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Interleague Pushes MLB to Best-Attended Pre-Memorial Day Weekend Ever PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 21 May 2012 14:40

MLBWith realignment coming next season to Major League Baseball, how interleague is seen will be changing (interleague will be a daily occurrence). So, this past weekend is really the beginning of the end in how to track blocks of interleague play. So, how did the 3-game interleague series of play fare? According to MLB, they recorded the highest-attended pre-Memorial Day weekend in history by drawing 1,652,935 fans for weekend’s 45 games. The total this past weekend, which featured the first 42 Interleague games of the season, eclipsed the previous mark of 1,640,976 (May 19th-21st, 2006). 

The slate from Friday through Sunday also ranks as the best-attended 45-game weekend since the final weekend of the 2008 regular season, when 1,683,763 fans attended from September 26th-28th.  Overall, it was the largest weekend for total attendance since July 24-26, 2009, when 1,684,095 fans attended 46 games.

Saturday’s total of 576,209 fans is the highest pre-Memorial Day single-day attendance total of no more than 15 games since 2007 Opening Day (April 2nd), which drew 582,456.  Nine Clubs drew more than 40,000 fans in their Interleague games on Saturday, leading to an average of 38,414 per game for the day.  Saturday’s total marked the best-attended day of 15 games since Saturday, August 14, 2010, when 577,583 fans attended 15 games.

Attendance highlights among the Clubs included:

  • Six Clubs (DET, LAD, NYY, PHI, SF, WSH) averaged more than 40,000 fans per game and 12 Clubs (previous six plus CHI, COL, HOU, MIL, SD, TOR) drew at least 34,000 per game this weekend.
  • Two of the four largest attendance days in Nationals Park history were tallied this weekend for the Washington Nationals’ series against the Baltimore Orioles.  The Nationals drew 42,331 on Saturday, marking the second-largest single attendance in Nationals Park history.  On Sunday, the game drew 41,918, the fourth-best attendance in the ballpark’s history.  Overall, the Orioles-Nationals series attracted 120,929 fans, the largest crowd in the rivalry’s seven-year history (previous: 114,929 in 2008).
  • The Houston Astros drew 113,261 for their three-game set with the Texas Rangers, the highest against Texas at Minute Maid Park since 2007 (119,562).
  • The Pittsburgh Pirates-Detroit Tigers series at Comerica Park drew 124,585 fans, and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim-San Diego Padres series at PETCO Park attracted 108,791 fans.
  • All but three Clubs (KC, CLE, TB) drew at least 100,000 over the three days. The Royals pulled in 85,397, the Indians saw 82,845, and the Rays came in with 71,885.
  • Six Clubs saw attendance above an average of 30,000 (CHI, HOU, SD, MIL, TOR, COL)
  • The three Clubs that drew below 30,000 were KC (28,466), CLE (27,615), and TB (23,962)

Overall, Major League Baseball has drawn 18,637,924 fans this season through 617 dates (30,207 per game), representing a 6.7 percent increase over the same point in the 2011 season.

“With historic performances by our players and strong competitive balance evident in the standings, Major League Baseball has enjoyed an outstanding start to the 2012 season,” said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “I thank baseball fans for their remarkable support and I join them in looking forward to a great summer for our game.”

See the tables below for totals and average attendance for the first weekend of interleague play for 2012:

Club

Avg

Phillies

45,482

Yankees

44,313

Tigers

41,528

Dodgers

41,431

Giants

41,422

Nationals

40,310

Cubs

37,846

Astros

37,754

Padres

36,264

Brewers

35,961

Blue Jays

34,514

Rockies

34,111

Royals

28,466

Indians

27,615

Rays

23,962

 

Club

Total

Phillies

136,447

Yankees

132,939

Tigers

124,585

Dodgers

124,294

Giants

124,266

Nationals

120,929

Cubs

113,539

Astros

113,261

Padres

108,791

Brewers

107,883

Blue Jays

103,541

Rockies

102,333

Royals

85,397

Indians

82,845

Rays

71,885

Source: Major League Baseball, Biz of Baseball research


 Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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While Attendance Up, Early 2012 MLB Season Still Sees Some Lagging PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 21:58

MLBLet’s start with the glass half-full: attendance in Major League Baseball is much better than at this point last season. As of April 17, the league is averaging 31,965 per game compared to 29,151 in 2011, a difference of 2,814 per game. Early in the season, there has been just one weather related postponement compared to 10 last season. And, while there have been two games that have seen paid attendance under 10,000 (both hosted by the Indians), that pales to last season where there 6 below 10,000, two of which were below 9,000.

So, attendance is up. But, that isn’t to say that there aren’t lagers early on in the season. There have been 13 games with attendance below 15,000.

