During the height of this golden era of Philadelphia Phillies baseball that fans are now watching limp to a conclusion, you couldn’t get into Citizens Bank Park on most nights no matter how hard you tried. The team sold out every game, including standing room only tickets, making them a very hot commodity if you were lucky enough to have a pair.
The Phillies were so popular that they sold out 257 consecutive games from July 7, 2009 until the streak ended on Aug. 6, 2012. You will no doubt notice that the streak almost exactly corresponds to the time the Phillies were regularly making appearances in the playoffs, as in 2013 the team saw their attendance numbers drop by 15 percent, the first year they failed to make the postseason since 2006.
And it turns out there is a reason for that.
Emory Sports Marketing Analytics has recently released a study that found Phillies fans are the most “win sensitive” in all of MLB when comparing win percentage to attendance at home games. What that means in layman’s terms is that if the Phillies aren’t winning, the fans stop showing up at the ball park. A less polite term to use for them would be to call them bandwagon fans.
This year Citizens Bank Park is averaging less than 70 percent full most nights. And if you have watched the team play at all this season, you can’t really be all that surprised. Even though the same study found that Phillies fans don’t seem to mind the cost of going to a game, no one wants to spend their hard earned cash to watch a team play bad baseball with no offensive output, as was the case against the Chicago Cubs in a 2-1 loss Friday night.
If you are familiar with Philadelphia and the sports hierarchy of the city, the results of the survey are hardly surprising. The Philadelphia Eagles have long held an iron grip over the psyche of the city, followed by the beloved Philadelphia Flyers. The Phillies jumped to first for a time while they were winning, but have now returned to their normal spot at No. 3, with the Philadelphia Union and Philadelphia 76ers not far behind.
The Phillies ownership group has shown in the past that they want Citizens Bank Park as full as possible as often as possible. If anything will give them the kick in the pants, they need to get the rebuilding process underway sooner rather than later, this might be it.