Optimism surrounds the Houston Astros as the 2015 season approaches, with upgrades having been made at positions that have been lacking in recent years. With these new additions comes legitimate battles that will play out during spring training that fans of the team can’t wait to watch, predict and scrutinize over, which is a vast improvement over hoping to see some of the top talent on the farm play some innings. With all of the moves that have been made to improve the roster, will the fans now start flocking to Minute Maid Park?
Last year the Houston Astros drew 1,751,829 fans, which is almost exactly 100,000 more fans than came out in 2013. The reason for the increase in attendance has to be because the Astros started winning again, finishing with a 70-92 record. Winning always helps the casual fan come out to the ballpark. Well, winning and George Springer‘s smile.
During the team’s best years at MMP, the Astros were a top-10 team in terms of attendance. When the Rangers went to the World Series in 2010 and 2011, Houston’s attendance certainly took a hit, but now the Rangers are a team filled with question marks, and the Astros may reclaim some of the fans they have lost over the past number of seasons. Switching leagues and being in the middle of the rebuilding process certainly didn’t help the attendance figures much either.
There is excitement surrounding this team, and that will create a buzz, but there are two main factors that will help more than “buzz”. The first is this team needs to win some games and show the fans that the moves that were made over the offseason weren’t just for show, they served an actual purpose.
The second factor that will draw fans is that the Houston Astros will be on tv! It’s hard to follow a team if you can’t watch their games. Being able to watch every game on television will help the public become connected with the team, which will help them become invested emotionally. That should translate into more fans at the ballpark in 2015.
Since it’s spring, I’m going to make a bold prediction for the attendance. The Houston Astros will draw 2.3 million fans to Minute Maid Park this season, a feat that has not been accomplished since 2010. Is that a bit high? Too low? What do you think?
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