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St. Louis Cardinals attendance off from pre-pandemic figures, but team says metrics are beating expectations

While ranking No. 2 in the MLB for attendance, the St. Louis Cardinals are still seeing a lag in ticket sales.
Credit: DILIP
Fans enter Busch Stadium on Opening Day in 2021.

ST. LOUIS — Midway through the 2022 Major League Baseball season, the St. Louis Cardinals rank near the top of the league for home attendance, even as the amount of fans buying tickets lags when compared to previous seasons.

Through 40 of the Cardinals’ 81 home games this season, the Cardinals are No. 2 in MLB for average attendance, with 38,764 fans per game, according to ESPN.

The year marks the first time since 2019 the Cardinals have operated at full capacity at Busch Stadium for the entire season. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Cardinals began the 2021 season with limited attendance and the 2020 MLB regular season was staged without fans.

So far, Cardinals attendance figures are off nearly 10% from their average attendance of 42,967 fans per game in 2019. However, Vice President of Ticket Sales Joe Strohm said the team is pacing above its initial projections, with fans coming back to the ballpark quicker than expected amid the Covid-19 pandemic and an MLB work stoppage that delayed the start of this season.

“Overall, we’re very pleased with where attendance is. Our fans constantly overdeliver. They have for multiple years. What was different (this year) was we didn’t know where they would be coming back from Covid. And not only Covid, there was also a lockout,” Strohm said.

Strohm said the Cardinals budgeted for overall home attendance of 2.75 million this season and currently are trending toward 3.1 million for the full year. Through 40 games, Busch Stadium has drawn 1.55 million fans. While this year’s average attendance is down from 2019, the figures are 19% above the totals for last year after Busch Stadium returned to full capacity. In the 50 games that Busch Stadium operated at full capacity last year, the Cardinals drew an average of 32,707 fans per game.

For the 2022 season, Strohm said the MLB work stoppage, which lasted from December to March, and ended less than a month before the season started, threw a curveball in the Cardinals’ typical offseason sales cycle. 

Read the full story on the St. Louis Business Journal website.

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