That's right, folks. There were over 20K present at Tuesday's game, yours truly included. Most came prepared for the cold despite the blanket giveaway, and most stayed until the end. There has always been talk about Croix de Candlestick pin nights and high winds. Tuesday night gave that legend a run for its money.
Temperature at first pitch was 52 degrees, with a noticeable breeze and the sun setting through partly cloudy skies. By the third inning, that breeze turned into a steady 20 mph wind. I didn't bring my portable weather station to verify it, but I figure the wind chill dipped the temperature another 3-5 degrees.
Funny thing is I remember nights like this in mid May. And late August. With the Warriors wiping the floor with the B-team Mavs next door, a lack of parking could have dissuaded some from attending the game. On the BART train home I heard one rider talk about how he had to park at Wal-Mart for a weekend game. Nevertheless I was pleasantly surprised by the turnout (which had a little something to do with the blankets). The BART bridge was packed as some Warriors fans left the blowout early.
I've touched on this briefly, but I have to ask again: How much does weather affect attendance? I can recall numerous occasions when friends who are casual A's fans chose not to go simply because of the cold. I could be way off base, but I sense that it has a greater impact than some think.
One note about attendance: The main difference between this season's figures and last season's is the fact that the Yankees didn't play here Opening Day as they did last season. The combination of a Yankees game and Opening Day effectively removed one date from pulling a sellout crowd. That normally represents a loss of 10,000 fans or more.