SBD/June 28, 2013/Franchises

Pirates Attendance Lower Than NL Rivals Despite Holding Best Record In MLB

The Pirates enter play Friday tied with the Cardinals atop the NL Central with an MLB-best 48-30 record, but the team through 38 home dates only four sellouts and is "averaging crowds of 23,203, or 61 percent of capacity,” according to Dejan Kovacevic of the PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW. That average ranks 23rd in MLB and is "down 1,652 from the same point last year.” The Cardinals comparably rank third in attendance "with an average of 41,558 at Busch Stadium.” Kovacevic writes, “If you think market size is a factor, think again.” The St. Louis media market ranked No. 21 during the '12-13 TV season compared to Pittsburgh at No. 23. Even the Brewers, in the “midst of a miserable summer, rank No. 13 in attendance with an average of 31,449 at Miller Park.” The Cardinals, Reds and Brewers “all opened this season with larger season-ticket bases.” The Pirates “won't reveal the exact size of their base, but it's believed to be in the range of 10,000 full-season equivalents,” which leaves a "lot of extra tickets to sell.” What the Pirates have “done this summer hasn't exactly sneaked up on anyone,” as it has been “going on for months.” That has offered “ample opportunity to add to group sales, even partial-plan season tickets that are still available for as cheap as $250 for 30 games” (PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 6/28).

TRUE FANS: In Miami, Chabeli Herrera notes the Marlins “come in last in average home game attendance with 17,262.” Still, attendance “might be diminishing, but true fans remain.” Marlins Senior VP/Marketing & Event Booking Sean Flynn said that “hardcore fans, particularly season-ticket holders, get rewarded.” A rewards program “lets fans accumulate points for participating in watch parties and social media interaction during games.” Those points “can be traded in for autographed merchandise, tickets to suites and to meet-and-greets with the players.” Cote: “A reward to the fans who stay for extra innings, for losses” (MIAMI HERALD, 6/28).
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