The Tigers’ attendance totals are as bad as their abysmal season: The team sold the fewest tickets since 2003, and not coincidentally won the fewest games since that year.
The Detroit News reports:
Just over 1.5 million paid tickets were sold at Comerica Park in 2019, a 51% drop since the team's record of nearly 3.1 million fans in 2013, the middle of a four-year playoff run.
But while the internet has had it's fun with the empty stands ("It's Sit Wherever You Want Night at Comerica"), there's real economic fallout for people who depend on a busy stadium for their livelihoods.
From The News:
The Tigers on-field struggles have had an impact in and even outside Comerica, where scalpers, vendors and concessionaires have suffered from a lack of turnstile traffic that the team is already trying to turn around for 2020.
Food service supervisors said worker hours had been cut, and overtime limited.
Neighboring restauranteurs and their employees also depend on game attendance, as do even the homeless people who seek donations from fans going in and out of the stadium.
Poor turnout also hurts the team itself, the paper adds:
"Tickets are one of the only things that are 100 percent (profit). It provides teams with an advantage if they can sell tickets," said Darren Rovell, sports business reporter for The Action Network. "Baseball is harder because of the volume of seats in each stadium — more than basketball or hockey arenas — and being asked to sell more seats, for 81 games."
It's not clear if the Tigers will reduce future ticket prices in light of the low attendance; the organization declined to comment for The News.
Earlier this season, we asked people going into Comerica Park why they attend despite the team's poor standing. Hear responses in the video below.