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Yankees' attendance virtually the same without Derek Jeter this season

The Yankees' Derek Jeter looks on before the

The Yankees' Derek Jeter looks on before the last game of his career against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Sept. 28, 2014 in Boston. Credit: Getty Images / Elsa

The Yankees enter the weekend averaging 39,716 fans per game in their first Derek Jeter-free season in two decades, down 569 from the same point in 2014.

That's not great news for a team that has finished every season averaging over 40,000 since 2001, but it's also not terrible under the circumstances.

"I'm surprised, because I really did believe that when Derek was gone we'd see more of a reduction," team president Randy Levine said Thursday, "so I'm pleased that hasn't happened."

As long as the Yankees remain in contention, it is likely they will finish the season averaging more than 40,000 again. "Our attendance is basically flat," Levine said at an event in which the Green Sports Alliance honored the Yankees' environmental efforts.

"I think you can't really judge until school gets out. I think over the next couple of months it will show."

(The Mets are averaging 29,655 in paid attendance, up 3,065 per game over this point last year.)

Regarding that Environmental Leadership Award, Levine said, "When we built the stadium, when we maintain the stadium, we strive always to be best and, in fact when you are environmentally sound these days it is a cost-saver; it doesn't cost more.

"You get a better product, you're more efficient. So it's something that we are very committed to, working with Allen [Hershkowitz, the Alliance's president] and his team. [Vice President of stadium operations] Doug Behar has a very close relationship with them. We always stay on the cutting edge."

Scott Jenkins, who chairs the Alliance's board of directors, said, "The Yankees probably have the smallest carbon footprint of any team, because there are so many that take public transit. There's an irony that it's the biggest brand in the biggest city but it doesn't have that big footprint that many teams have.

"With density comes efficiency, and the Yankees are a prime example of building an efficient building on energy and on water, being efficient about waste and recycling and where they source their food from and because of who they are - they're the Yankees - it means a lot when they do things. People take note."

New York Sports