Miller Park Attendance Hits 2.5 Million Despite Brewers' Poor Record, Braun Turmoil
Brewers fans are "to be commended" for Miller Park attendance reaching 2.5 million in '13 "despite the team going off the rails almost from the start," according to Tom Haudricourt of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. Haudricourt: "Imagine what attendance would have been in other cities had their team gone 6-22 in May to fall completely out of the divisional race." Second-half sales are "greatly dependent on how a team fares during the first three months, and the Brewers' early pratfall could have resulted in cobwebs growing across the ticket windows." Brewers COO Rick Schlesinger said, "In May, our performance pushed us so far behind, it started affecting June, July and August ticket sales. Instead of 43,000 coming to a game on a Saturday night, we saw 38,000. Still, considering the rest of the league, impressive, but if you lose 5,000 fans a game and multiply that by several dates, you're talking several hundred thousand fans." Team Owner Mark Attanasio and his front office staff "felt compelled to do something for the fans in the wake of the team's dismal performance and the public relations fiasco" around LF Ryan Braun's PED suspension. After some "brainstorming, they came up with the idea of giving fans attending the 12 August home games $10 vouchers to be used at Miller Park." Attendance for those 12 games "jumped from the previous average of around 31,000 to more than 34,000," and those were "actual fannies in the seats." Schlesinger: "We didn't make money on those vouchers. We did see an increase in spending per caps but it doesn't come close to overcoming the initial $10 we were in the hole. But it's something we needed to do" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 9/22).