Royals fans embrace opening day despite cold weather
Attendance at Kauffman Stadium through the first 15 games of the Royals season is down about 34 percent compared to the same span of games last year.
Average ticket sales have checked in at 17,450 — 8,861 below the average in 2017.
Unseasonable weather affected single-game sales in early April, when the temperature in Kansas City averaged 37 degrees through April 13, according to data compiled by Major League Baseball. A snowstorm on April 1, the first Sunday home game of the year, forced a postponement of the Royals' third game. Another weather system swooped into the region the weekend of April 13, bringing with it rain that turned into snow by the end of the Royals’ 5-3 loss to the Angels on April 14. Temperatures plummeted below freezing, causing the postponement of the next game of the series.
April temperatures hovered around 60 degrees in previous years, including when the Royals sold an average of 26,311 tickets in the first 15 games last season.
But the Royals haven’t only battled Mother Nature this season. They’ve also worked with a smaller season-ticket base than in years past.
“I’m not authorized to give numbers, but it's safe to say we start with a few thousand fans less each night to try to make up for in single-game sales each day or night,” said Toby Cook, Royals vice president of publicity. “Of course, as the weather gets warm and school is out, it'll improve. But we've certainly struggled in April.”
Weather trends have impacted all of Major League Baseball, resulting in 25 postponements within the first three weeks of the season. The number rose to 28 with two postponements last week.
The only other time since 1986 that baseball saw as many weather-related postponements in April was in 2007, when there were 25.
The rest of the American League Central Division has labored to draw fans in April, too. The Minnesota Twins are the only one of the five teams in the division to average more than 20,000 tickets sold, through Sunday.
- Minnesota Twins (11 games) — 21,491
- Detroit Tigers (13) — 18,868
- Royals (15) — 17,450
- Cleveland Indians (14) — 16,660
- Chicago White Sox (12) — 15,251
Overall, the Royals rank 25th in average attendance.
“The postponements did figure into us not getting into much of a rhythm with our fans as well, I imagine,” Cook said.
On Monday, the Royals announced a $29.99 per month offer that provides fans with a guaranteed standing-room ticket to any home game starting May 3. The pass can be purchased at royals.com and requires the use of the MLB Ballpark App.