SBD/March 31, 2014/MLB Season Preview

MLB Franchise Notes: Pirates Seeing Jump In Season-Ticket Sales, Merchandise Purchases

Pirates Senior Dir of Communications Brian Warecki said that season-ticket sales are up 40% from a year ago, and the club "is projected to top last season's record 23 sellouts." In Pittsburgh, Bob Cohn reported Opening Day tickets "average about $83 on the secondary market," 50% more than last year's opener and the highest recorded for a Pirates regular-season game. Ticket aggregator SeatGeek data showed that the Pirates' Opening Day tickets "are the sixth-most actively traded in MLB." Meanwhile, online retailer Fanatics data showed that since Dec. 1, the Pirates' national merchandise sales were 300% higher than "in the same period last year." Only the Red Sox "improved more." Fanatics reported sales of Pirates CF Andrew McCutchen-related merchandise during the period "ranks fifth among all players" (PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 3/30).

MOORE OR LESS: In K.C., Sam Mellinger writes under the header, "Royals' 2014 Season Will Be Referendum On Moore." Last season "cannot be the high-water mark for eight years" of Royals Chair & Owner David Glass "investing in the Royals’ farm system infrastructure, as well as four franchise record payrolls" during Senior VP/Baseball Operations & GM Dayton Moore’s time in charge. This is Moore's eighth Opening Day with the Royals, and only four MLB GMs in the last 50 years "have made it to nine without at least one playoff appearance." With the extra playoff spot "available now, there are no more excuses" (K.C. STAR, 3/31).

IT ALL HELPS: Twins President Dave St. Peter thinks that the April 7 home opener versus the A's "will sell out" and added that interest in this year’s All-Star Game at Target Field "has helped keep season ticket sales healthy." He added, "We think we’re going to land somewhere right around 17,500 full-season equivalents by Opening Day. ... Clearly that’s a number that’s down from a year ago, but still I think it’s remarkable, considering the way we’ve played." St. Peter: "Our full-season ticket holders ultimately purchased about 90 percent of the All-Star tickets they had access to. Our partial (season ticket owners) plans will go on sale here in a couple weeks" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 3/31).

WAHOO WATCH: Indians President Mark Shapiro said of whether the Chief Wahoo mascot should be abolished, "We continue to listen to our fans. We listen to all of our fans and sympathize with fans who find it to be a concern, and we also hear from fans who are loudly voicing that it's a symbol of their generational bond with the team and the game" (CRAINSCLEVELAND.com, 3/28).
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