Padres attendance numbers give hope that no more roster teardowns will come

The way things are going, Padres fans might not have to suffer through another winter sell-off.
Colorado Rockies v San Diego Padres
Colorado Rockies v San Diego Padres / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages

Despite following an offseason in which the Padres traded away their superstar outfielder and lost the reigning NL Cy Young winner to free agency, fans in San Diego are still flooding the gates at Petco Park.

According to data from ESPN, the Padres are currently second in MLB, both in terms of total attendance as well as attendance per game. They're one of just three teams that have surpassed one million total fans already, alongside the Dodgers and Phillies.

So far, the Padres are averaging just over 39k fans per night, which is slightly higher than where they were at this point in 2023. Clearly there's still a ton of demand for good baseball in this city, and it doesn't hurt that the Friars have one of the best ballparks in the league.

Unfortunately, there are still unanswered questions about how the team will approach payroll moving forward. With everything combined, the Padres shaved just shy of $100 million off their payroll this past offseason. However, despite the cuts the team has been competitive.

They're currently 27-26 heading into Friday's games and are firmly entrenched in the NL wild card conversation. The offense is top-10 in MLB by both runs scored and OPS. And while they could really use the healthy version of Joe Musgrove in the rotation, the pitching staff as a whole has been good enough to keep the team in games.

The Padres might not have to slash payroll again this offseason

It's a good thing the team has been competitive as is because there isn't a lot of money coming off the books at the end of the year. Barring a catastrophic injury, Ha-Seong Kim will be opting out of his contract but the money will be funneled right back into arbitration raises for Luis Arraez and Dylan Cease, among others.

But thanks to the fans' commitment to the team, there may not be a need for further budget cuts. With attendance as high as it has ever been, along with heightened ticket prices, the team should expect to bring in significant ballpark revenues that will hopefully cover any fallout from the loss of their local TV contract.

On top of that, if the team is able to secure a playoff spot, that'll provide another significant chunk of revenue to help cover any lingering issues with the debt service clause.

The Padres likely won't be heading back to the top of the league payroll list any time soon but thanks to the persistence of the fanbase and the level of play on the field, there's growing confidence that the core of this Padres roster will set the tone for years to come as AJ Preller continues to make creative additions at the margins when he can.