New York Yankees: Why is stadium attendance dwindling? 2
Sep 30, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; Fans look on in the rain as Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Tyler Wilson (63) prepares to throw a pitch during the ninth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Despite attendance numbers dwindling dramatically for the New York Yankees, there’s still a chance for them to make baseball great again.

Major League Baseball has gone through ups and downs since the inception of the first professional team back in 1869. The sport has been deemed “America’s pastime” and has stood the test of time for an unprecedented number of years.

In recent years, however, game attendance for MLB teams has declined dramatically. More importantly, it has tanked for the New York Yankees, one of the greatest franchises in the history of the game.

Ever since 2009, the Yankees have seen a steady decline in their attendance, despite remaining at the top of the attendance standings. From 2014 to 2015, the Yankees saw the biggest drop in attendance in over 15 years, with over 200,000 fewer fans dropping by during the season.

Last season, the 27-time world champions averaged 37,820 fans per home game, while compiling a total of 3,0653,405 through their 81 games at home. This ranked fourth in the MLB, but still a -130,390 difference from 2015’s home attendance.

On the road, it is even worse. During the time of “The Dynasty” in the late 1990s, the Yankees were a team people traveled all over to see. In 2016, away attendance at Yankee games averaged 30,940 per game; this was ranked 12th in the MLB.

So what has happened? And what can we do to fix it?

Kids, the sad story is that baseball is on the decline. These days, children are growing up and gravitating towards other, faster-paced sports. Football viewership is absolutely killing baseball viewership because the millennials want to see action.

They don’t want to wait around for their action. They want it now.

It also has to do with the slump the Yankees are in. In the 1990s, they would win continuously. Recently, they just aren’t getting it done, or even making it to the playoffs.

The last World Series championship they claimed was in 2009 and it’s no surprise that since then, attendance has been declining with each playoff-less season.

In the attendance rankings, the Yankees were in the top two for the majority of the late ’90s and 2000’s. Only in 2013 did they slip down to fourth and eventually to seventh last season.

Fans want to go see a winning team, not a team that is in third, fourth or even fifth place. If the team isn’t winning regularly, there’s a chance fans aren’t making an appearance at the stadium.

It could potentially be about ticket prices. The outrageously pricey tickets and the mortgage that’s necessary for a hot dog have turned fans off from going to the ballpark in lieu of being able to watch their team play in the comforts of their own home.

There are several factors that are keeping fans from coming to the ballpark. But how can the Yankees get them back to boost their attendance once again?

While baseball is a business, lowering ticket prices and making games more accessible to go to will urge more fans to get out and enjoy the ballpark in person.

Aug 26, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) doubles against the Baltimore Orioles during the seventh inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees have already started to do something to prompt another playoff season by bringing in a young, exciting team.

With marketable, youthful players in Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge, the Yankees are drawing glances from fans that may have stopped paying attention when the Yankees began their skid.

There’s a good chance these (and more) young studs will garner more interest to a mediocre Yankees squad.

No, baseball will never compete with the likes of football because let’s face it, they are not the same. While football boasts more hard-hitting action, baseball thrives on patience and suspense.

Every pitch has the opportunity to change the course of the game. Every hit has the ability to spark a seemingly-impossible rally. Every play has the chance to become a part of history. Baseball deserves to be something special in the eyes of sports fans.

There’s nothing like being at the Stadium first-hand.

The scent of ballpark franks being grilled. The cheers of the Bleacher Creatures during Role Call. The anticipation of a two-strike count. The imminent playing of Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” after a victory. It’s all there for fans, so why won’t they take advantage of it?

While fans may be gravitating towards excitement and intrigue in sports like football and ice hockey, there is nothing more classic than America’s pastime.

Will attendance skyrocket for the Yankees this season? Probably not, but there is room for improvement to get fans back out. True fans will show you, baseball is a sport that is far from dead, no matter what the attendance numbers say.

Allison is just a girl with an enormous passion for the game of baseball and the written word. Based in Upstate New York, her life-long relationship with the New York Yankees is something that she developed through close relationships with her mother and grandfather. An aspiring sports writer, she graduated with a journalism degree and is finding places to share her excitement about the sporting world and how it affects us all.


  1. Here’s why Yankee Stadium attendance has been falling IMO: The stadium is not fan-friendly like Citi Field or Citizens Bank Park or Fenway. The new stadium just doesn’t appeal anyone. It’s hard to see the players. It’s like a moat.

  2. They have penny pinched like the Minnesota Twins and havent put a contending team on the field in years. Yes, the kids are fun to watch and speculate on, but you need to use them as complimentary to a championship built team, NOT expect them to carry the load. Put a contending team on the field and people will come.

  3. A lot of hardcore Yankee fans stopped going because ownership didn’t want them anymore.They intentionally wrecked the experience for those fans..

    They made the upper deck smaller and moved it back.That’s where the loudest,most passionate fans were located.The owners didn’t want that kind of fan dominating the Yankee Stadium experience anymore.It’s that simple.Those are the working class fans and ownership wanted to increase the team’s value by attracting a wealthier fan base.That’s why the majority of the seats are now located downstairs and the stadium is filled with pricey restaurants with waiter service at the most expensive box seats,restricted access to some areas and so forth.

    Now Yankee Stadium has gone quiet.The rivalry with the Red Sox is one way. It occurs only at Fenway. If you want to attend a nearby Yankee game with passionate fans you travel to Baltimore and see a game at Camden Yards. That’s why there’s so many Yankee fans at those Orioles games.It’s huge fun.It’s almost like attending the real Yankee Stadium.
    As for the current “Yankee Stadium” I think it would be far more aptly named “Steinbrenner’s Memorial Sport’s Emporium and Food Court”.

    They tore down the experience of attending a New York Yankees baseball game at Yankee Stadium and replaced it with a TV show.So now………I watch on TV only..

  4. I had a season tix plan at the old stadium and then for the first 3 years of the new. Gave it up and now go to a few select games. The cost has gotten out of hand for one thing. The new stadium does not have the same feeling. It is geared to the wine and cheese set, not real fans. Something is missing since the move across the street. I miss the old place..