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 Tigers' ticket sales lagging considerably

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PostSubject: Tigers' ticket sales lagging considerably   Tue Jun 02, 2009 1:54 pm

Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Tigers' ticket sales lagging considerably
Terry Foster / The Detroit News

Detroit -- Tigers ticket sales are down nearly 10,000 per game from this point last season.

Which begs the question: Are Tigers fans abandoning their team because of the economy, or are they upset by the club's last-place finish last season?

You can draw your own conclusions, but Ron Colangelo, the Tigers vice president of communications, wants to put those numbers in prospective.

They are being compared to a record-breaking 2008 season in which 3,202,645 fans -- excited about the potential of an offensive juggernaut headed by the addition of Miguel Cabrera -- flocked to the ballpark.

The anticipated World Series run never happened. Instead, the team disappointed.

"Last year, you had a lot of excited people," said Tigers fan Brian Rohe, of Sterling Heights. "Everybody was up and ready to go to the World Series and it fueled ticket sales. It did not turn out so well so you did not have the same expectations this season. Now people are waiting and seeing what they do."

But here's the bigger picture Colangelo talks about: The Tigers rank fourth in the American League in average attendance (27,890) and 12th in the majors. Those figures are the third-highest after 22 games since the team moved to Comerica Park in 2000.

Tigers brass 'encouraged'

Colangelo knows the Tigers won't match 2008, no matter what they do. But there are signs the Tigers are rebounding at the box office, just as the team rebounds on the field.

The Tigers have a 3 1/2 -game lead in the American League Central, with a three-game home series starting tonight against the Red Sox. A recent weekend series with the Rockies drew more than 100,000 and ticket sales are brisk for this week's games with the Red Sox and Angels.

Season-ticket sales were half of what they were a year ago, but the Tigers are seeing good game-day sales.

"We are ... encouraged," Colangelo said.

Dominick Colone, of Ferndale, might by a typical fan. It isn't the economy that keeps him away. It's frustration from last season. But that's beginning to fade.

"I know I will be going," Colone said. "I am just waiting for the weather to break."

But the economy does play a role. Major League Baseball estimates its attendance will be down 3 percent, in part because of reduced capacity at Citi Field and Yankee Stadium, the new parks in New York.

But it seems as if New Yorkers can't stomach the ticket prices at the new Yankee Stadium. Its capacity was reduced by 4,500 but attendance is down nearly 9,000 per game.

Fans will support a winner

Liz Falk recently bought Tigers tickets as part of an annual fifth-grade trip from Port Huron. For the first time, the school system solicited sponsors to pay for all the tickets.

"It's not as easy to go to games as it used to be," Falk said.

Rohe believes sports fans find a way into arenas and ballparks if the product is compelling.

"I think the economy plays a small role in this," he said. "For the most part people can find money if they want to do something. (The economy) stops them to a degree. They might go to fewer games but if they really want to do something, they will.

"I would think if (the Tigers) are still in the race, attendance will pick up."

terry.foster@detnews.com (313) 222-1494


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PostSubject: Re: Tigers' ticket sales lagging considerably   Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:05 pm

Can't really say I'm surprised by this.


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PostSubject: Re: Tigers' ticket sales lagging considerably   Wed Jun 03, 2009 4:29 pm

And the Tigers are charging prime ticket prices for the Red Sox Series

No wonder people stayed home and watched hockey instead
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PostSubject: Re: Tigers' ticket sales lagging considerably   Wed Jun 03, 2009 6:09 pm

Let's see...

pay extra to see the Tigers and Red Sox or stay home and watch the Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Finals.

I'm sure that's a pretty easy choice for most people, especially with a down economy.


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PostSubject: Re: Tigers' ticket sales lagging considerably   Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:52 pm

"Which begs the question: Are Tigers fans abandoning their team because of the economy, or are they upset by the club's last-place finish last season?"

YES
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PostSubject: Re: Tigers' ticket sales lagging considerably   Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:27 am

Attendance note
FROM BECK'S BLOG

A little note before taking off for Houston: Thursday's sellout crowd of 42,332 was the largest crowd of the season besides Opening Day. Yes, the largest non-opener crowd was a weekday afternoon game. Moreover, the total for the three-game series against the Cubs was the largest of any three-game set this year (they can probably thank some Cubs fans for that, admittedly). The Tigers drew at least 38,000 for all six games of the just-finished homestand.

A lot has been made about the drop in attendance at Comerica Park compared to last season, and understandably so given the economy. But last season aside, the Tigers usually don't regularly draw packed crowds until the summer, when Michigan weather finally warms up and the kids are out of school. So really, comparing early-season crowds this year with the average from every game last season is a little skewed. We'll get a better idea what's going on this summer.

For what it's worth, the Tigers are still somehow fourth among AL teams in attendance, averaging 30,205 per game. The three teams ahead of them are the Yankees, Angels and Red Sox. Obviously, the Tigers are getting a big number of walk-up ticket sales. It's a factor not lost in the clubhouse.

"The buzz in the ballpark, I think, is so good because of what's going on," Leyland said. "It makes you feel good because of obviously what's happening in the community and everything. It's a little more stressful right now, not that it wasn't in 2006, but it's good to see people coming out. It's a tough, resilient town, and they're going to make it. ...

"I wish I could give every one of them a ticket, to be honest with you, for one game. But I can't. But I wish I could, because the support's unbelievable."

Posted on June 26, 2009 at 7:12 AM


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PostSubject: Re: Tigers' ticket sales lagging considerably   Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:48 am

"I wish I could give every one of them a ticket, to be honest with you, for one game. But I can't. But I wish I could, because the support's unbelievable."

You could if you really wanted to, Jim.
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PostSubject: Re: Tigers' ticket sales lagging considerably   Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:03 am

Nod considering he is making around $4 mill per year....


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PostSubject: Re: Tigers' ticket sales lagging considerably   Fri Jun 26, 2009 1:40 pm

and some tix are $5 nowadays!
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PostSubject: Re: Tigers' ticket sales lagging considerably   Sun Jun 28, 2009 3:11 pm

Greedy greedy Jim...
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PostSubject: Re: Tigers' ticket sales lagging considerably   Tue Jun 30, 2009 7:28 pm

They had 42,000 people in 93 degree heat Last Thursday


Too bad 10,000 were Cubs Fans
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PostSubject: Re: Tigers' ticket sales lagging considerably   Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:13 am

gs78 wrote:
They had 42,000 people in 93 degree heat Last Thursday

Too bad 10,000 were Cubs Fans
I was there. It was hooooooot.... Whew Whew Whew
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