SBD/June 1, 2011/Franchises

Brewers Expecting To Exceed Last Year's Attendance Numbers

Brewers have sold more than 2.2 million tickets so far this year
The Brewers through 25 home dates were averaging 33,133 fans per game at Miller Park, down from an average of 34,278 fans for the entire season last year, but Brewers COO Rick Schlesinger noted the team is "ahead of last year's pace," according to Don Walker of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. Schlesinger: "We have sold a little over 2.2 million tickets so far this year. At the same point last year, we were a little bit under 2.1 million." Schlesinger added that he "still believes the Brewers can draw 3 million fans this season, the third time the franchise would do so since 2008." Walker noted as of May 25 the Brewers had recorded "five sellouts at Miller Park" this season (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 5/28).

DROPPING FASTER
: In N.Y., Nate Silver reported the Mets' attendance through Monday was "running 13 percent behind last season's pace, which in turn ran 15 percent below 2009's." But the news is "a little bit worse than that still, for two reasons." First, the "downward trend appears to be accelerating." The Mets averaged 29,281 fans through their first 10 home dates, "just barely behind last season's pace." Since then, the team has averaged 28,024 fans "versus 34,425 for the comparable period in 2010." Also, the drop in attendance is happening "despite lower ticket prices." The average seat at Citi Field "sells for $61 this season, down from $70 last year and $79 in 2009" (NYTIMES.com, 5/31).

FALLING PRICES: ESPN CHICAGO's Jon Greenberg noted ticket aggregation web site FanSnap.com indicated that the average ticket for the Cubs' remaining 51 home games costs $82. Greenberg: "Last year at this time, it was $91. Two years ago, when the Cubs were still competitive, it was $111." Those numbers "don't tell the whole story," as there were $3 tickets for today's game against the Astros available as of yesterday afternoon. Greenberg wrote the Cubs "have been very proactive, to their credit, in offering regular deals" (ESPNCHICAGO.com, 5/31). In Chicago, Ed Sherman noted the Cubs are "doing everything they can to move tickets." Just before the start of Monday's game against the Astros, it was "stunning to see the centerfield bleachers nearly empty." Sherman: "They did fill up a bit, but there still were pockets of open space throughout the bleachers. I can't remember the last time I saw that, especially on a perfect day." A crowd of 30,450 attended the game, which marks a "big drop in revenue" for Cubs Owner the Ricketts family, "considering the old reality would have seen a full house of 40,000 people on a holiday." Sherman noted the Cubs were down 90,694 in attendance through 28 home games, "a figure that is expected to rise if the team doesn't improve on the field" (CHICAGOBUSINESS.com, 5/31).

DISENCHANTED FANS: In L.A., Chris Erskine noted the Dodgers through Sunday had drawn 196,367 fans this season at Dodger Stadium, down 7,013 per game from last year. In a "tough economy, nearly half the Major League teams have suffered attendance drops." But there is "nothing like the Dodgers' slide," as league attendance on average "has fallen 302" fans per game. Dodgers VP/PR & Broadcasting Josh Rawitch said, "Internally, we think it's a number of factors." But Erskine wrote, "The ultimate target of disenchantment is owner Frank McCourt. Were there such a thing as owner approval ratings, his would be Hooveresque" (L.A. TIMES, 5/31).

SUCCESS STORY: In Dallas, Evan Grant noted the Rangers "surpassed 1 million fans for the season Friday," marking the "second quickest the team has eclipsed the million-fan mark." The team through 29 dates had drawn 1,064,405 fans this season, an average of 36,703. The Rangers "are on pace for the biggest season attendance mark in club history" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 5/29).
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