13 Pro Teams Running Out of Fans

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9. Baltimore Orioles
> 10-yr. attendance decline: -19.7%
> 2002 W-L record: 67-95 (finished 4th in AL East)
> 2012 W-L record: 93-69 (finished 2nd in AL East)
> League championships last decade: none

The 2012 season was the first winning year for the Orioles in more than a decade. Between 2002 and 2011, the team finished no better than third in its five-team division — which it did just once — and finished last every year between 2008 and 2011. Perhaps just as meaningful as the team’s poor performance, nearby Washington D.C. added its own Major League Baseball team in 2005, the Washington Nationals. Although Orioles owner Peter Angelos protested the new team’s arrival, he currently owns regional television network MASN, which pays the Nationals to broadcast their games.

Also Read: America’s Most Expensive Neighborhood

8. New York Mets
> 10-yr. attendance decline: -22.0%
> 2002 W-L record: 75-86 (finished 5th in NL East)
> 2012 W-L record: 74-88 (finished 4th in NL East)
> League championships last decade: none

Some of the attendance decline for the New York Mets can be attributed to the new Citi Field, whose seating capacity of 45,000 is far less than the 57,000 seats at the old Shea Stadium. Of course, the Mets’ performance hasn’t been particularly stellar recently. The team hasn’t had a winning season in the last four years and has only been in the playoffs twice since the turn of the century, most recently back in 2006. The Mets went 74-88, or .457, in the most recent season. The franchise’s revenue has been declining the last couple of years from a high of $268 million in 2010 to $225 million in 2012.

7. Detroit Pistons
> 10-yr. attendance decline: -22.3%
> 2001-2002 W-L record: 50-32 (1st in Central Division)
> 2011-2012 W-L record: 25-41 (4th in Central Division)
> League championships last decade: won NBA Finals in 2004

The Detroit Pistons were NBA Champions last in the 2003-2004 season, when they were led by all stars such as Ben Wallace, Richard Hamilton and Rasheed Wallace, as well as legendary coach Larry Brown. Despite the title and back-to-back trips to the NBA Finals, Brown was not brought back as coach after the 2004-2005 season. With most of the players from those teams now gone, the Pistons’ record has dropped. After making the Eastern Conference Finals for five consecutive seasons ending in 2008, the Pistons have not had a winning record. Last season, the Pistons filled just 65.3% of seats, more than 10 percentage points lower than any other team in the NBA.

6. Oakland Athletics
> 10-yr. attendance decline: -22.6%
> 2002 W-L record: 103-59 (finished 1st in AL West)
> 2012 W-L record: 94-68 (finished 1st in AL West)
> League championships last decade: none

In 2003, the Oakland Athletics won 96 games and finished first in their division. It was also the fourth consecutive season in which the team made the playoffs. That year, author Michael Lewis published Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, a book that introduced readers to the Athletics’ General Manager Billy Beane and his use of statistical analysis. However, in the following years, the team has famously traded away its top pitchers on numerous occasions, including before last season. The team has played at The Coliseum, presently called O.co Coliseum, since 1968. As the team became less-competitive, already-low attendance declined further. Although the team made the playoffs in 2012, the average attendance at home games was the fourth-lowest in the MLB, while 60.6% capacity at home games was in the league’s bottom half.