~10,000 Maniacs

There's been a bit of talk about how Wednesday night's crowd of 11,159 is the lowest for the Jays in SkyDome/Rogers Centre history. While it's always embarrassing when you set a mark like that, I was more surprised when I saw that the lowest attendance number in Blue Jays history was 10,074, set in April 1979 at the Ex against the White Sox.

While attendance numbers in any sport are always a bit sketchy, the fact that the Blue Jays have never had an official attendance dip lower than 10,000 is kind of impressive. This is a team that played it's first few years in a crappy stadium right on the lakefront, were basically out of it by the 2nd week of the season, and still managed to draw somewhat respectable crowds (at least officially) into September when the weather turned cold and awful. And, over the past 16 years, they've rarely even had a sniff of a playoff spot past Labour Day, and yet have still been able to bring decent crowds out to the games late in the year.

Just for comparison's sake, the expansion cousin of the Jays, the Mariners, drew their first sub-10,000 crowd during their very first homestand in 1977, bringing only 8,979 to the Kingdome in their 6th ever game and had 13 games with less than 10 grand in the stands in that first season (the smallest crowd being 5,718 for a game in September against the Brewers).

Doing the least bit of research possible, as far as I can tell, the only other cities that haven't had games with official attendance figures under 10k are Phoenix and Denver. So, before we start the hand wringing about hitting rock bottom and comparisons to the Expos and all that, just keep in mind that every team goes through ebbs and flows with regards to how many fans they draw to the ballpark and that at least the shitty crowds are because of the shitty team.

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