SBD/April 4, 2011/Franchises

Reds, Blue Jays Post Strong Attendance Figures For Season-Opening Series

Crowds for Reds' opening series up 21,000 from last year
The Reds are "trending extremely well at the box office," according to John Fay of the CINCINNATI ENQUIRER. A total of 105,170 fans attended the team's three game opening series against the Brewers at Great American Ball Park, "up 21,100 from the opening series last year." Thursday's Opening Day game "was a sellout," and the Reds "did significantly better than last year in Games 2 and 3." Saturday's game was attended by 37,967 fans, "up about 9,500 from Game 2 in 2010." Sunday's contest drew 24,805, "more than 11,000 higher than Game 3 in 2010." The second and third games last year "were on Wednesday and Thursday."   Still, Fay writes Saturday's crowd "shocked" him. Fay: "Going head-to-head with Kentucky in the Final Four ... nearly 38,000 showed up anyway." The attendance numbers are "very important to the long-term health of the franchise." Fay: "Those long-term contracts the Reds gave out over the winter are relatively cheap for this season. But they become much more expensive next year and much, much more expensive in 2013" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 4/4).

ON THE RISE: In Toronto, Richard Griffin writes the Blue Jays' opening series against the Twins was a "good one" for the team, as they drew 110,683 fans at Rogers Centre. The series marked "only the third time since the turn of the century they've exceeded 100,000," and "both other times, in 2002 and 2008, were against Boston and both were on weekends." Griffin wonders, "How do the Jays keep up the impetus for the whole season, to the point where they average even just 30,000 per home date?" Blue Jays President Paul Beeston: "We have to make our players personalities, so fans can identify with the players' personalities. If they can do that, I think we've got a real chance. ... It's a quick fall to the bottom and a long climb to the top. I think we've turned the corner" (TORONTO STAR, 4/4). Also in Toronto, Chloe Fedio noted the Blue Jays are offering a Jr. Jays Saturdays promotion "to get more kids out to the ball game." The promotion "includes half-price tickets for the 14-and-under crowd and an invitation to run the bases after the game." When the weather "warms up, Jr. Jays Saturdays will include pre-game outdoor activities, including inflatable rides, face painters and autograph sessions with the players" (TORONTO STAR, 4/3).

INDIANS SEE RECORD-LOW CROWDS: In Cleveland, Dennis Manoloff reports the paid attendance for yesterday's White Sox-Indians game was 8,726, the "lowest ever at Progressive Field, breaking the mark of 9,853 set Saturday afternoon" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 4/4). The two games come after the team for its season opener Friday "featured a sold out crowd." Prices at Progressive Field "have dropped ... making it more affordable for a day at the ball park," however that "doesn't seem to be drawing anyone to the games" (WOIO.com, 4/3).
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