They were supposed to come back in droves, almost storming the gates with glee.
Frank McCourt was gone! The boycott had worked! Ding-dong, the merry-oh! Sing it high, sing it low!
Official attendance had plummeted a remarkable 17.6% in one year, which was only the surface stuff. Actual attendance is not announced by Major League Baseball, but tickets sold. And true, 2011 turnstile attendance had taken a much more severe blow. Crowds were often half of what was officially announced.
But by May there were new owners, the team was winning, and in a short time the ownership was showing the deep pockets kind of commitment that McCourt never did.
And, sure, attendance is up, and though fairly significantly, it somehow still feels disappointing.
The Dodgers’ announced crowd of 50,560 Wednesday left them with a season total of 2,938,992 – surpassing last year’s total with 10 home dates still to go. The Dodgers are averaging 41,394 fans per game, fifth best in baseball.
They are on pace to draw a season total of approximately 3.4 million at Dodger Stadium, which would be almost 500,000 more than last season, their second-worst total in the past nine years.
And there are still a lot of tickets going unused, some habits picked up last year apparently hard for some to break. Too often Dodger Stadium still looks like a McCourt crowd, where every other season seat appears empty.
I admit being a little surprised. I thought all would be pretty much forgiven as soon as McCourt was out the door.
Maybe some are still upset he continues to own half the parking lots. Maybe too many believed this team was not for real. And maybe the positive effect of new ownership won’t be felt until after they have owned the team through an off-season heading into spring.
For now, the crowds trickle back, the glee feeling very tempered.
Chad Billingsley's season ends; just-drafted Steven Rodriguez up
Dodgers just can't get it going and fall, 4-3, to Padres
Still waiting for the arrival of that great Dodgers' offense