NEW YORK, July 17 (UPI) -- Sports statistics site Baseball-Reference.com said attendance at Major League Baseball games is down by 417,192 people compared to the same time last season.
The website said attendance has dropped compared to last year amid similar drops in attendance for other U.S. sports including basketball, football, college football and motor sports, CNBC reported Wednesday.
Attendance has been so low for the Miami Marlins, whose home games are the least attended in the league, that officials have decided to close the upper bowl of the stadium during some games.
"The drop-off in attendance for live sporting events is getting worse," said Lee Igel, a professor of sports management at New York University.
"You've got a lot of competing factors in this, even bad weather," Igel explained. "But with the economy still sorting itself out, there's the huge cost of going to live events plus fighting through traffic and parking just to get to the games."
"And even more important is the experience of watching games in the comfort of your home on a big screen without the hassle at a stadium," Igel said. "That keeps a lot of people away."