SBD/March 7, 2014/Franchises

Indians Seeing Slight Increase In Season-Ticket Sales, Shapiro Hopes To Reach 8,000

Shapiro says last year's postseason run helping team at ticket box office
Indians President Mark Shapiro said that the team's run to the postseason last year has "given them a slight jolt at the box office -- the team had a 90% renewal rate on season tickets, which is very good -- but not enough of one to make them feel comfortable," according to Kevin Kleps of CRAIN'S CLEVELAND BUSINESS. The Indians for the second consecutive season "are spending to contend." Shapiro last month said that the team's payroll "would increase about" 10% this year. But the "combination of increased hope, the 2013 postseason appearance and a very likable team has yet to push the season-ticket base to 8,000." By comparison, in '07, when the Indians "finished within a game of going to the World Series for the first time since 1997, the club had about 13,000 season-ticket holders." Shapiro said, "We're not at 8,000. We're above last year, and maybe once it warms up and we get closer to opening day we'll make a push toward 8,000. But as of right now, 8,000 looks like it will be a little bit of a reach. It's possible, but it's a little bit of a reach." Shapiro repeatedly has said that winning "is the 'biggest lever' the Indians can pull when it comes to driving attendance." Kleps wrote even if the season-ticket numbers "aren't soaring, there is some momentum from last season's brief playoff appearance." Shapiro: "To be frank, we've had some concerns the past three or four years whether we would even sell out the opener. It took a while for it to happen (in the past). For it to happen as quick as it did ..." (CRAINSCLEVELAND.com, 3/6).
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