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September 29, 2023

WooSox drop slightly in total attendance rankings amid rainy 2023 season

A baseball stadium Photo | Ashley Green courtesy of Worcester Red Sox Polar Park, the home of the Worcester Red Sox, commonly known as the WooSox

The Worcester Red Sox, the Triple-A minor-league affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, dropped from the number five spot to sixth in average attendance and from sixth to seventh in total attendance among all minor league teams in the WooSox third season in Worcester, according to data provided by Major League Baseball.

Total attendance was 519,551, down from 532,152 in 2022, while the team played three fewer home games. The average attendance was 7,424, exceeding its 7,290 average by about 1.8% in 2022.

The attendance figures are compiled based on the team’s self-reporting of each game’s attendance in individual box scores. The numbers are based on paid attendance but don’t actually count the people who attended the games, which is an issue throughout professional baseball.

The figures show the WooSox are not experiencing a significant drop off in attendance. A sports economist at The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Victor Matheson, told WBJ in 2022, ““This was the year (2022) that should be used as a high-water mark. Starting next year you can check the numbers to see if they start trailing as the novelty wears off.”

However, while the WooSox did not show a significant gain or loss in attendance, the teams ranked above the WooSox in average attendance made significant gains in both total and average attendance.

Image | WBJ
Top ten minor-league baseball teams ranked by average attendance in 2023

The Woo Sox inaugural season was in 2021 and shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic. The WooSox showed an 18.6% increase in average attendance over 2021 in 2022.

The team experienced a rainy season in 2023, resulting in five postponed games, comparable to the other teams in the top 10, with the exception of teams based in Dayton, Ohio;  Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Las Vegas. The WooSox finished the season with a win-loss record of 79-68, in the middle of the pack in the International League East.

Other minor league teams in New England made the top 20 in average attendance with the Hartford Yard Goats, a double-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, averaging 6,293 per game and the Portland Sea Dogs, the double-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, averaging 6,121.

Correction: This article originally stated that the Worcester red Sox finished the season with a record of 40-32. That record is for the second half of the season. The Worcester Red Sox finished the season 79-68 overall.

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