SBD/July 7, 2011/Franchises

Pirates Seeing Gains In TV Ratings, Merchandise Sales, Attendance

Pirates' strong first half has led to increases in merchandise, ticket sales
The Pirates' "surprising run toward the top" of the NL Central standings has made them "relevant again for Pittsburgh sports fans," according to Rob Biertemfel of the Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW. Pirates games on Root Sports for the week of June 20 "were the No. 1-rated cable television broadcasts in the region." Pirates Exec VP & CMO Lou DePaoli said that TV ratings overall are "up 33 percent from a year ago." The June 26 game against the Red Sox was the "fifth-highest-rated game since FSN Pittsburgh/Root began carrying the team in 1997." Meanwhile, DePaoli said that merchandise sales at PNC Park are "up 23 percent compared to last season -- a 'dramatic increase.'" He added, "A lot of people are getting caught up in Bucs fever. We're definitely seeing an uptick in ticket sales." DePaoli said that ticket sales Tuesday were "twice as large as every other day this year except when tickets were initially released at PirateFest in January." The team has already "sold out eight home games, two more than all of last season." DePaoli "hopes to reach double digits this weekend." Ticket sales have been "especially strong for the games this weekend" against the Cubs and after the All-Star break against the Reds and Cardinals. The team currently is 45-42 and just 1.5 games out of first place in the NL Central (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 7/7).
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