SBD/September 9, 2010/Franchises

Padres' Attendance Hits Rough Patch In Middle Of Pennant Race

Padres Attendance Up 12.5% From Last Season Despite Dip At Recent Games
The Padres lead the NL West by two games, but at Petco Field it is "difficult to tell the team is in the midst of a pennant race," according to Don Norcross of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE. The Padres' average attendance for the past 12 home games -- including “attractive draws” against the Phillies, Rockies and Dodgers -- was 25,086, “several hundred below the season average.” The average crowd for this week's three-game series against the Dodgers was 21,499. The previous six games between the teams at Petco Park "averaged nearly twice that amount -- 41,252." Padres President & COO Tom Garfinkel said that “multiple factors played roles in limiting the team’s attendance the past 12 games,” including the Rockies series occurring over the Labor Day weekend when there were “almost no group sales.” Also, Fox Sports shifted last Saturday’s game from 5:35pm PT to 1:10pm, and Garfinkel estimated that “it cost the team 3,000 to 4,000 fans.” In addition, the Dodgers are a “distant threat in the division race,” leading “not as many Dodgers fans” to attend this week’s games. Norcross notes “despite recent attendance, there is quantifiable evidence that fans are intrigued about this year’s team,” as Padres attendance is up almost 12.5% from last season. Garfinkel said that the team is “expecting at least 120,000 fans for the four-game Giants series this weekend.” And Channel 4 San Diego’s broadcast of Tuesday’s win over the Dodgers earned a 9.2 rating, "one of the highest of the season." Garfinkel: “Our TV ratings are up substantially this year, which is a demonstration of the excitement of our fan base” (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 9/9).
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