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MLB attendance surpasses 70 million and records largest percentage increase in 30 years

Yandy Díaz tosses ball to fans during 2023 MLB All-Star Game in Seattle - Image Credit: Emma Sharon/Latino Sports

The following was posted on on Monday October 2nd — MLB attendance surpasses 70 million and records largest percentage increase in 30 years; MLB.TV breaks record for most watched season with more than 12 billion minutes viewed

Major League Baseball completed a historic 2023 regular season featuring a comprehensive set of new rules resulting in increased action on the field, a quicker pace of play, and an opportunity for players to show their athleticism. In the first year of a balanced schedule and the second year of expanded Postseason play, MLB generated significant increases in attendance and consumption, with paid attendance reaching the 70 million mark for the first time since 2017.

Attendance Growth

Julio Rodríguez – Image Credit: Simon Lindenblatt/Latino Sports

Major League Baseball finished the 2023 season with attendance of 70,747,365, which is up +9.6% over last year’s total (64,556,636). The average attendance per game (29,295) increased by +9.1% marking the highest percentage growth in 30 years, not including COVID-impacted seasons, dating back to the 1993 expansion to 28 Clubs.

Seventeen Clubs registered attendance over 2.5 million, matching the most in MLB history. Eight teams recorded attendance of more than 3 million fans for the first time in 10 years with more than 86% (26 out of 30 Clubs) registering attendance gains. Eleven weekends drew more than 1.5 million in attendance, which is the most since 2017. The previous four full seasons (2018-2019, 2021-2022) combined for a total of five weekends that topped that number.

The MLB Ballpark app, which maintained its status as the number one sports app in the App Store for most of the 2023 season, registered an +11% increase in ticket scans per game with the increase in attendance and greater adoption of digital ticketing.

MLB released a new spot thanking fans for the outstanding support this season: THANK YOU FANS

MLB.TV Sets a Record

Major League Baseball – Image Credit: MLB

MLB.TV recorded its most streamed season in its 21-year history with 12.7 billion minutes watched surpassing last year’s record total of 11.7 billion by +9%. Users watching MLB.TV increased +14% from 2022 and fans watched +17% more games than last season. Fans aged 18-24 watched +16% more games this season.

Nine of the top 10 most-watched days ever for MLB.TV, including all of the top five most-watched days, were recorded this season. With shorter game durations, fans also watched deeper into games. The number of games watched in their entirety increased by +17%.

Social Media Gains

MLB recorded more than 6 billion views in 2023 across its social media accounts, the most in MLB history. The league also registered a +50% increase in engagements, the most in MLB history, and a +38% increase in followers, the largest follower gain in five years.

Positive On-Field Impact

Yankee Stadium – Image Credit: Maz Adams/Latino Sports

The new rules instituted for the 2023 season had a positive impact on making gameplay even more entertaining.

The average length of game was the shortest it has been in 38 years – since 1985 – by clocking in at an average of 2:39:49 per game. The average time for nine-inning games decreased by 24 minutes from 2022 and 30 minutes from 2021. This season there were only nine games that lasted 3:30 or longer. In 2021, that number was 390, the most in MLB history.

Scoring (9.2 runs per game in 2023 vs. 8.6 per game in 2022), stolen base attempts (1.8 per game in 2023 vs. 1.4 per game in 2022), stolen bases (1.4 in 2023 vs. 1.0 per game in 2022) and stolen base success rate (an all-time best 80.2% in 2023 vs. 75.4% in 2022) all are up over the previous season. Players recorded 3,503 stolen bases, the most since 1987 and the second-most in the last 100 seasons.

Amazing Performances

Ronald Acuña Jr., recipient of 2018 NL LatinoMVP Rookie Award – Image Credit: Simon Lindenblatt/Latino Sports

New rules thrived in 2023 as players across Major League Baseball demonstrated their athleticism and reached feats rarely, if ever, achieved. Ronald Acuña Jr. tallied an unprecedented 41 home runs and 73 stolen bases, becoming the fifth 40-40 player in MLB history and the first player in Baseball history with a 40-70 season. Acuña’s 73 stolen bases are the most in a season since 2009. Corbin Carroll became the first rookie ever to register a 25-50 season. Nineteen players reached the 20-20 milestone, tying the 1999 record, and a record-tying four players reached 30/30 for the fifth time ever. By going 30-for-30 on his stolen base attempts, Trea Turner’s 100% success rate this season is the highest since 1951 among all MLB players who attempted at least 30 stolen bases in one season. Rookie stars Carroll and Anthony Volpe became just the third rookie tandem to record a 20-20 season. Julio Rodríguez and Bobby Witt Jr. became the first players in MLB history to reach 20-20 in each of their first two seasons. Only four players in Major League history have matched Witt’s combination of homers (30) and steals (49) in a season, and Witt is the second youngest of that group, trailing only Mike Trout.

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