In case you were buried under a rock for the past few weeks, Alex Rodriguez had been one home run away from becoming the seventh player in MLB history to hit 600 career home runs for what felt like forever. It had been 46 at-bats, and twelve games, but A-Rod finally hit 600, on August 4th versus the Blue Jays. His home run landed in Monument Park, so no fans were able to catch the ball, and potentially sell it for at least $100,000.
During A-Rod's 600th home run chase, SeatGeek and Hit Tracker had predicted where he may hit the historic ball. While the home run did not end up landing in "The Money Seat" in Yankee Stadium, it did land in the area in which it was estimated that there was a 12.8 percent chance that the ball would land there. Click here to see the full report for Yankee Stadium!
All the while, thousands of fans in New York, Cleveland and Tampa Bay had taken trips out to the stadium to see the Yankees play, and hopefully see and/or catch A-Rod's 600th home run.
As reported by CNBC's Darren Rovell (follow him on Twitter @DarrenRovell1) and calculated by SeatGeek, fans had spent more than $1.2 million more than they would have to see the Yankees play during A-Rod's milestone chase, which began on July 22 when he hit 599 - and that number doesn't even include the Yankees most recent games versus the Blue Jays!
Note: these figures were calculated by multiplying the additional secondary ticket market volume by the average ticket prices, to get the additional money spent on tickets, plus the non-ticket ballpark expenses as determined by Team Marketing Report. These numbers do not include the games in which the Blue Jays played at Yankee Stadium.
As the number of fans that has purchased Yankees tickets on the secondary market has increased, so too has the attendance for recent Yankees games, both at home and away.
According to ESPN.com, the average attendace for Yankees home games in 2010 is 46,094 (as of 8/4). However, the average attendance for series versus the Kansas City Royals from July 22 - 25 was 47,578. While this attendance increase is only a three percent increase, it is still compelling given the Yankees' opponents. Historically, Royals games are not as popular, given the Royals mediocrity, and attendance is generally down from the average. Yet, as A-Rod was going for 600, the attendance was higher than normal, as fans wanted to see him hit the home run.
At the Yankees away games, attendance increased as well. At Progressive Field in Cleveland, the season average attendance is only 17,499, while the series average attendance for the Indians is 28,015. At Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay, three consecutive games in a row were sold out for the first time in Rays history! The attendance for all three games was 36,973, while the season average is 22,560.
Undoubtedly, when the Yankees come to town attendance tends to rise, as they are a very desirable opponent to watch. However, the large increases (60 percent increase at Progressive Field; 63 percent increase at the Trop) were certainly driven up by A-Rod's milestone home run chase.