Attendance numbers continued to trend upward for the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field in 2023, but the final end-of-season rankings paint a picture that shows there's still a long ways to go before this team is back where it should be in the pecking order.
There's little doubt the Dodgers will occupy the top spot on this list moving forward after signing Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto to decade-plus long deals this offseason, cementing their place as World Series favorites. But that doesn't mean the Cubs can't gain ground on some of the teams ahead of them in 2024.
Cubs need to deliver results if they want to see attendance hit 3 million
I've talked quite a bit over the past year about just how out of reach a gameday experience at Wrigley is for a lot of folks these days - and that narrative is borne out in the final attendance totals for 2023. It's frankly too expensive for families to enjoy a game at the National Landmark and the team's lack of action this winter won't do the ticket sales team any favors, either.
Looking at this list - and the teams the Cubs are chasing in average attendance - most of them are justifiable: the Dodgers, Yankees, Padres, Braves, Phillies, Astros and Blue Jays all carried hype heading into the year. But the fact the last-place Cardinals, who just endured their worst season in more than 3 decades, outdrew Chicago in 2023 is a tough pull to swallow.
There's a lot of work to be done as far as the team itself is concerned between now and Opening Day. If the Cubs hope to get past that 3,000,000 mark for the first time since 2019, the on-field product has to be there - especially if the organization keeps charging top-dollar to get through the gates.