When the Arizona Diamondbacks face the Chicago Cubs in Chicago this afternoon, the weather may lead to a below average turnout at Wrigley Field. Right now, the forecast says it will be just about 45 degrees (feels like 40) at game-time, with a possibility of showers later in the afternoon. According to Al Yellon at SB Nation Chicago, the last time the Cubs played a game under these circumstances, it wasn't very well attended.
On April 9, 2002, just about nine years ago, the Cubs hosted the New York Mets on a Tuesday afternoon where the weather was just about what it's going to be like today (45 degrees at game time, overcast, with the wind blowing in, according to the linked boxscore). The Cubs won 2-0, an unremarkable game in an unremarkable season.
The reason it's worth mentioning is that the paid attendance announced that day was 18,151. That's the last time the Cubs had a paid crowd of under 20,000. Today may be the first time since that date that the Cubs have an announced crowd that small, and with the weather forecast being iffy, it will likely be far fewer than that in the ballpark. The Cubs have to start winning, or attendance the rest of the season is going to continue to spiral downward.
The Cubs lost two of three in the first series of the year against the Pittsburgh Pirates and their attendance went down considerably each day. In the first game on Friday they had an announced attendance of 41,358, which dipped to 35,782 on Saturday, and finally just 30,857 on Sunday.
Attendance was probably going to go down for this game anyway because it is on a weekday. But when you throw in the Cubs' unimpressive performance in their first series and the unwelcoming weather, then the Diamondbacks could be playing this one in front of a largely empty Wrigley field.
For more on the Diamondbacks check out our team blog at AZ Snake Pit. And for more on the enemy, head on over to our Cubs blog Bleed Cubbie Blue.