Here’s who hosted those games along with the number of them below 15,000:

  • Indians – 3
  • Orioles – 1
  • Astros – 1
  • Athletics – 3
  • White Sox – 2
  • Royals – 2
  • Mariners – 1

As mentioned, there haven’t been many rainouts, and that holds true for rain delays for these low attended games. Of those below the 15,000 threshold, only Tues, 4/10 game between Royals and A’s in Oakland sees a delay (51 min). Three of the games saw sunny or clear skies while two games were played with the roof closed (Mariners and Astros). The rest were cloudy, chilly, or rain threatened. Such is baseball in spring.

But, the biggest reason was matchups and the day of the week.

Unsurprisingly, the low attended games were on Sunday through Weds. Also, the teams that drew poorly haven’t done well in the standings as of late.

The tough one here is the Royals hosting the Tigers on Monday, 4/16. While cloudy, Verlander was the starting pitcher. That normally counts for something.

For details on those with attendance below 15,000, select the image below


Click to see in larger view

Source: Biz of Baseball research

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Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Rangers, Brewers Now Pass 2M Tickets Sold, Showing MLB Primed for Great Year PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 16 April 2012 21:38

It’s early, but with the weather continuing to be good to great, and optimism still abounding, ticket sales in MLB are already looking good.

Both the Rangers (last Weds) and the Brewers (on Monday) surpassed the 2 million tickets sold mark. It was the fastest that either club had done so.

In 2011, the club did not sell its two millionth ticket until May 19. The Rangers sold its two millionth ticket on August 7 in 2010. The mark set last week is the earliest that the club has reached the 2,000,000 mark since records are first available in 1999.

For the Brewers mark set on Monday, the previous record for the fastest to two million came on April 19, 2001, the first year that the team played in Miller Park.  In comparison to last season when the Brewers set an all-time franchise attendance mark with nearly 3.1 million through the turnstiles, the two-million mark was reached on April 27.

“Brewers fans continue to over-deliver in every way,” said Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger.  “We want to thank all of them for their incredible support."

The five fastest years of reaching two million tickets sold for the Brewers include:

  • 2012 – April 16
  • 2001 – April 19
  • 2009 – April 21
  • 2011 – April 27
  • 2010 – April 29

As mentioned, the improved weather compared to last year is already playing a part for all of MLB. To date, there has been one weather related cancellation (White Sox at Indians on Tues, April 10 due to snow). Compared to last year at the same time there had already been 10 rainouts.

The league is already seeing a solid showing. As of Sunday, the league saw a total of 6,146,468 compared to 5,603,279 on the same date last year.

Source: Texas Rangers, Milwaukee Brewers, Biz of Baseball research

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Early Ticket Prices for 2012 Season Released by Red Sox, Rays PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 09 November 2011 11:52
Red Sox

Fehgetaboutit! The 2011 MLB season is over, and with it those that weren’t fortunate enough to make the World Series have already begun reaching out to fans in the off-season to get them into seats when the 2012 season kicks off in April.

Two key AL East clubs have gotten an early jump on releasing ticket prices.

When you think about it, it makes sense that the Red Sox and Rays are those two clubs . The Red Sox, who saw an epic collapse (it’s ironic that the Rays were the ultimate beneficiary of the Sept. swoon by Boston), the loss of not only Terry Francona but Theo Epstein as well after the whole “chicken and beer” debacle went down, need to somehow say to fans, “That was then. 2012 will be different.”

For the Rays, their needs are more long term. Challenged on several major fronts, the team that has made the playoffs 3 out of the last 4 seasons could only muster ranking second to last in attendance last season.

Here’s how they shake out.

Red Sox Hold the Line (again) On Ticket Prices

The Boston Red Sox have said that prices for all ticket categories for the 2012 regular season at Fenway Park will be held at 2011 levels. This marks the second time in four years the team has held ticket prices as the Red Sox also froze prices across the board for the 2009 season.

This shouldn’t be a surprise. While clubs price the houses differently, touting pricing decreases, while other areas of the ballpark seeing an increase, given the turmoil in Beantown, if they weren’t going to cut prices, nothing less than the status quo would have been acceptable.

That wasn’t lost on ownership of the Red Sox.

