SBD/June 28, 2011/Franchises

Surge In Ticket Sales Has Tigers On Pace To Top Last Year's Attendance

Tigers have sold more than 2.2 million tickets with 42 home games remaining

The Tigers "figure to win a 2011 attendance race they were consigned to lose in the early laps,” according to Lynn Henning of the DETROIT NEWS. A rainy spring “left the Tigers playing catch-up at the box office, where they are down an average of 1,289 per game from 2010." However, the club has sold “more than 2 million tickets, a 5.5 percent increase from 2010 with the same number of home games remaining, 42.” The team is now “sixth in the American League in attendance.” Last weekend’s series against the D’Backs “drew more than 120,000” fans, and the Tigers “are expected to match or exceed their 28,322 average attendance figure for 2011 during this week’s remaining home games against the Mets and Giants.” Henning notes warm weather and a first-place team “have combined during June to spin turnstiles at Comerica Park and put the club in shape to beat last year’s season attendance of 2.46 million.” Mid-June’s “30,000-plus crowds for the Indians-Tigers series were all but confirmation of how weather and a playoff contender tend to push customers to Comerica.” Tigers President, CEO & GM Dave Dombrowski said, “It was an unfortunate couple of months, weather wise. … When you wake up in the morning and it’s freezing cold, or raining, people don’t generally buy tickets. On days where we’ve had nice weather, people wake up and decide they’re going to a ball game.” The Tigers are “pegged to be in the thick of a playoff chase until the regular season’s final days.” Henning writes in such a scenario, “September’s crowds likely would remain heavy at a point they typically wane, which would please a Tigers business office aching to compensate for the team’s April-May headaches.” In addition to attendance figures, Tigers’ TV ratings “have improved in June.” The club has a “7.1 Nielsen rating during June and a 6.1 rating overall compared with a 6.0 rating at the same time in 2010” (DETROIT NEWS, 6/28).

UP BY THE BAY: In San Jose, Daniel Brown notes even after “three consecutive sellouts against the Giants, the A’s rank 27th in the majors in home attendance” with an average of 19,794 per game. Still, the team's attendance is “up 12 percent from last year.” A’s VP/Marketing & Sales Jim Leahey said that the club “has gained momentum with a more practical approach: bargain tickets.” Seats are “available for as low as $2 every Wednesday as part of a promotion sponsored” by Bay Area Rapid Transit. Additionally, fans can get “upper-deck seats for $12 every game, a ticket that comes with a $6 voucher for food or merchandise.” Leahey: “We’re emphasizing value” (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 6/28).

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