It’s no secret the Rockies are in a sort of purgatory and their fan base is, rightfully so, not happy about the way things are going. Is that an understatement? Most certainly. A quick Google search of, Jeff Bridich, the poster boy for fan disapproval, will give you articles with snippets including, but not limited to:
So much for “there’s no such thing as bad press.”
Pair Bridich’s ineptitude with other front office members and an ownership group that seems content with continuing to let the team tread water with no direction, and you have a fanbase that dwindles with every passing day. In a year where fans had the chance to go to games, I have a feeling this dejected sentiment would translate to decreased ticket sales, perhaps something that might actually wake up the front office.
Attendance has always been a source of pride for Rockies baseball. The Rockies inaugural season still holds the mark for highest total home attendance when 4,483,350 baseball fans walked through the gates at Mile High Stadium to catch a game. In the club’s opening four seasons, Mile High Stadium and Coors Field housed nearly twice the amount of fans as the average NL club did and in the last ten seasons, the Rockies have fallen below the NL average just once, in 2015.
I fear that if the organization stays on their current path, missing that benchmark will become an annual feat, not a one-off statistic. Any organization will see ups and downs in attendance, frequently correlated to the ebbs and flows of on-field success, but Rockies fans have historically turned out, even for losing ball clubs. In 2006, the team went 76-86, their 15th worst (or 12th best) record in franchise history, but had their worst season from an attendance standpoint. Even in 2012, when they had a dismal .395 winning percentage, the Rockies still outperformed the average NL team in attendance.
With all of that in mind, we can point out that back to back losing seasons could lead to a decrease in fan attendance, but it’s more likely it’s the way in which this team is losing, seemingly without direction or commitment to serving their players’ and fans’ best interests. Losing Arenado and or Story would be devastating and surely cause the casual fan to rethink their attendance, but at least it would signal a long-term hope of re-establishing the team as a competitive ball club.
We’ll never know what attendance would have been in 2020, and figures will seemingly be skewed in 2021, as full attendance is almost surely not going to happen to start the season, and we’ll never be able to gauge the cause of decrease once team’s get the green light to pack their parks again. Maybe fans are tentative about returning to a full stadium or maybe they’re skipping out to punish Bridich.
If the Purple Row comments section is in any way a predictor of attendance, it’s safe to say there will be some empty seats at Coors even when people feel the pandemic is no longer a threat. And that may be the case until the front office shows this fanbase that they’re committed to crafting the best team possible, not just forecasting good results based on...interpolations?
★ ★ ★
If there’s one thing that always cheers up Rockies fans, it’s hearing Charlie Blackmon speak, and that’s exactly what we got when he was a guest on the “This Life Ain’t For Everybody Podcast” where he detailed the oddities of 2020 crowd-less season, the upcoming birth of his first child (due in January), and a whole lot more.
You can check out the full podcast at this link, or if you’re pressed for time (the podcast runs just over an hour) then you can catch the Rox Pile summary of the conversation in the link above. Either way, you’re likely to come away smiling as Charlie showcases his usual charm.
It looks as if the Rockies might be getting a new affiliate team this offseason, as reports suggest the Spokane Indians will enter the Colorado Rockies mix. The team, previously an affiliate for the Texas Rangers will serve as the club’s Advanced Class-A Northwest League representation. The league will feature six teams and aim for a 132 game season in the upcoming season.
★ ★ ★
Please keep in mind our Purple Row Community Guidelines when you’re commenting. Thanks!