Oct 9, 2023 - Sports

Baseball games got a lot faster after MLB's major rule changes

Data: Baseball Reference; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios
Data: Baseball Reference; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

Major League Baseball bet that a series of rule changes this season would bring down the length of games and make the sport more exciting.

Why it matters: It paid off.

By the numbers: The average time of a nine-inning game fell to just under 2:40 — 24 minutes less than last season, and the shortest since 1985.

  • The changes drove a spike in batting average and the most stolen bases in nearly 40 years, AP reports.

Meanwhile, attendance shot up. Total attendance for the regular season was 70,747,365 — marking "the first time MLB's paid attendance has broken the 70 million mark since 2017," the league said.

Flashback: Before this season started, the MLB made several major changes — including a pitch clock and bigger bases — to inject more excitement into the game.

Go deeper: Opening Day sets off baseball's season of change

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