The Commonwealth of Virginia's Ultimate Blog

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Fans flocking to RFK again

One of the big issues brought up by the Orioles' ownership in trying to prevent an MLB team from relocating to Washington, DC was that it would siphon off a large portion of Baltimore's fan base. Mind you, the Baltimore/Washington region has no problems filling up two NFL stadiums, but baseball's attendance numbers in the area will be given extra scrutiny in light of those fears.

Last night provided the first opportunity to compare weekday attendance numbers with home games at both RFK and Camden Yards. The importance of these numbers is debatable, as the Nationals are still in a "honeymoon" period and were riding a five-game win streak, while the Orioles were playing the Detroit Tigers. In any case, here they are: The Nationals pulled in 24,003 fans which is a pretty amazing number for a Monday night game. The Orioles, on the other hand, pulled in only 16, 301, the lowest attendance EVER at Camden Yards.

Thomas Boswell at the Washington Post has a good look at the weekend attendance numbers and says that fans shouldn't be worried about the Baltimore/Washington region supporting two teams. Monday's numbers might give some folks pause, but I generally agree with Mr. Boswell's thesis. There's no reason why these two clubs can't both be competitive and give a sports-crazed region one more thing to be proud of.

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