All season, Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo has had a message for fans: “There’s a lot of room on that bandwagon.” That room is starting to get cramped, if only a little.
Excluding an Opening Day sellout, the Diamondbacks averaged just 18,565 fans per game in their first three homestands. Over the past two homestands, they’re averaging 22,365.
The first number would rank just 26th out of 30 teams. The second would rank 18th.
“We saw them, we know they’re there supporting us and loving us from afar and every time they come to the stadium, it gives us incredible energy,” Lovullo said. “We’re starting to hear at the seventh inning stretch, ‘D-Backs’ overpowering the ‘Phillies’ portion of the song. We’re very grateful for them coming out and we’ll keep earning their trust.”
Thursday’s crowd of 23,032 was the highest the Diamondbacks have drawn on a weekday afternoon since before the pandemic.
Over the past two seasons, their crowds have failed to rebound to pre-pandemic levels. Last year’s average crowd of 19,817 was by far the lowest in franchise history, excluding the two seasons impacted by Covid.
That came in part because the Diamondbacks went 52-110 the year before, but also because of a lack of starpower. They traded Paul Goldschmidt prior to the 2019 season and dealt Zack Greinke a few months later.
Now, they have replenished the roster with players who fans come to see, most notably Zac Gallen and Corbin Carroll. Gallen is a leading Cy Young contender, while Carroll is on track to be the National League Rookie of the Year.
Helping matters is the team’s hot start. Even after losing three of four to the Phillies this week, the Diamondbacks are 41-28 — good for first in the NL West and second in the National League.
Still, there remains a long way to go. On the season, the Diamondbacks are averaging 20,696 fans, 20th in baseball. Every other team in the NL West, including the last-place Rockies, average at least 7,000 more. The Dodgers are lapping the league at 47,733 per night.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Diamondbacks drawing bigger crowds to Chase Field amid strong start
Source: Yahoo Sports