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Detroit Tigers Opening Day Countdown: 6 Days


15 Days: Number of Ryan Raburn Home Runs in 2010
14 Days: Number of Cards in 2003 Topps Base Set
13 Days: Number of Starts by Jacob Turner for Lakeland in 2010
12 Days: Number of Franchise Playoff Appearances
11 Days: Number of Tigers Rookie Debuts in 2010
10 Days: Number American League Pennants Won
9 Days: Number Consecutive Years With Only One All-Star
8 Days: All-time Rank in Interleague Play Win Percentage
7 Days: Number of Victories until Jim Leyland Reaches Career Win Number 1500

We’re getting close to opening day now, with only six days remaining. I can’t wait. So I’m writing about the number six today, which happens to be where the Detroit Tigers ranked in attendance in the American League last season.

Just shy of 2.461 million fans turned out to watch the 2010 edition of the Tigers, and while it was the lowest total since 2005, it still doesn’t seem like a bad ranking to me. Especially in the depressed economy that is/was metro Detroit.

Out of the 14 American League markets, Detroit ranks as the 7th biggest TV market behind New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas-Ft. Worth (Texas Rangers), San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, and Boston. Sure, the Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco-Oakland markets also support NL teams, but of those three, only San Francisco-Oakland would be a solidly smaller market than Detroit if we only counted half of its size.

Really, an attendance ranking of fifth, sixth, or seventh among AL clubs should be what we expect from the Tigers. And, at any rate, it’s miles better than the ‘90s and early ‘00s when the Tigers routinely ranked 11th, 12th, or 13th. The Tigers ownership and front office committed to putting a competitive team on the field, and the fans responded with a dramatic increase in attendance.

But not only did the fans turn out at “expected levels,” they went a bit above and beyond. In 2007 and 2008, the Tigers managed back-to-back years of over 3 million fans (ranked third both years) is a testament to how passionate this city and state are about their baseball team. We’re hungry for a winner.

I mentioned at the top of this post that the 2010 attendance number was the lowest since 2005. That makes it the fifth lowest total of the last five seasons, but it’s also the sixth best total of all time. Only the 1984 championship team sneaks above 2010 in that respect.

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