Tigers Sell More Than 35,000 Tickets In Flash Sale To Boost Attendance
The Tigers sold more than 35,000 tickets as part of a weekend sale that ended at midnight last night. The tickets started at $9 in the upper deck at Comerica Park and went for as low as $14 in the lower deck. They did not contain any fees for games this month (THE DAILY). In Detroit, Tony Paul noted the Tigers through their first 26 home games this season were averaging 16,700 fans, the "fifth-worst figure" in MLB. Most of that is the "byproduct of a team that's well into a total rebuild, and has very few players on the major-league roster the fan base can get behind." The Tigers, who sit at 22-34 and already are 17 games behind the Twins in the AL Central, are "on pace to average 1,352,700 fans this season." That would be the worst since '96, when they drew 1,168,610 at Tiger Stadium. Even the '03 team that recorded an AL-record 119 losses "drew even more" fans than the figure projected for this year (DETROIT NEWS, 6/2). The Tigers "sold out Opening Day" but have had "just two crowds over 20,000 since" (DETROIT NEWS, 6/1).
LEAGUE-WIDE ISSUE: The Athletic’s Frank Isola said MLB should be worried about its overall attendance dropping again this year and rhetorically asked if the league is "attracting young fans." Isola: "No one is going to the games in some markets. Attendance is down in San Francisco and it’s down in a lot of places in the league. ... Baseball has a major problem attracting a younger audience, getting an urban audience, and pace of play has a lot to do with it. The darn games take way too long.” ESPN’s Michael Wilbon said, “Sports-crazed Toronto, attendance there is down 7,000 per game in a place that used to lead all of baseball in attendance. Urban attendance, it's more diverse than ever, it's younger than ever, and the worry that baseball has, it looks around and international soccer and professional basketball have that, and baseball is struggling to keep that.” Isola suggested that MLB needs to “relocate” some teams. Isola: “Go to Vegas. If people want to see baseball, go there. Go back to Montreal, they're willing to build a small stadium and enjoy baseball again. They've got to get out of some of these markets. People just are not going to the games” (“PTI,” ESPN, 5/31).