If it sounds like Dodger Stadium on your television set, it’s not just because the Dodgers, as the home team in the first two games of the World Series, get to control the soundtrack and display their videos on the stadium boards. It’s because Dodger fans have taken over Arlington, Texas.
Data compiled by Vivid Seats showed that supporters of the Dodgers outnumbered Rays fans two-to-one at Tuesday’s game. That seemed especially apparent when Kevin Kiermaier slugged a resonating solo home run off Clayton Kershaw in the fifth inning to halve the Dodgers’ lead in the team’s eventual victory, but received a tepid reception from the stands.
“Dodger fans travel so well,” Kershaw remarked after the game. “They're everywhere, they always come out. And so, for as much as a home game as we would have liked it to have been, to be at Dodger Stadium and have the 56,000 chanting. After everything that's gone on this season to have 10-11,000 people in the stands and a good bit of them be Dodger fans is pretty cool, and it definitely helps us to have that type of support.”
The crowd was expected to skew even more heavily toward the Dodgers in Game 2. Roughly two-thirds of those who bought tickets noted an affinity for the Dodgers, per information gathered by the Vivid Seats ticket marketplace.
At last year’s World Series, the home team accounted for at least 90% of the crowd, per Vivid Seat’s Fan Forecast. Crowds at typical neutral-site games are normally split evenly.
The more the Dodgers win, the more likely they are to attract their own fans to Globe Life Field, essentially giving the Dodgers the home-field advantage they miss.
California accounts for 35% of ticket sales for the series, Texas 25% and Florida 10%, according to Stubhub.
Because they spent their last two rounds in San Diego, the Rays didn’t play in front of fans for the first time until Tuesday night. Not even the pro-Dodger crowd could dampen the team’s excitement to play in front a few thousand people.
“It was fun just to hear real reactions from real people, whether it was good or bad, whether for or against us,” Rays infielder Joey Wendle said. “I thought it was kind of refreshing just to have fans in the stands.”
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.