Whether it was the offseason teardown, the 3-22 start to the season or team president Phil Castellini scoffing at fan criticism before the home opener, it all contributed to the Cincinnati Reds’ record-low attendance in Great American Ball Park history.
The Reds drew 1,387,947 fans across 79 home dates this season, averaging 17,569 fans per game. It was their lowest total attendance in a season since 1984 at Riverfront Stadium (1.276 million) and a drop of more than a million fans from 2015.
Attendance dropped 7.8% from the 2021 season, which included COVID-related capacity restrictions for the first 26 home games. Attendance was down 21.8% from 2019, the last season that didn’t include any COVID restrictions.
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The previous low attendance for a full season at Great American Ball Park, excluding 2021 because it had restrictions, was 2018 when the Reds drew 1.629 million fans. The ballpark opened in 2003 and has produced 11 seasons with more than 2 million fans, peaking at 2.492 million in 2013.
There were two fewer home dates this year because the Reds were the “home” team for the Field of Dreams game in Dyersville, Iowa, and they played a traditional doubleheader against the Colorado Rockies on Sept. 4.
The Reds ranked 23rd in the majors in attendance, ahead of Baltimore, Cleveland, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Miami and Oakland. The latter two teams failed to draw more than a million fans.
Four MLB teams drew more than three million fans to their home games this year: the Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis, New York Yankees and Atlanta.
The Reds traded four players off their Major League roster in spring training and traded five more players at the trade deadline. Their 3-22 start to the season was the worst in franchise history and the fewest number of wins by any MLB team through 25 games since the 2003 Detroit Tigers.
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The season ended Wednesday with a 15-2 loss to the Cubs, reaching 100 losses in a year for the second time in franchise history. The Reds lost 101 games in 1982.
The Reds had only three games at GABP with a crowd above 30,000 fans: April 12 vs. Cleveland (home opener), July 9 vs. Tampa Bay and Aug. 13 vs. the Chicago Cubs.
GABP attendance in last five seasons:
2022 – 1,387,947 (17,569 per game).
2021 – 1,505,024 (18,581).
2020 – No fans.
2019 – 1,775,396 (22,473).
2018 – 1,629,356 (20,116).
What are the chances the Reds will have the No. 1 pick in the 2023 MLB Draft?
For the first time next summer, the Major League Baseball Draft order will be determined through a lottery instead of the reverse order of the standings.
The Reds have a 13.25% chance to receive the first pick, the fourth-highest odds. The Reds tied with the Pirates for the third-worst record in the league, but the Reds are fourth because Pittsburgh had a worse record in 2021 as the tiebreaker.
The draft lottery odds for the bottom three teams, the Pirates, Nationals and A’s, are all at 16.5%.
The lottery, which will determine the top six picks, is expected to be conducted during the Winter Meetings in December. The Reds have never owned the No. 1 overall pick, drafting Nick Senzel and Hunter Greene with the No. 2 picks in 2016 and 2017.
Hunter Strickland reaches contract incentive in last game
Reds reliever Hunter Strickland netted a $100,000 incentive bonus for completing the top of the ninth inning Wednesday.
The 34-year-old Strickland, who signed a one-year, $1.825 million contract with the club in March, earned an additional $650,000 through incentives for games pitched and games finished this season. He finished his 35th game of the season Wednesday, which was the number to hit for an additional $100,000.
Strickland, who will become a free agent after the conclusion of the postseason, had a 4.91 ERA across 66 relief appearances while recording seven saves.
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Reds attendance lowest mark in Great American Ball Park history