Back in January, I stumbled my way through a brief study of the relationship between Texas Rangers wins and attendance. The end result was the following graph. The yellow dot on the graph marks the 2008 attendance level, and the red dot marks the 2008 win level.
The Texas Rangers won 87 games in 2009, and the 2009 attendance numbers for Major League Baseball were compiled by Maury Brown in early October.
The model I prepared says that 87 wins should be worth an average attendance of 27,958. According to the data gathered and prepared for the Brown article, the average attendance of Texas Rangers home games in 2009 was 27,641. A difference of only 317 attendees per game translates to an overshot of only +1.15%.
As much as I would like to pat myself on the back for this, I have to acknowledge the extreme amount of luck involved with the startling accuracy of my prediction.
My model came with a sizable standard error attached to it: 2,646 attendees per game. You don't need to be a statistician to recognize how large that is or the uncertainty that it projects. I addressed this briefly in the comments of the original article:
The line in the graph marks the raw estimate based on the information provided by the model. At any given point on the line, the standard error says that the attendance level could be 2,646 higher or lower than the line.
With the reason for the 2008 drop off in question, it is probably unreasonable to expect that attendance will simply rebound to the 2006 or 2007 level. For this reason, I expect that actual attendance will fall somewhere below the line but within 2,646 attendees per game.
The luck of this season will definitely narrow the standard error of the 2010 model. Look for the 2010 model some time in February as the new season approaches.
If you haven't read the original article (or if you're into economics and data modeling) and you have 10-15 minutes to kill, I suggest giving it a read: Texas Rangers Win-Curve Part I: Wins vs Attendance.