Cleveland Guardians Struggling To Attract Fans, Ratings After Name Change

As a result of years of pressure from activist groups, several years ago, the Cleveland baseball franchise announced they would soon be changing the team’s name.

Naturally, the team prominently declared its commitment to the correct motivations, suggesting that unity and “community” explained their decision:

“We believe our organization is at its best when we can unify our community and bring people together – and we believe a new name will allow us to do this more fully.”

So after over 100 years as the Cleveland Indians, the team started play in 2022 as the Cleveland Guardians.

GOODYEAR, ARIZONA – MARCH 22: A detail view of the logo on the jersey worn by Bobby Bradley #44 of the Cleveland Guardians poses during Photo Day at Goodyear Ballpark on March 22, 2022 in Goodyear, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

Well, if the numbers are to be believed, it’s possible that fans might not have taken kindly to the rebranding efforts.

Local TV ratings for the newly christened Guardians have dropped dramatically, with one report placing the number at -30%.

That’s the third biggest decline of any team in the league, with only the moribund Oakland Athletics and rapidly fading San Francisco Giants reporting worse numbers.

MLB ratings overall have been generally flat, with even the Baltimore Orioles seeing a slight increase to this point in the season.

The Guardians however, have seen their numbers fall precipitously.


It’s not just ratings; in person attendance is down significantly from previous years as well.

In 2019, the last fully pre-pandemic season, the team averaged 21,465 fans per game.

This year, so far, average attendance has fallen to 15,025.

If these numbers continue, that would mark the non-COVID low point for the franchise since they moved into their new ballpark in 1994.

Blue bar indicates COVID restrictions

It might be tempting to blame the low numbers on poor results this season, but the Guardians are currently 2nd in the American League Central, only two games behind the first place Minnesota Twins.

While they haven’t wildly exceeded expectations, they’ve hovered well within range of a possible playoff berth, per Fangraphs odds:

Attendance has generally been lower across MLB this season than in 2019, but Cleveland in particular is outpacing the average decline.

In 2019, non-Indians attendance averaged 28,436. This year, that number is 26,582, meaning the league overall is down 6.5% in ticket sales.

Meanwhile attendance for the Cleveland franchise has plummeted 30% from 2019.

There simply aren’t many great explanations for this dramatic decrease in ratings and fan support other than general dissatisfaction.

It could be that many fans are upset with the direction of the on field product, or it could be that they’re upset the team they grew up attached to changed from its historic identity to a generic name they have no connection with. Maybe it’s a combination of the two factors.

Some might even attempt to blame poor early season weather, but that’s always been an issue in Cleveland.

Regardless, the numbers are bleak for the Guardians. The decision to rename the team was clearly done out of fear of criticism and political pressure, and it’s possible that it’s substantially hurt the franchise financially.

As perhaps an even better indicator of how the name change abandoned history, a Google search for Guardians tickets still shows up from MLB.com as “Indians ticket pricing:”

That doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in the new name, now does it.

Follow Ian Miller on Twitter: @ianmSC


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Written by Ian Miller

Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, ice cream expert and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, eating as much pizza as humanly possible, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter.

10 Comments

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  1. 😂😂😂😂 Go woke, go broke. 😂😂😂😂😂 Serves those douche bags right. At least the Braves organization understands this. Oh, and they are right behind the Dodgers in attendance who has double the size stadium and a much larger city.

    Is Hollywood going to remake Major League to give them a boost? It’s be a hard thing to do with all of the Indians references….. and they’d wokify it. They wouldn’t be able to help themselves.

    Though I wonder if it’s because most of these stadiums are in downtown areas where liberals have destroyed policing. People are probably scared they’re going to get robbed, shot, stabbed or all of the above. Another feature of Democrat leadership. And let’s not forget our friends (enemies) in the corporate media.

  2. I am from, and live, near Cleveland. Have been a Tribe fan my whole life. Stopped going to games when they axed Chief Wahoo. Then with the name change, haven’t watched, listened to, or gone to a game since. Haven’t even watched any MLB game since the All-Star game fiasco last year. Sports and politics should not mix. But the Lebron’s of the world have ruined sports. Guess I have more time to do other things now…..

  3. Yet another example of what happens when the Left touches anything: they ruin it. As a Twins fan, it`s kind of sad watching a division rival do this to their organization and fan base. I hope the moving vans aren`t the next thing we see over there.

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