Despite having the worst record in the past 20 years the LA Angels have managed to once again draw over three million fans this season.
Although it is not officially happened yet as the LA Angels will have to include Sunday’s gate entrances in the mix to officially pass the three million mark as right now they are about 20,000 fans under the mark after Saturday night’s near sellout crowd.
Despite the team’s record fans have come out to see guys like Mile Trout, Shohei Ohtani, and Albert Pujols play. In addition rivalry games such as those against the LA Dodgers, Red Sox, and the Yankees which typically draw crowds of 40,000 plus for each game. Bobblehead nights and other giveaways also draw big crowds. In addition Saturday night fireworks shows, special college, team nights, little league days, and different country heritage nights, all of which help many nights draw bigger crowds even if the Angels aren’t playing well.
When I was growing up going to the Angels game was always a crapshoot on what the attendance might be, usually it was somewhere in the 20,000 to 25,000 range with occasional crowds reaching up to 40,000. During the week you were lucky to get a crowd of above 22,000 and the crowds were usually in the thousands by the seventh inning. When the Angels played the Red Sox or Yankees you could see crowds even in the 50,000 range, but it always seemed that two-thirds of the stadium would be rooting for the out-of-town team in pinstripes or red socks.
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The years the Angels made a playoff run or made the playoffs the team would draw slightly larger crowds for the year. The spirit in the ball park seemed to never be to upbeat. The Angels despite having a seating capacity of 20,000 more seats the Angels never drew more than 2.8 million in 1982, and they only drew over 2.5 million eight times in 30 seasons with the first time being the first Angels AL Western Division Championship season.
The point of this is that even during the best Angel seasons of 1979, 1982, and 1986 the team couldn’t draw three million fans. Even the 2002 World Championship season the Angels only drew 2.3 million fans. After winning the World Series in 2002 the club drew three million fans for the first time in club history and it has been that way ever since. What’s even more amazing when you think about it, is that Angel Stadium is the fourth oldest ballpark in baseball. It has had multiple remodels, but mostly because of the LA Rams moving in for about 15 years.
All of these teams with fancy new ballparks are still struggling to outdraw the Angels. Only the Dodgers, Cardinals, Yankees, Cubs out drew the Angels in 2019 only two of which have newer ballparks. Seventeen straight years is almost unfathomable. It is truly a tribute to Angel fans that they have supported the team even in the not so great times which have been the last 10 seasons.
Angel fans have truly come of age in the last 17 seasons, we still may gripe about our manager and certain players not producing, or the fact that our owner changed the name of the team or he isn’t sending enough money on free agents. That is only natural, especially when the team is not successful. Sports fans are definitely what have you done for me lately type of people. However, the fact that we have so many fans that care enough about the team to vent eans that we actually do have a true fan base.
Even when fans complain about things many of them still come out hoping for a different script each year. The 2002 through 2009 seasons were magical even if only one of them ended the right way. There were many great memories and I can still hear the sound of the thunderstixs ringing in my ear from days gone by.
When I was growing up the only time I saw a truly passionate crowd was when I went to another stadium, Dodger Stadium, Jack Murphy (old Padres Stadium) and Fulton County Stadium (old, old Atlanta stadium). But now I can say that Angel Stadium can have that same atmosphere as it gets very loud at times and it is so wonderful to see.
Hopefully next season Angel fans will be rewarded with a playoff team. I truly love going to the Big “A” each year and seeing our Angels play. To me even with its flaws that you definitely notice in a 50 + year old facility, the Big “A” is still a happy place for me to escape to every once else in awhile. Thank you Angel fans for your dedication and passion to our Halos, it is definitely noticed.