Despite being below .500 throughout the entire season, Blue Jays fans have been coming out in full force, both at home and on the road.
After two consecutive playoff appearances for the Toronto Blue Jays, the fan base is as strong as it’s been since the championship days of the early 90’s. Despite the rough season overall, the support hasn’t really waned significantly at any point. At the moment they’re fifth in the MLB in average home attendance, bringing in 40,098 over 63 games at the Rogers Centre, and second in the American League.
The Yankees are the only AL team ahead of them in average home attendance, and the Blue Jays are actually ahead of the Bronx Bombers overall, with 2,526,188 having passed through the gates thus far. Granted, the Blue Jays have had seven more home games than the Yankees, but their current number actually places them third in all of baseball.
The Dodgers are first in both average and overall attendance, bringing 45,623 to Dodger Stadium on a nightly basis. That makes a great deal of sense though, as the team is having a potentially historic season in 2017 with a record of 86-34. In average attendance they are followed by the St. Louis Cardinals, the San Francisco Giants, the New York Yankees, before the Blue Jays come in fifth.
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It hasn’t just been the Rogers Centre that’s been filling up with Blue Jays fans either. It seems like wherever they’re playing, the Blue Jays always have a contingent of fans in the stands, and at times they have even overwhelmed the home fanbase. Thinking back to an earlier series with the Mariners in Seattle, the atmosphere felt more like a home game than being in the visitor’s clubhouse.
Granted, we’re talking about a team that has a gigantic potential fan base to draw from, being the only Canadian team at the highest level of the sport. However, it usually takes a winner to keep the fans coming out the ballpark, and even more so when looking for Blue Jays hats in the crowd on the road.
During Saturday’s afternoon game with the Chicago Cubs, there was a significant representation of Blue Jays fans at Wrigley Field. Chicago isn’t exactly the most logical destination for Canadian baseball fans to visit either, as other spots like Minnesota or New York offer a relatively short drive to support the team on the road. Despite that, there were enough Blue Jays’ fans in the crowd for several media personnel and players to take note of.
It’s not as if the Cubs are lacking in support for their team either, what with their championship win coming just last season, and their position as the NL Central division leader. In fact, the Cubs ranked just behind the Blue Jays in sixth place, with an average attendance of 39,567, so tickets aren’t the easiest thing to come by these days at Wrigley. And yet, the applause was palpable in support of Josh Donaldson and the Jays on Friday afternoon.
They’ll play two more games in Chicago before heading to Tampa to play the Rays, and then hosting the Twins and Red Sox at home. The fan base has felt a recent ray of hope with the improved play, and the fact that they’re just 3.0 games out of the second Wild Card spot has generated a renewed interest in the team with 40 games remaining in the schedule.
If the worst start in franchise history and sitting in last in the AL East all season didn’t drive away the fans, it’s doubtful they’ll go anywhere now. Simply put, Blue Jays’ nation has been unbelievable, and thankfully they’ve got a lot more to cheer about lately.