LA Angels break the 3 million mark for the 15th straight season

ANAHEIM, CA - OCTOBER 01: Starting pitcher John Lackey
ANAHEIM, CA - OCTOBER 01: Starting pitcher John Lackey /

Despite not making the playoffs for the  seventh time in the last eight seasons, the LA Angels are still drawing the fans.  With an announced crowd of 38,075 on Saturday night it put the Angels over 3,000,000 in attendance for the 15th season in a row.

The fact the LA Angels still are able to draw 3,000,000 fans even though they have not had great success on the field is a testament to the culture that has been built since the Angels won the World Series in 2002. Believe it or not the Angels did not draw three million fans that season, only just over 2.4 million fans passed through the Angel Stadium gates.

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However, in 2003 when Red Fever swept Southern California the Angels drew over 3,000,000 fans for the first time in club history and haven’t stopped since.  It is a testament to the Angel fan base that has grown every year since that magical season.

It’s a far cry from the days when the team struggled to draw over 15,000 to a weekday game or over 25,000 on the weekends.  About the only time the Angels would draw a big crowd when I was growing up was on fourth of July or if the Yankees or Red Sox were in town.  The latter was due to the influx of Red Sox and Yankee fans that would come to the Big “A” to see their beloved East Coast power teams.

Since interleague play started in 1997 the Angels would see capacity crowds for their Southern California neighbors the Los Angeles Dodgers and also for the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets whenever they would come into town as well.

This season it looked like early on that the 3,000,000 attendance string would be broken, but over the last two months the crowds picked up and the Angels again were able to break the mark that seems to be looked at as a benchmark of the elite teams.

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What makes reaching the 3,000,000 mark even more amazing is the fact that Angel Stadium despite the renovations of the late 1990’s is one of the oldest parks in baseball.  Only Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, and Dodger Stadium are older than Angel Stadium.  Those other three parks are iconic baseball parks which would draw fans to them just to see the charming nature of the field itself even if the teams playing there were not very good.

Some of the credit for the Angels strong attendance has to be given to the product and style of baseball that Mike Scioscia teams seem to play.  The Angels under Scioscia have only finished under .500 five times in his 18-year tenure.  Finishing below the .500 mark for the second straight season for the first time in Scioscia’s tenure.  However, Scioscia’s unique situational managing (five man infield, bases loaded suicide squeezes, numerous double steals.  However, most of all Scioscia’s teams have played good baseball making the playoffs seven out of 18 times.

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Another person that deserves a lot of credit as well is Angels owner Arte Moreno.  Moreno has kept ticket prices down as well as food prices which cannot be said about our Southern California neighbors. Moreno has also put good products on the field and has been willing most years to spend money when it is needed to attract some elite players to SOCAL.

Finally you must give some credit to the promotional and marketing staff as the Angels have done many interesting promotional giveaways as well as unique special nights such as the Guinness World Record night each season where the fans get a chance to set a new Guinness World Record.  Christmas in June has been very popular as well.  Star Wars Night, Big Bang Saturday Night Fireworks, Rally Monkey giveaways, etc.

Speaking of the Rally Monkey that is another popular marketing campaign that started by chance and has added to the Angel Stadium fan experience.  Hard to believe Rally Monkey is about to come of legal age soon as it has been around since 2000 and has not shown signs of going away anytime soon.

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An assist also has to be given to Mike Trout and Albert Pujols who both added some extra excitement to the team.  So whatever reason the Angels are able to keep topping the three million fan mark.  Congratulations to the Angels for again reaching this plateau once again.