"John Henry, Tom Werner, and the members of our Front Office spend considerable time each year discussing ticket pricing and policies for the following season, and as a group we make a concerted effort to look at our business through the prism of Red Sox fans. Over the last several years, many in Red Sox Nation have experienced economic difficulties, and every fan has gone through some trying times - particularly at the end of the 2011 season - as the team fell short of our goal of reaching the post-season," said President/CEO Larry Lucchino. "The decision to hold ticket prices next season is just one of many ways we hope to show our gratitude to Red Sox Nation in 2012 for the unfailing support they have shown at the ballpark, and for their faith in the Red Sox. It is also part of an effort we've made over the last few years to slow the growth of season ticket and individual game tickets to ensure the Fenway Park experience is a viable option for as many citizens of Red Sox Nation as possible. We are constantly impressed by our fans' love of the game and our franchise, and we hope to see them fill up Fenway Park next year as we celebrate the ballpark's special 100th anniversary season."

The first opportunity for Red Sox fans to purchase tickets for the 2012 season will be the annual, all-day "Christmas at Fenway" presented by Stop & Shop on Saturday, December 10th.

Tampa Bay Rays See Most Tickets Same, But 10% Will See Increase

After making the Rays made playoffs in dramatic fashion on the last day of the season, for the third time in four seasons the Rays announced that prices for 90 percent of their tickets will remain the same or decrease for the 2012 season. The club is continuing their 4-teir system of pricing. According to the Rays:

For 2012, there will again be four categories of single-game ticket pricing: Diamond, Platinum, Gold and Silver. All ticket prices for each game are subject to change at the Rays discretion. Diamond games are all Friday, Saturday and Sunday games versus the Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves and Yankees (including Opening Day). Platinum games include Monday through Thursday games versus the Yankees and Red Sox.

Those increases will show up as $1 to $2 for select seats in the lower box and some outfield seats.

"Our on-field accomplishments over the past four seasons have provided some memorable moments for our fans. Just as important to us is that our ticket prices have remained among the most affordable in all of professional sports," said Rays President Matt Silverman. "Our ticket options for 2012 will again be aimed at making the ballpark experience affordable for families."

Upper Deck seats will cost as little as $9 for 28 of the Rays home games in 2012. The Rays tout that overall, more than one million tickets will be priced at $25 or less.

In addition, the Rays will make an adjustment to weekday game times at Tropicana Field next season. All Monday through Friday games will start at 7:10 p.m., with the exception of 12 weekday day games including three dates against the New York Yankees: Opening Day, April 6 at 3:10 p.m.; Independence Day, July 4 at 3:10 p.m.; and Labor Day, September 3 at 1:10 p.m. Saturday game times will be announced at a later date and Sundays will remain at 1:40 p.m.

Gold games include the remaining Friday, Saturday and Sunday games, as well as a featured series versus the New York Mets (Tuesday, June 12 - Thursday, June 14). Silver games include the remaining weekday games in which both Upper Box and Upper Reserved seats will be $9.

One thing you have to tip the hat to the Rays to: They will continue to the policy of allowing fans to bring food and select beverages into the ballpark and free parking for carpoolers.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Ticket Prices Skyrocket for Game 7 of World Series PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 28 October 2011 16:00

World Series

Don’t have a ticket for tonight’s Game 7 of the World Series and are looking to attend? Better bring a thick pocket book stuffed with green.

According to ticket researcher and outlet TiqIQ, the cost to just get into tonight’s game on the resale market at 3pm ET is $518. The average cost – repeat average – is $958 with approximately 950 tickets available.

It’s not inconceivable that by first pitch the cost just to get in the door will be $550.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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2011 MLB League Division Series on Pace to Be Second Most Attended PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 07 October 2011 00:00

Yes, it’s already been a competitive postseason. While the Rays got only pulled off one win against the Rangers, the 2011 Division Series will have 19 out of a possible 20 games played, marking the most games played in the opening round since its inception in 1995. In addition, three Division Series will play a decisive fifth game for just the second time in Division Series history, joining 2001. The previous record of 18 Division Series games played occurred in 2001 and 2003.

With the Tigers beating the Yankees tonight to advance to the ALCS against the Rangers, Major League Baseball has drawn 764,950 in paid attendance through 17 games during the 2011 Division Series (Game 5 between the Tigers and Yankees drew 50,960 on Thursday night), which is on pace to become the second-highest attended Division Series in history and the fourth to eclipse the 800,000 mark. The all-time Division Series attendance record of 884,897 fans was set in 2003, while the total of 800,000 was also topped in 2001 (846,112) and 2004 (842,571).

Commissioner Selig was quick to jump on the news.

“Major League Baseball continues to build upon a remarkable regular season with four Division Series that have provided many unforgettable moments,” said Selig. “The competitiveness of our sport has never been more evident than it is now and all of us at Baseball join the fans in their excitement as the dramatic opening round comes to a close.”

The American League Championship Series between the Tigers and Yankees will be covered by FOX Sports, will begin on Saturday, October 8th and a Game Seven, if necessary, is scheduled for Sunday, October 16th. The National League Championship Series, to be covered by TBS, will start on Sunday, October 9th and a Game Seven, if necessary, is scheduled for Monday, October 17th.

