"It was like 60-40 Diamondbacks fans to Cubs fan" and "it was crickets out there, I remember that."
Those are the words of Diamondbacks pitcher Doug Davis during the 2007 season which included the playoffs.
The Diamondbacks, full of youth and excitement could barely manage to have more fans at their own home playoff game against the Chicago Cubs last season, and that’s not even where the trouble begins.
Even after a NLDS win the D-backs still had a hard time selling out for their NLCS vs. the Rockies with 16,000 seats still remaining for the first game of the series. The team eventually sold out the tickets but it came down to the wire.
The Diamondbacks have struggled to get a loyal fan support for what seems to be all of their existence. Last season was almost a new low for the franchise, according to ESPN.com they ranked 20th in the MLB in avg. attendance for a home game with 28,598 and also ranked 20th in percentage of the stadium filled at 58.3 percent.
The percentage of fans that fills the ballpark has gone up every year since 2005 when it was at 51.9 percent. But moving up by less than 7 percent while winning more games each year, is a definite problem.
The Diamondbacks can't figure out the reason why they can't get more fans to attend home games on an everyday basis and not just for big name teams. They offer some of the cheapest tickets in the entire MLB with some tickets as low as $6 a game.
Phoenix, the 8th largest market in the United States, doesn’t struggle to fill the arena for the Suns. So why is it so hard to fill the stadium for a team that has actually won a championship and is located less than 200 yards across the street from one another?
Arizona, which also hosts the Cactus League for spring training sets attendance records every season but can't seem to do the same during the regular season for the Diamondbacks. D-backs players don't know the answers to these questions, all they know is if they win they expect more fans to show up.
Realistically if you have a winner, people will show up, unless you are the Yankees, Red Sox ,or Cubs who always sell out.
But what is this team going to do if this becomes a consistent theme where winning doesn't equal fan support?
It's bad enough that they are sometimes the road team in their own ballpark based on the fans that show up to support the other team. Hopefully that can change this season. The D-backs are young, talented and exciting to watch; not to mention they play in one of the nicest facilities in the MLB.
Hopefully, something will change.
Because if there is no change with the fans, MLB might have to make a drastic decision.