Braves' Attendance, Local TV Ratings Show Improvement In First Year At SunTrust Park
The Braves' attendance is up 33% in their debut season at SunTrust Park from last season, while their local TV viewership is up 50% "compared with this point last season," according to Tim Tucker of the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION. The team has drawn an average of 30,578 fans per game at SunTrust Park, "up from an average of 23,030 through the same number of games (42) at Turner Field last year." The increase of 7,548 per game is "by far the largest in the majors this season." The Braves, who at 42-45 are in second place in the NL East, now rank 14th in home attendance, up from 25th at this point last year. The Braves have "averaged 36,319 fans for Friday-Saturday-Sunday games" at SunTrust Park and 25,837 for weekday games. Based on their current averages, the Braves are "on pace to draw about 2.5 million fans for the full season, which would be almost 500,000 more than either of the past two seasons and their most since drawing 2.55 million" in '13 (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 7/14).
CUTE AS A BUTTON? In Georgia, Will Hammock noted the Triple-A Int'l League Gwinnett Braves have unveiled the "highly anticipated finalists" of their "Name The Team" contest: Buttons, Big Mouths, Gobblers, Hush Puppies, Lambchops and Sweet Teas. A total of 4,024 submissions were entered online with "more than 900 different name ideas." A selection committee made up of staff from the G-Braves, the MLB Braves and branding partner Brandiose "decided which names made the final cut to six." Fans can vote online "for their favorite among the six finalists," and the leading vote-getters "will factor into the final choice" (GWINNETTDAILYPOST.com, 7/13). In Atlanta, George Mathis wrote if fans think naming a team after the "South's favorite beverage is stupid," they have "yet to hear the other suggestions." Mathis: "My theory is the G-Braves released so many awful alternatives the public will feel blessed when the team humanely selects 'Buttons.'" That is a reference to Button Gwinnett, who repped Georgia in the Continental Congress and signed the Declaration of Independence (AJC.com, 7/13).