Baseball season is in full swing, and experts are predicting a resurgence in attendance in 2024. Recent years saw attendance numbers slip due to the pandemic and the cancellation of games. 

In 2023, regular season attendance reached more than 70 million for the first time since 2017, according to Major League Baseball (MLB). Prior to the pandemic, regular season attendance had been on the decline, falling to just over 69 million in 2018. By 2019, it had fallen to 68.5 million, and it slipped again in 2022 to 64.5 million. The 2020 and 2021 seasons saw dozens of games canceled, along with some teams unable to travel due to players’ illness and COVID restrictions. 

The 2023 baseball season saw a surge in attendance for many teams, with the Dodgers, Padres, Yankees, Cardinals, Braves, Phillies, Astros and Blue Jays all topping out at more than 3 million fans in attendance during the regular season. 

The increase in attendance was also felt across minor league sports as Americans returned to enjoying their favourite pastime. Recent data from Baseball America indicated an increase of nearly 4 percent in regular season attendance, with tickets rising from nearly 31 million in 2022 to just over 32 million in 2023. 

Several new rules are slated for the 2024 season, including the widening of the runners' lane to include the dirt between the foul line and the infield grass. This will provide a more direct path from the right-handed batter’s box to first base. 

Pitch times have also been adjusted from 20 seconds to 18 seconds with runners on base. Meanwhile, mound visits will be reduced from five to four times in a game.