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Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Is Dodgers' attendance immune to losing?


The Dodgers are raising some ticket prices and dropping some, but apparently the average ticket price won't change much. Craig Calcaterra:



I don't know. Maybe it's not a law of nature. But there seems to be a law of something.

In 1958, the Dodgers finished seventh in an eight-team league. The next year they led the National League in attendance.

In 1967, the Dodgers finished eighth in a 10-game league. The next year they finished third in the league in attendance. That year, they finished seventh. The next year they finished second in the league in attendance.

In 1986, the Dodgers finished fifth in a six-team division. The next year they finished third in the league in attendance.

In 1992, the Dodgers finished last for the first time (and to date, the only time) since moving to Los Angeles. The next year they finished third in the league in attendance.

In 2005, the Dodgers finished fourth in a five-team division. The next year they led the National League in attendance.

In 2007, the Dodgers finished fourth in a five-team division. The next year they finished second in the league in attendance.

There are two things about this "study." One, I'm not cherry-picking. I just looked at the standings every season and chose the Dodgers' worst finishes. Two, in almost every case the Dodgers did play significantly better in the following season.

In 2010, the Dodgers finished fourth in their division, and second in the league in attendance. Maybe they'll drop off some in 2011. Especially if they get off to a slow start. But I think there is a "law" of sorts. I think the Dodgers are simply a part of the culture down there, like gridlocked freeways and telling everyone else how wonderful the weather is.

Oh, and it probably helps that 13 million people live nearby.

Maybe the Dodgers won't draw, someday. But we're at least one (and probably more) non-competitive seasons from finding out.