The official attendance for Thursday night's Royals-Indians game was just 9,732. A new official low for the 2010 season. The previous low, for a home game, according to the figures listed at Baseball-Reference, was 10,574 (the second home date of the season).The lowest total, for any Royals game, this year, is a 9,299 figure for the May 17 Royals-Orioles game in Baltimore.
9,732 is a really low total for a Major League baseball game, even for a matchup of two bad teams, in August. The Royals had only one home gate under 10,000 in 2009. In 2008 the Royals had no gates that low, and in 2007, it happened just once. In 2006, however, the Royals played seven games before crowds under 10,000. The lowest figure I can find for a Royal home game is a mid 7,000s night back in 1995. (If anyone wants to play around on B-R for awhile and find the smallest Royals crowds ever, I'd love you.)
Although 9,732 is a really low number and will probably be the lowest of the year (though Thursday night is generally a decent going-out night, so maybe not) on it's own we shouldn't be concerned. Generally, the Royals draw decently for a terrible team, and attendance at the K has been pretty consistent over the last decade. The Royals haven't gotten to the point where attendance is really a problem (now granted, it's not an asset either, especially given how low the prices are) which can't be said everywhere.The Royals have probably hit their attendance floor over the last five years, and it's apparently a little higher than in other markets.
At this point, the K is unique in that it's a ballpark that remains subservient in design to the car, which, along with the Royals endless efforts in this department, had made it attractive to suburban families.The metro area may lack a ballpark+bar & restaurant scene in one place, but I think the location and setup of the K continues to benefit the Royals. (Says the guy who lives 2,000 miles away.) A new stadium would have brought in big crowds for exactly one year, but as we've seen recently, it just isn't that big a novelty anymore. When the stadium wave started in the early 1990s, everyone's expectations were completely different.
For 2010, however, I think we can see that just about everyone is getting worn out on the Royals. Summer no longer feels interesting or novel. Instead, everyone's merely hot and ready for fall. We've had enough. Time for school and time for football.