SBD/October 1, 2013/Franchises

Indians See Spike In Ticket Revenue Despite Another Low Attendance Year

Progressive Field saw attendance at less than half capacity for a second straight year
The Indians may have finished the '13 MLB season with the second-worst attendance average in the AL, but the team's ticket revenues were up an estimated 20% from last year as team execs "worked toward restoring the value of their ticket and increasing their season ticket base," according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER. The Indians "could have drawn more fans this year, but the organization reduced the number of free tickets available through promotions." The team's sold tickets "generated more actual revenue because they weren't discounted." The Indians' dynamic pricing system "will remain in place for next year" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 9/30). In Akron, Jason Lloyd in a front-page piece writes the Indians' offseason "face-lift," including the addition of manager Terry Francona and several key players, "was worth every penny" of the $130M bill. The Indians are in the postseason for the first time in six years, and team Chair & CEO Paul Dolan in a statement said, "To be in the postseason right now has exceeded my expectations and has me excited not only about the present, but the future outlook of the team as well" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 9/30).

SAVE THE BEST FOR LAST: In Akron, George Thomas reports the final week of the MLB season "produced the best ratings for the Tribe" on SportTime Ohio, as the net earned a 9.3 rating for five games. All five games "reached the top 11 of those aired this season." Sunday's regular-season finale against the Twins earned an 8.55 rating despite airing at the same as Bengals-Browns. Ratings for the season were up 45% from '12 (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 10/1).

KNOCKING THE RUST OFF: USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale writes with the Indians, Pirates, Reds and Tigers in the postseason this year, it is a "Rust Belt renaissance." Pittsburgh, Detroit, Cincinnati and Cleveland all were "devastated over the years by economic woes and, in some cases, downtown desolation." But they "suddenly have baseball teams to at least provide a distraction." Indians Senior VP/Public Affairs Bob DiBiasio: "The impact of professional sports to a city is such a life, a sense of pride to the community. It's almost an inspirational thing. Nothing can bring a town together more than sports" (USA TODAY, 9/30).
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