Your must-click link of the day is Rob Arthur’s article at Baseball Prospectus in which he analyzed the effect tanking has on attendance. (note: it was originally behind a paywall but it’s now free for everyone, so do go read it).
The executive summary can be read in a Twitter thread Arthur wrote on the subject. The executive summary of the executive summary: Attendance is down again this year and has steadily declined for the past five years. There are several reasons for that, but Arthur’s analysis of attendance against the backdrop of a given team’s probability of making the playoffs — while controlling for weather — shows that 35% of the attendance drop is attributable to a much greater percentage of games involving teams with no playoff shot whatsoever.
And there are way more of those teams: according to Arthur, the fraction of teams out of contention — which he defines as having a less than 5% chance of making the playoffs at the time of a given game — has increased by almost 40% from 2014 to 2018.