A little note before taking off for Houston: Thursday’s sellout crowd of 42,332 was the largest crowd of the season besides Opening Day. Yes, the largest non-opener crowd was a weekday afternoon game. Moreover, the total for the three-game series against the Cubs was the largest of any three-game set this year (they can probably thank some Cubs fans for that, admittedly). The Tigers drew at least 38,000 for all six games of the just-finished homestand.
A lot has been made about the drop in attendance at Comerica Park compared to last season, and understandably so given the economy. But last season aside, the Tigers usually don’t regularly draw packed crowds until the summer, when Michigan weather finally warms up and the kids are out of school. So really, comparing early-season crowds this year with the average from every game last season is a little skewed. We’ll get a better idea what’s going on this summer.
For what it’s worth, the Tigers are still somehow fourth among AL teams in attendance, averaging 30,205 per game. The three teams ahead of them are the Yankees, Angels and Red Sox. Obviously, the Tigers are getting a big number of walk-up ticket sales. It’s a factor not lost in the clubhouse.
“The buzz in the ballpark, I think, is so good because of what’s going on,” Leyland said. “It makes you feel good because of obviously what’s happening in the community and everything. It’s a little more stressful right now, not that it wasn’t in 2006, but it’s good to see people coming out. It’s a tough, resilient town, and they’re going to make it. …
“I wish I could give every one of them a ticket, to be honest with you, for one game. But I can’t. But I wish I could, because the support’s unbelievable.”