As the Toronto Blue Jays have struggled on the field in recent years, attendance has fallen back toward the middle of the pack.
Toronto ranked 13th in MLB last season with an average attendance of 29,066. And with another rebuilding season expected in 2019, demand for tickets still isn’t what it was in 2015 and 2016, when the Blue Jays were making deep playoff runs.
Unlike in years past, there are still plenty of tickets left for the Blue Jays’ home opener on March 28 against the Detroit Tigers.
This speaks to a reality the Blue Jays could face this season: lower attendance at Rogers Centre.
Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro acknowledges this challenge, but says it’s not exactly uncommon.
"It’s a reflection of where we are competitively," Shapiro said on the Jeff Blair Show Thursday on Sportsnet 590 The Fan. "It’s a reflection of the last two years and, frankly, for all but maybe three or four major-league teams. So 26 of the 30 teams have the exact same circumstance that every team goes through, which is when you go through a down cycle in your competitiveness and you come off two years that are disappointing for us and our fans like the last two years that there will be some slide in attendance.
"I still feel like, two things, one we are not far from the backdrop of ‘16 and the back half of ’15 represented, which is a strong example of the level of support both in the city and throughout the country when we do win – what that looks like. And secondly, even last year with a very disappointing team we still found ourselves in the middle of the pack and I still expect us to be towards the middle in all of Major League Baseball with a club that is not necessarily where most fans want to see us.
"So, to be concise, when we win there’s no place better and even when we’re not the team we want to be we’re still in a pretty good spot that reflects our market, the power of our market and makes it one of the best places for Major League Baseball."
You can listen to Shapiro’s entire appearance on the Jeff Blair Show in the radio player above where he answers fan inquiries among discussing other Blue Jays-related topics.