SBD/October 1, 2013/Franchises

MLB Franchise Notes: Blue Jays Attendance Highest In 15 Years

In Toronto, Brendan Kennedy noted the announced crowd for Sunday's Rays-Blue Jays game at Rogers Centre "was 44,551, lifting the season’s total to 2,536,562, up more than" 20% from last year and the franchise’s "highest total in more than 15 years." In '10, the Blue Jays' per-game attendance "was fewer than 20,000 and the club ranked 12th" in AL ticket sales. This year the average attendance per game "was over 31,000, good for sixth-best in the AL." Blue Jays P R.A. Dickey said, “I’m very appreciative that in a very trying season people kept coming to the ballpark to support us. That was a real testimony to the Canadian fan base and their spirit.” Sunday was the "18th time this season the Jays have drawn more than 40,000 through the turnstiles." Many tickets were "pre-purchased in the offseason, when the buyer thought the club would be winning," so the "question now is will fans be as willing to part with their hard-earned dollars next year, or will they wait to see some results first?" (TORONTO STAR, 9/30).

PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM: In Philadelphia, Ryan Lawrence writes the $118.5M "committed to seven players" in '14 makes upgrading the Phillies' roster "all the more of a challenge" for GM Ruben Amaro Jr. At "some point soon, Amaro will talk to team President David Montgomery about just how much financial leeway he has at his disposal this winter." Amaro said, “Obviously we had a lot less people coming to the ballpark this year. We have to be cognizant of that. We have been greatly supported -- our payroll was, what, $165 million? That should be enough to put a contender on the field" (PHILLY.com, 9/30).

ROCKY MOUNTAIN LOW: In Denver, Woody Paige wrote Rockies Owner Dick Monfort will "blame injuries for the Rockies' demise." Paige: "The Reign of Terrible persists." The Rockies "despise criticizers, condemners, chastisers and truth-tellers." The Montforts "won't ever sell," but Dick Monfort "should fire himself." He "convincingly has proven he is not a baseball expert." He should "sign checks, sit behind the dugout and be a fan." He "must try to hire" Rays Exec VP/Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman (DENVER POST, 9/29). Also in Denver, Mark Kiszla wrote the Rockies "aren't getting any better." If that is "not a sobering enough thought to make this organization change in a major way, what hope is there for baseball in Colorado?" (DENVER POST, 9/29).

WELCOME TO MIAMI: In N.Y., Jaime Uribarri notes the Marlins are attempting to sell unused tickets from Sunday's game against the Tigers when P Henderson Alvarez threw a no-hitter. This is the "same team, after all, that tried to cash in on fans after the Phillies' Roy Halladay threw a perfect game against the Marlins" in '10. Those tickets "were offered at face value, ranging from $12 to over $300." If they "do sell all the tickets, the cash-strapped Marlins will make $136,500" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/1).
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