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Dodgers playing in front of large crowds, wherever they go

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Dave Roberts: “Across the board, it’s just been great to have warm bodies in the stands.”

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants, September 3, 2021
Sep 3, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers fans wait for players before a game against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard
Photo credit: Neville E. Guard | USA Today photos

Oracle Park had 39,338 fans in attendance for Friday’s series opener between the teams with the two best records in the majors, the highest total for a game in San Francisco this season. This isn’t new for the Dodgers.

On the season the Dodgers lead MLB in attendance during road games, averaging 24,072 fans per game. Since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted across the league in June, the Dodgers in 35 road games are averaging 32,193 fans.

They’ve played nine different opponents on the road with no capacity restrictions, and the Dodgers have the top attendance figure for six of those parks. The Dodgers were also the foe in the second-largest crowd at Petco Park this season — 43,691 fans on June 23 — and LA’s two series in San Diego under no restrictions account for six of the top nine attendance figures there this season.

The Dodgers have at least one top-five attendance figure in all nine road ballparks since restrictions were lifted, and across those nine opponents, 21 of 35 Dodgers road games are a top-five road crowd in that particular stadium.

Big Dodgers crowds on the road

Opponent Top-10 attendance figures this season
Opponent Top-10 attendance figures this season
Giants 1st (39,338), 4th, 5th, 8th
Padres 2nd (43,691), 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th
D-backs 1st (31,661), 2nd, 4th, 5th, 9th
Rockies 1st (48,245), 4th, 9th
Mets 1st (38,669), 2nd, 5th
Nationals 1st (42,064), 2nd, 9th
Braves 1st (41,136), 3rd
Marlins 4th (15,290), 8th
Phillies 5th (32,186), 9th, 10th
2021 attendance figures Source: Baseball Reference

“We travel well as Dodgers fans, but still having the visiting crowd root against you, it still brings out that compete in us,” manager Dave Roberts said. “Across the board, it’s just been great to have warm bodies in the stands.”

The Dodgers at home are also leading the majors in attendance, averaging 32,434 fans per game. Since the restrictions were lifted in Los Angeles County on June 15, the home attendance averages 47,511 fans, bringing a life back to Dodger Stadium after a year and a half without.

The Giants haven’t enjoyed a huge attendance bump. On the season they rank 13th in attendance at 18,592 per game. Since fully reopening on June 25, Oracle Park is averaging 28,086 per game, which is 16 percent lower than 2019’s full-season average, the smallest crowds since the ballpark opened in 2000.

John Shea at the San Francisco Chronicle this week detailed several factors that have contributed to the lackluster attendance for such a good Giants team, namely still recovering from a pandemic, a lower season ticket base, reduced mass transit availability, and more.

The Giants have seen bigger crowds on weekends, with 31,228 average attendance on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday since the full reopen, compared to 24,945 during the week.

Combining a rivalry series against the Dodgers and a weekend make this series is a perfect storm for a lively, full crowd in San Francisco.

“This series is going to come to a height,” Roberts said. “You can already feel that energy, which is fun for everyone.”