Americans simply love baseball. If you don’t take our word for it, just take a look at the highest MLB attendance records. Truth is that everybody enjoys a night at the ballpark.
Throughout history, Major League Baseball has been one of the most popular competitions all over America. The biggest baseball crowds in the world can attest to that statement, as it’s not unusual to see stadia completely packed with fans.
Nonetheless, the largest MLB attendances registered up to date also show a tough pill to swallow. The league and the sport are losing interest among younger fans and people just aren’t as interested in baseball as they used to be.
But, what about those legendary venues that hosted millions of souls throughout a full season? What about the biggest baseball crowds to ever attend a game?
Highest MLB attendance: Biggest baseball crowds
Chances are that at least 75% of Americans have attended an MLB game at least once in their lifetime. Even non-baseball fans — which aren’t that common to find — have enjoyed the opportunity of eating a couple of hot dogs and chugging a beer in the bleachers.
Having that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the largest MLB attendances of all time. We guarantee you’ll be surprised.
Highest season home total attendance of all-time
It’s safe to say that the Colorado Rockies have been far from a successful franchise thus far. Created as an expansion team in 1993, they’ve only made the postseason 5 times and they’ve only made it to the World Series once. Even so, they have one of the most loyal and loudest fanbases in all of baseball.
That was in full display as soon as they made it to the league, as they had the highest season home total attendance of all time in 1993. 4,483,350 total fans visited Mile High Stadium during the 1993 season, an average of 55,350 fans per game.
On top of that, they also hold the record for the highest per-game attendance, which was 57,570 during the 1994 season. However, that season was shortened due to a strike, so they only played 57 home games during their second year in the league.
Notably, the Rockies are entering rebuild mode, so it’s not like they’ve paid the fans for their unconditional love as of late. Hopefully, they’ll get the pieces they need to become a legit contender rather sooner than later. The fans sure deserve it.
Highest total attendance in a season
Major League Baseball attendance peaked in the mid-2000s. Starting in 2004, the league broke attendance records in four consecutive years, peaking at 79.6 million during the 2007 season. Sadly, they weren’t able to sustain that level of interest over time.
Attendance suffered a slight bump in 2008 with “just” 79 million fans, then 73.6 million in 2009, 73.2 million in 2010, 73.45 million in 2011, 74.86 million in 2012, 74.03 million in 2013, 73.74 million in 2014, 73.76 million in 2015, 73.16 million in 2016, 72.67 million in 2017, 69.65 million in 2018, and then 68.48 million in 2019.
Those numbers aren’t exactly bad, but the league has made several changes to try and make the game more appealing for younger fans. The average length of a baseball game is 3 hours and 8 minutes, which is way more than some people are willing to watch.
Largest crowd at a World Series game
Every single baseball fan in the world dreams of attending a World Series game. It doesn’t get any better than that, especially if your team is playing. The rush, the adrenaline, and being so close to the ultimate glory give these games a unique atmosphere.
For those who lack context, the World Series is a best-of-seven game series between the National League and American League champions. So, it determines who’s the MLB champion that season. So yeah, it’s a pretty big deal.
But even among the biggest baseball crowds and largest MLB attendances of all time, one game stands out from the rest of the pack. Back on October 6, 1959; 92,706 fans attended Game 5 of the World Series between the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
That wound up being one of the greatest pitching duels of all time, with Bob Shaw and Sandy Koufax squaring off on the mound. Luis Aparicio‘s White Sox eventually won 1-0, but the Dodgers still became the World Champions with a win in Game 6. That was their second World Series title of all time.
Highest MLB single-game attendance
As we mentioned at the beginning, people aren’t as interested in baseball as they used to be. For the 2019 season, the attendance average was just 28,317 fans per game. Also, the Covid-19 season in 2020 didn’t do much to improve that trend.
That’s why it’s so crazy to think that the highest MLB attendance of all time happened during a completely meaningless game. It was on March 29, 2008, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in a preseason game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and defending champions Boston Red Sox.
The Boston Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-4 in front of 115,300 fans in one of the most iconic stadiums in the world. To make it even more impressive, that happened during an offseason full of controversy and steroids-related scandals involving superstars of the likes of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.
Needless to say, this record isn’t likely to be broken any time soon, mostly because no stadium could hold as many fans. Right now, the RingCentral Coliseum boasts the largest capacity among Major League Baseball ballparks, hosting as many as 56,782 fans.