Apr 6, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy prior to the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks during opening day at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
On opening day, Chase Field in downtown Phoenix opened the 2015 Major League Baseball season for the hometown Arizona Diamondbacks and the visiting San Francisco Giants. The stadium was full and bustling with the anticipation of the upcoming season, and the Giants fans in attendance were, as usual, very audibly enthusiastic.
Day two of the season was a different story, where a three-run bomb by David Peralta fell into empty seats among a sparse crowd in right field. As a general fan of baseball, it’s always disheartening when I see America’s pastime so poorly attended on the biggest stage, and even more so to see it on the second day of the season.
Since 2011, [the Giants] have had a 99% or greater park fill
Travel 750 miles northwest, and you’ll arrive at AT&T Park, the home of the reigning World Champions. AT&T plays host to (on average) 35,000+ passionate, intelligent, involved, and loyal fans. It is thrilling to sit virtually anywhere in the park and be able to strike up a conversation with nearby fans.
Since “the most embarrassing day in MLB history” (the 1994 strike and subsequent 232 day work stoppage) the San Francisco Giants steadily increased their total season attendance on a yearly basis (from 1995 to 2000). From 1,241,500 in ’95 to, with the help of opening a new ballpark, 3,318,800 in 2000, when they shattered the league average.
Apr 2, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; Fans enter the south entrance into AT&T Park before the preseason game between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports
The Giants never looked back, and have been above said league average to the present. Since 2011, they have had a 99% or greater park fill, and have been in the top ten in that category for the past 14 years. Even in the midst of (what seemed like) a down year in 2014 only the Cardinals boasted a higher percent fill than San Francisco.
I have been going to Giants games from Candlestick, to 3-Com and from Pac Bell to AT&T. I’ve sat everywhere from the bleachers to behind home plate and from the nose-bleeds to the third baseline and, win or lose, I enjoy every trip to the yard. The atmosphere, combined with a team that consistently plays with heart, excitement and a desire to leave it all on the field gives me a great sense of pride.
So, thank you, Giants fans, for being the best fans in the Major Leagues. Thank you for keeping the National Pastime alive. Thank you for filling the best park in baseball, home of the best team in baseball. I know that we’ll continue to show up on April 13th, and beyond, and represent the Orange and Black wherever we are. Because we are San Francisco and together we’re Giant.