SBD/Issue 222/Franchises

MLB Franchise Notes: Tigers Auctioning Off Prime Tickets

Tigers Auctioning Off
Premium Tickets On Web Site

In Detroit, Fred Girard reports the Tigers are auctioning off a four-ticket On-Deck Circle package for every remaining home game this year at detroittigers.com and ticketmaster.com as part of a “burgeoning trend to recoup some of the revenue lost to scalpers and honest re-sellers alike in the secondary market.” The inaugural auction, which ended yesterday, drew a winning bid of $480 for Thursday’s Rangers-Tigers game. The Tigers and Dodgers, who are holding their debut auction tomorrow, become the sixth and seventh teams to hold ticket auctions (DETROIT NEWS, 8/15). Meanwhile, USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale reports the Tigers have sold about 2,000 season tickets for ’07 “just to assure playoff seats.” Tigers TV analyst Rod Allen said, “I remember I used to have tickets from time to time, and I couldn’t give them away. Now, I can’t go anywhere without people asking for tickets” (USA TODAY, 8/15).

DODGERS: The Dodgers have sold over 3.5 million tickets this year, marking the fastest they have hit that level since ’92 (Dodgers). In L.A., Bill Shaikin noted the team is on pace to sell 3.7 million. The Dodgers drew a record 3,608,881 in ’82, though NL attendance at the time was measured “by tickets used rather than tickets sold.” The club expects higher attendance next year “in part because the 2007 schedule tentatively includes” a visit from the Red Sox and a weekend visit from the Cubs (L.A. TIMES, 8/14).

ORIOLES: The Orioles averaged 26,920 fans per game through their first 61 home games this season, down 19.3% from 33,343 in ’05. In Baltimore, Ryan Sharrow writes since Cal Ripken Jr. retired following the ’01 season, “many fans feel the Orioles haven’t had a wide array of cornerstone players to draw crowds in.” Also, last year’s “midseason meltdown,” the firing of manager Lee Mazzilli and Rafael Palmeiro’s positive steroid test “put a black eye on the team for many fans” (BALTIMORE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/11).

NOTES: The Red Sox last night passed the 2 million mark in attendance in 56 games, the fastest in club history. The team reached the milestone in 57 games last year. Last night was the team’s 282nd straight sellout (BOSTON HERALD, 8/15)....The White Sox on Saturday drew their 17th straight sellout and the 37th of the season, both club records (DAILY SOUTHTOWN, 8/13)....Blue Jays President Paul Godfrey expects the team’s home attendance this season to total 2.3-2.5 million, the highest figure since 2.45 million in ’98. In Toronto, Richard Griffin writes the “best news for the franchise is that actual revenue derived from tickets sold is way up because they have not discounted as many tickets as in the past” (TORONTO STAR, 8/15).

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