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Cubs' attendance down but far from out

According to this story, "Attendance is down sharply at Wrigley Field" this season.

Really? Craig Calcaterra actually checks and ...

Yes, attendance is down somewhat: the Cubs are drawing 38,475 a game this year compared to 39,611 last season. While you have to note that we still have the summer months to get through which should up the averages a bit, attendance will likely be down a bit this year, though not dramatically lower.

But let's not freak out about it either. Here's some greater context: Attendance last year was down from the 40,000+ a game the team drew in 2007 and 2008. In the several years before that, however, the team had only a couple of years in their history in which they drew as well as they're drawing right now. Indeed, if the season ended today, 2010 would be the seventh best year attendance-wise (per game) in the 95 years or so they've been in Wrigley Field.

What was happening in 2007 and 2008? The Cubs were winning division titles and the Great Recession hadn't sunk in yet. Considering the economy and the Cubs' fall from grace these last two seasons, their attendance this season should be considered an affirmation of their (and their ballpark's) popularity rather than some sort of warning sign.

Someday the Cubs will have a new manager and a new general manager, and they'll start winning again. And when that happens, they'll sell out every game after Memorial Day.