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BIG MAC ATTACK: MCGWIRE "CATALYST" OF CARD'S ATTENDANCE BUMP
Published May 21, 1998
The MLB Cardinals "are counting on Mark McGwire's prodigious power to energize ticket sales this year," according to Christopher Carey of the ST. LOUIS POST- DISPATCH. McGwire has been "the main catalyst" for a 16% jump in home attendance, an increase of nearly 4,800 more fans per game than in '97, but better weather, a better record and special promotions have also contributed. The Cardinals are projecting $83M in revenue this year, "with gate receipts ranking as the primary source." Cardinals Secretary/Treasurer Andrew Baur estimates that McGwire's pursuit of the home run record last season was worth 5,000 fans a game for the Cardinals. Carey writes that if the "McGwire inspired crowds continue at the same pace through the summer, the Cardinals will draw about 390,000 more fans this season than last" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 5/21). FROM BUSCH STADIUM TO THE BUSCH CIRCUIT: McGwire has joined teammate Gary Gaetti and former Cards Andy Benes and Danny Sheaffer "as a backer" of Bobby Hillin's stock car team in NASCAR's Busch Series. McGwire's name will "adorn the back of the Chevrolet's deck lid" along with "his up-to- date home run total" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 5/21).