The announced attendance for the Oakland Athletics home game against the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night was 3,748. Ouch! Will the Cincinnati Reds experience similar crowds at Great American Ball Park this season?
I think it's a fair question after watching both the Reds and the A's gut their respective teams this past offseason. The Reds said goodbye to Eugenio Suárez, Jesse Winker, Nick Castellanos, Wade Miley, and Sonny Gray, while the Athletics moved on from Matt Olson, Chris Bassett, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, Starling Marte, and Mark Cahna.
Will the Reds attendance figures mimic the A's in 2022?
Last season, the Oakland Athletics fielded a very competitive team, finishing 86-76 which put the club six games outside the final Wild Card spot in the American League. The Cincinnati Reds, in similar fashion, finished the 2021 season at 83-79 and were seven games out of the Wild Card in the National League.
Oakland's Opening Day attendance in 2021 was 10,436. Don't forget that COVID restrictions kept an overwhelming majority of stadiums from reaching full capacity during the beginning of the season.
Oakland's biggest draw in 2021 was 40,133 against their neighbors across the bay, the San Francisco Giants. It's a good bet the majority of folks who showed up were wearing orange and black not green and gold.
On the flip side, the Oakland Athletics saw two games in May with fewer than 3,000 fans in attendance. Of the 50 lowest-attended games the A's played in 2021, 45 were at home. The other five included four games against the Tampa Bay Rays and one game versus the Arizona Diamondbacks. To be fair, only eight of those contests took place on a Saturday or Sunday.
The Cincinnati Reds lowest attended home game in 2021 was an early afternoon affair against the Arizona Diamondbacks on April 22nd. The crowd numbered just 7,549. In fact, the entire three-game set with the D-Backs saw less than 25,000 enter Great American Ball Park.
The overwhelming majority of games at GABP saw a crowd of 10,000 or better during the 2021 season, with only six home contests falling below that mark. But after the harsh comments from Cincinnati Reds president Phil Castellini and the team's putrid start to the season, one has to wonder how the attendance figures are going to look at the end of the season.
I'd wager we'll see more St. Louis Cardinals fans than Reds fans in the stadium this weekend in Cincinnati. I don't know where they're gonna go, but until the Reds field a competitive team, I doubt they'll be flocking to Great American Ball Park.