The Los Angeles Dodgers drew an announced attendance of 52,078 for Reopening Day at Dodger Stadium, which ended with a 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. Per the team, it was the largest crowd to watch a professional sports league game in the United States since the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic last year.
The record attendance does not take into account singular events such as the Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders fight at AT&T Stadium on May 8, which had 73,126 in attendance.
The Indy 500 at the end of May drew a crowd of 135,000, and the soccer match last weekend between Mexico and Honduras was a sold-out game with an announced attendance of 70,072 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
The Dodgers averaged 15,986 fans (527,562 total) in 33 home games with reduced capacity this season, including 28 sellouts. Prior to fully opening on Tuesday, the Dodgers’ highest single-game attendance mark this year was 20,220 on June 11 for a game against the Texas Rangers.
To commemorate Reopening Day, the Dodgers kicked off their 2021 giveaways with a Justin Turner bobblehead that was distributed to the first 25,000 fans in attendance. “The bobbleheads are always a pretty cool thing,” Turner said.
“I’ve been lucky enough to have a few of them already, and it’s just a special day. For Reopening Day, to be able to have my bobblehead passed out, and I sent out a letter to fans asking them to come out and support us and thanking them for their patience, it’s a pretty special day already.
“And to be as involved with it as I am, especially with a bobblehead, is kind of a cherry on top.”
Turner additionally hosted a group of veterans from The Dream Center, treating them to a Dodger Stadium suite experience.
Dodgers felt ‘jolt’ from fans
With Mookie Betts playing in front of a capacity crowd at home for the first time since joining the Dodgers, he was showered with cheers during lineup introductions and more prominently after hitting a go-ahead home run in the seventh inning and RBI single in the eighth.
“It was a jolt. Our fans, as far as full capacity, haven’t had a chance to watch him in person,” manager Dave Roberts said. “I think you can say most fans haven’t had that chance. So for them to get here, you hope that your superstar player performs.
“Go-ahead homer, it was a big jolt. The dugout felt it, the fans felt it, and for us to finish it like that was good.”
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