The crowd of 23,208 for the home finale Sunday raised the total attendance at PNC Park to 1,613,399 - highest at the stadium since 2007 and the 17th highest in the franchise's 124-year history. The average crowd of 19,919 was an increase over the 19,479 of last year, and seven games were sellouts.â†µ
Although that average crowd is the fourth smallest in Major League Baseball, it also represented what is expected to be one of the few increases. And the National League, as a whole, is expected to show a decrease.â†µ
Y'know, last week an interviewer asked me what I thought about the risk that the Bucs' fanbase would dry up further if the team kept losing, and I said that the fairweather fans had already left, and the hardcore fans weren't going anywhere (although they always threaten to). This news appears to bear that out - the Pirates are having the worst season they've had since the 1980s, and fans (a mix of hardcores and more casual types who just like being able to see a game in a beautiful ballpark) keep turning out. Not a lot of them, certainly, but enough that the fanbase remains stable despite one of the leanest years in decades.