SBD/February 28, 2013/Franchises

Indians Reduce Prices On Beer, Hot Dogs; Single-Game Ticket Sales Up Over 40%

Popcorn, other concession prices will be cut by 25% at Progressive Field
The Indians are sharply reducing most concession prices at Progressive Field this coming season, with hot dogs starting at $3 and 12-ounce beer costing $4. In addition, other items such as pretzels, popcorn, pizza and bratwurst also will be reduced in price by 25%. Sugardale, the official hot dog of the Indians, will also sponsor 15 Dollar Dog nights this season, up from nine such dates in '12. SportService runs the Indians' concessions, and team Senior Dir of Communications Curtis Danburg said, "They’ve fully supported this initiative." The price reductions arrive after customer research by the club found concessions among the factors keeping fans from attending games (Eric Fisher, Staff Writer). Indians President Mark Shapiro said, "This ties back to the organization's commitment that fans are the focus of our every act. We've asked them what they want from their ballpark experience and more affordable concessions is consistently one of the things we hear. We are trying to break down all the barriers to keep fans from coming to Indians games." In Cleveland, Tom Reed notes figures from the '12 Team Market Report fan cost index show that Progressive Field draft beer and hot dogs would be 34% and 27% "below the major-league average," respectively. Meanwhile, the Indians' home opener against the Yankees on April 8 "sold out in six minutes and single-game ticket totals are up" over 40% from last year (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 2/28).

MAKING SOME NOISE: SI's Albert Chen notes there was "an undeniable buzz in Cleveland" when the Indians signed manager Terry Francona to a four-year deal in October. Momentum then "grew with a run of free-agent signings" that began with RF Nick Swisher and ended with CF Michael Bourn. After signing Bourn, the Indians "sold more season tickets that day than they had in any single month in the last year." Indians GM Chris Antonetti said, "We planned for thousands of different scenarios to happen. ... There weren't many scenarios where we thought we would get both (Swisher and Bourn). But we saw an opportunity that we had to take" (SI, 3/4 issue).
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