SBD/Issue 131/Franchises

Tigers Seeing Steep Decline In '09 Season-Ticket Sales

Tigers Have Sold 15,000 Season Tickets,
Compared To 27,000 This Time Last Year
The Tigers have "lost a significant chunk of their season-ticket base" this year, according to Windsor & Morosi of the DETROIT FREE PRESS. The team last year "had sold some 27,000 season tickets at this time," but this year, that number has "dropped to roughly 15,000." Tigers VP/Communications Ron Colangelo "would not confirm or deny the 15,000 figure," but said, "We're going to let our sales and marketing efforts continue through Opening Day." Colangelo said that the team had "'seen increased activity lately' but did say the economy had made selling tickets 'a challenge across the board.'" Colangelo: "When the renewals went out, it was a slow response. And that was a strong indication of the economy affecting our business." But Windsor & Morosi note even at 15,000 season tickets sold, it "would be the fourth-highest total ever" for the team, and the Tigers' season-ticket base is "still expected to rank in the middle" of MLB's 30 teams. Last year, the Tigers drew a team-record 3,202,645 fans or 39,538 per game to the 41,782-seat Comerica Park. In '06, the year the Tigers reached the World Series, the team drew 2,595,937 fans. Meanwhile, the Tigers payroll "remains near the top" of the league. The team spent "roughly $134[M] on player payroll last year." But that figure is "expected to be around" $127M this season -- a "decrease of around 5%" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 3/26).

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