That’s announced attendance and not actual turnstile count. So 15,818 fans didn’t see the game in person.
Why? A couple things come to mind:
- it’s cold, and more and more people are catching on that Safeco Field night games early in the season are really unpleasant.
- the M’s, for all the talk about this year being a contention year, were way under .500 and way back in the division, which makes the sales pitch not that much different than other recent years
- they were playing the Rangers, who have a bad record (like the M’s) and have been bad for years, so there’s not a lot of rivalry or divisional interest there either
- uninspiring pitching lineup
If I’d had season tickets, I’d have been trying to move or exchange for a future matchup. This is the kind of game it used to be really hard to convince my wife to go to, because she had good sense (“Ryaaaan Fraaaaaaaanklin? Uhhh…. I couuuuuuuuld goooo…”)
This isn’t all that far off previous season lows, especially the last few years, where they’ve had mid-week night games in the cold draw poorly. It happens. I have no doubt that as we’ve seen before, the stadium will fill up when the weather gets better.
But it is a new low, a benchmark for how fickle their fans have become and how few the most dedicated are.