Royals saw a ‘Bubba bounce’ in ticket sales thanks to Starling’s debut

The Royals are averaging nearly 2,000 fewer fans per home game this season compared with 2018 and are on pace to draw around 1.5 million in attendance.

But outfielder Bubba Starling’s promotion from Triple-A Omaha on Friday gave the team a boost at the ticket office. Let’s call it the “Bubba Bounce.”

“I know it drove sales Friday and perhaps had lingering effects on Saturday,” Royals vice president of publicity Toby Cook wrote in an email.

The Royals sold 4,000 tickets on Friday night, when Starling made his debut, and that number included 2,500 in walk-up sales.

Friday’s total attendance was 25,059, 6,253 more than the 2019 per game average of 18,806. Last year’s average attendance was 20,774, when the Royals drew 1.665 million fans to Kauffman Stadium.

Starling, who was a multi-sport star at Gardner Edgerton High School, received a standing ovation from the crowd at Kauffman Stadium.

“It was really, really special,” Starling said. “It kind of gave me goosebumps walking up to the box.”

On Saturday, the attendance was 27,551 with 3,200 tickets sold that day, including 2,100 walk-ups. In addition to Starling in the lineup, the Royals gave away a dual bobblehead of Royals pitcher Danny Duffy and his dog, Sadie.

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