The Toronto Blue Jays hosted the Baltimore Orioles Monday night at Rogers Centre for the first game of a three-game series, and the dearth of fans in attendance made for a startling scene.
Attendance for Monday’s AL East showdown was reported as 10,460, making it the least-attended Blue Jays game at Rogers Centre in nine years, as noted by MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm.
The 10,460 is the smallest crowd at Rogers Centre since April 19, 2010, when 10,314 came out to see the Royals at Rogers Centre. #BlueJays— Gregor Chisholm (@gregorMLB) April 2, 2019
Fans, reporters and the like shared images documenting the troubling lack of fans at the game, a 6-5 loss, on social media, and the case can be made it was far less than the 10,000-plus reported in attendance.
Announced crowd of 10,460 at Rogers Centre tonight, the smallest at the ballpark since April 2010. #BlueJays #MLB (last two: https://t.co/QGuRHjgrxZ + https://t.co/SrX2XW5Yxe) pic.twitter.com/mjAF4GmknV— Empty Seats Galore (@EmptySeatsPics) April 2, 2019
Going to go out on a limb and say it’ll be quiet in here tonight. pic.twitter.com/HbTzCJ7rK5— Laura Armstrong (@lauraarmy) April 1, 2019
The Blue Jays averaged 29,066 fans at home games last season, good for 13th in Major League Baseball. It does merit noting that many teams struggle with attracting fans to the ballpark early on in the season — especially for weekday games — for myriad reasons, including kids still being in school and the chilly weather in some cities.
That said, the roof of Rogers Centre was closed for Monday night’s game, so the ballpark was climate-controlled for the tilt.
Perceived fan apathy is of course an ongoing issue for MLB, in particular for some teams, so the hope is that summer will bring increased interest with more fans in the seats, including in Toronto.