace. The 2003 playoff run boosted attendance after the Sosa circus was over and of course in 2004 the Chicago media was counting down the days to the Cubs inevitable pennant. Since then, they haven't had (until now) enough bad seasons in a row to see significant drops in attendance. They did start seeing some empty seats in '06 as fans were stung by the Sox WS win followed by the Cubs subsequent 96 loss season. But, the Trib opened up their checkbook to nip that in the bud and got the team back in the playoffs for '07 and '08. The '07-'08 playoff seasons kept ticket sales sky high for a few years but now their attendance figures are coming back down to earth.
Originally Posted by doublem23
The Cubs attendance for sure this year has been carried by tourists and fans of the other team. Every time they are playing rivals like the Cardinals, Reds, or Brewers, I see thousands of people in the other teams' gear on the l or in and around the neighborhood (I live pretty close to Wrigleyville). If they had to play a season at the Cell to work on Wrigley, they'd struggle to get 15,000 per game to watch this product.
That's always going keep Cubs attendance respectable even during lean years. That's what irks me about people constantly saying that Cubs fans are great fans and Sox fans are terrible fans because of attendance. So much of that is driven by people who are going to Wrigley because of the neighborhood and because of the ballpark's fame.
No denying that the Cubs have that going in their favor, but that doesn't make their fan base better than Sox fans.