The combination of Pudge, a winning April, and the promise of All Star tickets amounted to a significant increase in attendance for the Tigers. For the 13 April home dates 255,397 fans came out to Comerica. That’s an average attendance of 19,646. Last year the Tigers averaged 15,886 in their 9 home dates during April. In 2002 they averaged 16,889 in April. Given that April and May are historically tough months for the Tigers to draw crowds, this is a very positive sign.
Trying to project it out over the course of a season, a straight multiplication would give a final attendance of 1.6 million. However, due to the month to month variation in attendance, I took a look at how much of the yearly attendance comes from the month of April. Since 2003 was bad for a lot of reasons, I took a look at 2002. Looking back two years gives another advantage because the Tigers played the same number of games in April 2002 as they did in April 2004. In 2002, April accounted for 15% of the yearly attendance. Extrapolating based on 2002 would yield an annual attendance of 1.75 million.
Of course future attendance will depend on the Tigers ability to remain relevant. Despite ending the month with back to back losses, the Tigers still finished with a winning record. As further prove of the Tigers increasing stature, last Saturday the Tigers drew 21,000 against Cleveland. What made it remarkable is that the Red Wings and Pistons were both playing home playoff games, and the Lions draft party was occuring at the same time.