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Majority of MLB teams see decline in attendance through first half of baseball season

Yahoo Finance sports reporter Josh Schafer outlines the decline in game attendance most MLB teams are experiencing.

Video Transcript

DAVE BRIGGS: After a terrific home run derby last night, won by budding superstar Juan Soto, tonight, the Major League Baseball all-star game in Los Angeles. On the day of the big game, the showcase for the sport, some tough news for the sport. Attendance is down at 21 of the 30 parks across Major League Baseball. And that's measured against 2019, the last time we had an uninterrupted COVID season. Josh Schafer is here to talk about that. And Josh, the unlikely teams on that list include the very best team in baseball, the New York Yankees.

JOSH SCHAFER: That's right, Dave. So that's 70% of MLB teams are seeing a decline in attendance this year. And we can call up a full screen we have here with the New York Yankees and a couple of the other teams you see down. So you see the New York Yankees. They're the best team in baseball. The Los Angeles Angels, who have two of the most exciting players in baseball. And then you have the Pittsburgh Pirates, who maybe just aren't that exciting at all in some ways.

But the real thing you can see, especially with the Yankees and the Angels, those two teams both have stadiums that are in the top 10 in terms of size. So I think what we're seeing maybe in MLB that we're not seeing in some other leagues is a little bit of a supply and demand issue when we talk about the amount of games we have in a season, 162, 81 home games per team. That's a lot of games to ask 40,000 to 50,000 people when we're talking about Angels stadium, Yankee Stadium. That's a lot of people to come night after night after night.

And when you compare it to what we saw from the NFL-- Sportico reported some revenue numbers today in ticketing-- the leader? The Las Vegas Raiders. What's to note about the Raiders? Their stadium isn't that big. It only sits 65,000 people. So what the Raiders really did well in Vegas is they have that luxury experience. You go once, and it's a great time. And then you can leave. In MLB, it's hard to recreate that when you have 81 games. How do you get that luxury experience in MLB? I'm not really sure.

SEANA SMITH: But do you think that's going to translate, though, to baseball? Because I feel like a huge issue when it comes to baseball and their fan base is simply the fact that the games take so long. They're four to five hours. People don't want to sit in the stands for four to five hours.

DAVE BRIGGS: Only the Yankees, Red Sox. They're a little over three.

SEANA SMITH: But that is a huge issue.

JOSH SCHAFER: Yeah, no, it definitely is, Seana. I think the pace of play is always going to be an issue when we talk about people wanting to go to baseball games, right? And I do think it's inventory overall. Do we see the season get shorter? Maybe they just need to have less games. And then you and I would be willing to go sit for four or five hours if we only go once, instead of being expected to go five times.