What does a baseball team expected to lose 90 games plus a dreary cold night in early April equal?
Lots and lots of blue seats.
As the Phillies tried to avoid the necessity of rebuilding after the 2012 and 2013 seasons, they did so in the hopes of fielding a team good enough to keep some butts in the seats. Why? They were afraid of nights like last night becoming a regular occurrence.
Last night's attendance at Citizens Bank Park was 19,047, and the number of people who were actually physically present at the game was far less. It was also historic.
Tonight's attendance is the smallest at home since Sept. 3, 2003, when Phillies drew 18,002 vs. Expos at Veterans Stadium.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) April 11, 2015
The last time the Phillies drew less than 20K: April 26, 2006 vs. Colorado, when there were 19,182. Tonight: 19,047.— Ryan Lawrence (@ryanlawrence21) April 11, 2015
Five minutes before first pitch at Citizens Bank Park. pic.twitter.com/ngMbEXIQTO— Ryan Lawrence (@ryanlawrence21) April 10, 2015
Look, it was dank, it was cold, and it was rainy. But those in attendance at least got to see a pretty decent baseball game with the Phillies beating the Washington Nationals 4-1. That win, it should be noted, puts the Phils ahead of the Nats in the NL East standings.
October baseball here we come!
For those of us who have called for the Phillies to begin this rebuilding process earlier, we should not take this opportunity to make fun of the organization for having such an empty stadium, and we should not criticize the fans for refusing to attend.
And look, there are a number of really good things about a sparse attendance.
First, you can basically stroll over to any foul ball that comes in your general direction. No reason to push or shove, everyone's gonna have a chance.
Second, you can possibly buy a cheaper ticket and move down, if you can sneak past security guards, or happen to get one who isn't a seat nazi.
Third, there is no shortage of tickets available, making it way easier to attend a game with your family.
Fourth, you can likely spread out if you're with a group, especially if you're in the outfield. The guy policy is usually to put a seat in between you and your bro, otherwise it just gets weird.
Fifth, it won't take you three innings to get a cheesesteak in Ashburn Alley. And for the ladies, it won't take half a game to go to the bathroom.
Sixth, parking should be a breeze, and getting out of the stadium won't make you consider lighting yourself and the rest of your vehicle on fire.
Folks, this too shall pass. The Phils will be good again at some point in the near future, and the people will come back. So take advantage of all the space, the availability of tickets, and the ease of acquiring food and beer and other goodies at the 'ol ballyard.
And hey, maybe you'll even see the hometown nine pull one out against the stinkin' Washington Nationals once in a while, too.