Major League Baseball completed a historic 2023 regular season, which included an extensive set of new rules that resulted in more on-field action, a faster pace of play and an opportunity for players to showcase their athletic prowess. In the first year of a balanced schedule and the second year of an expanded postseason, MLB generated significant increases in attendance and consumption, with paid attendance reaching the 70 million mark for the first time since 2017.
Major League Baseball ended the 2023 regular season with an attendance of 70,747,365 spectators, 9.6% more than last year (64,556,636). Average attendance per game (29,295) increased +9.1%, marking the largest percentage growth in 30 years, excluding periods affected by COVID, since the 1993 expansion to 28 club.
Seventeen teams recorded attendance of more than 2.5 million spectators, the highest number in MLB history. Eight teams recorded attendances of more than three million fans for the first time in 10 years, and 80% of the league (26 out of 30 clubs) saw an increase in attendance. Eleven different weekends have drawn more than 1.5 million fans, the most since 2017. The last four full seasons (2018-2019, 2021-2022) combined for a total of five weekends that exceeded the number.
The MLB Ballpark app, which maintained its status as the number one sports app on the App Store for most of the 2023 season, saw a +11% increase in ticket scans per game with increased attendance and increased adoption of digital ticketing.
MLB released a new spot thanking fans for their incredible support this season: THANK YOU FANS
MLB.TV recorded the most watched streaming season in its 21-year history, with 12.7 billion minutes watched, surpassing last year’s record total of 11.7 billion by +9%. Users watching MLB.TV increased by 14% compared to 2022 and fans watched 17% more games than last season. Fans between the ages of 18 and 24 watched 16% more games this season.
Nine of the 10 most-watched days in MLB.TV history, including the top five most-watched days, were recorded this season. As the duration of the matches is getting shorter, the fans are also watching them until later in the game. The number of games viewed in their entirety increased by 17%.
Developments in social networks
MLB recorded more than 6 billion views in 2023 on its social media accounts, the highest number in MLB history. The league also saw a 50% increase in interactions, the most in MLB history, and a 38% increase in followers, the largest increase in followers in five years.
Positive impact on the earth
The new rules established for the 2023 season will have a positive effect on making the game more enjoyable.
The average duration of matches is the shortest in the last 38 years, since 1985, with an average of 2 hours, 39 minutes and 49 seconds per match. The average time of nine inning games decreased by 24 minutes compared to 2022 and by 30 minutes compared to 2021. This season, there were only nine games that lasted 3:30 or more. In 2021, that number will be 390, the largest amount in Big Top history.
The number of runs (9.2 per game in 2023, versus 8.6 in 2022), stolen base attempts (1.8 per game in 2023 versus 1.4 in 2022), stolen bases (1.4 in 2023 versus 1.0 per game in 2022) and the base stealing rate (best of all time, 80.2% in 2023 vs. 75.4% in 2022) improved from last season. Players recorded 3,503 stolen bases, the most since 1987 and the second most in the last 100 seasons.
The new rules shine through in 2023, as Major League Baseball players demonstrate their athletic ability and achieve feats rarely seen or accomplished. Venezuelan Ronald Acuña Jr. hit an unprecedented 41 home runs and 73 stolen bases, becoming the fifth 40-40 player in MLB history and the first in baseball history with a 40-70 season. Acuña’s 73 stolen bases are the most in a season since 2009. Corbin Carroll became the first rookie to go 25-50. Nineteen players reached the 20-20 milestone, tying the mark in 1999, and a record four players reached 30/30 for the fifth time in history. Going 30-for-30 stealing bases, Trea Turner’s 100% success rate this season is the highest since 1951 among all MLB players who have attempted at least 30 steals one year. Rookies Carroll and Anthony Volpe became the third rookie duo to go 20-20. Dominican Julio Rodríguez and Bobby Witt Jr. became the first players in MLB history to go 20-20 in each of their first two years. Only four players in major league history have matched Witt’s combination of home runs (30) and steals (49) in a single season, and Witt is the second-youngest of that group, trailing only Mike Trout.