Game One of the 2011 World Series is scheduled for Wednesday, October 19th. Game Three of the 2011 Fall Classic will move to the city of the American League Champions on Saturday, October 22nd. A Game Seven of the World Series is scheduled for Thursday, October 27th. Friday, October 21st and Tuesday, October 25th are the scheduled off days during the World Series. In its 16th season as the official network broadcaster of Major League Baseball, FOX Sports will present exclusive live telecast coverage of the World Series.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Milwaukee Brewers Surpass Their All-Time Attendance Record, Playoffs Sold Out PDF Print E-mail
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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 27 September 2011 08:54

It’s an amazing transformation. The team long ago named the Seattle Pilots who Bud Selig purchased and moved to baseball’s smallest market is an attendance hit.

The Milwaukee Brewers announced yesterday that the Club has established a new single-season franchise attendance record in 2011.  As of 10 a.m. Monday, the Brewers had sold 3,068,781 tickets for the Club’s 81-game home schedule, surpassing the previous record of 3,068,458 in 2008.

The Brewers average attendance currently ranks seventh in Major League Baseball and fourth in the National League.

To put that in perspective, the Brewers drew 2,811,041 in the inaugural season Miller Park when the honeymoon for new ballparks is high and attendance spikes.

And, it’s not just the regular season attendance wave that the Brewers are riding. The Club informs The Biz of Baseball that over 200,000 non-season ticket holders applied for postseason tickets meaning every playoff game is ostensibly sold out.

“As our Brewers players continue a record-setting season on the field, our fans have given us the advantage in the stands to help secure our first ever National League Central Division Championship,” said Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger. “We thank the fans for their incredible support throughout the season and look forward to creating many special memories in October.”

The Milwaukee–Racine–Waukesha Metropolitan Area has a population of 1,751,316 as of 2010, or about 1 million less than the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater market.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Will MLB See a 10-Year Rainout Record Broken in 2011? PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 07 September 2011 08:38

Baseball rain

For fans of Major League Baseball this season, along with the boxscores you’ve had to become one part weatherman. The beginning of the 2011 season was hit hard with rainouts, and as the season begins to enter its final stretch, the weather is once again playing a factor.

In fact, 2011 is threatening to have more rainouts than at any point in the last decade. How does this season stack up compared to others?

So far, there have been 48 rainouts on the season. That places it second only to 2004 when there were 50. Here’s how rainouts over the last 10 complete seasons stack up compared to 2011:


2011 – 48 *

2010 - 20

2009 – 36

2008 – 36

2007 – 33

2006 – 31

2005 – 26

2004 – 50

2003 – 44

2002 – 32

2001 – 17

2000 – 45

* As of 9/7/2011

Source: Major League Baseball


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Red Sox See 700th Consecutive Sellout at Fenway Park PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 02 September 2011 21:40

Red SoxWith a sell-out in this evening’s game against the Texas Rangers, the Boston Red Sox reached their 700 consecutive regular season game sell-outs at Fenway Park, extending their record of most consecutive sell-outs in baseball history.

The previous Major League Baseball record of 455, set by the Cleveland Indians between 1995-2001, was surpassed by Red Sox fans on September 8, 2008. Fenway Park seats 37,373 while Progressive Field, or as it was called before during the sellout streak in Cleveland, Jacobs Field, seats 43,545. The record streak by the Red Sox began on May 15, 2003, in the second year of the current ownership group.

"Reaching 700 consecutive sell-outs is a lesson for us all to never underestimate what the passion of Red Sox Nation can achieve," said John Henry, Principal Owner. "Our fans have demonstrated unwavering loyalty and support from the stands at Fenway Park every day of the regular season for more than eight years, and everyone in the organization is grateful for their steadfast dedication."

"It is a number that at one time might have been considered unattainable, but our fans proved that 700 sell-outs was a possible milestone to reach.  It is a testament to the dedication they have for the game, for the team, and for the ballpark," said Tom Werner, Chairman. "As stewards of this franchise, we will continue to work hard to earn the support of our fan base, which is something we will never take for granted." 

"Red Sox Nation gives our players and coaches a distinct competitive advantage in home games by creating a sell-out atmosphere unmatched in any other ballpark,” said Larry Lucchino, President/CEO. “We are grateful for their knowledge, their passion, and their love of the Red Sox and for the game of baseball."

The Red Sox players and coaches recognized the fans of Red Sox Nation for their significant accomplishment during the 5th inning by coming out of the dugout and tipping their caps to the crowd. A video fan tribute produced by Red Sox Video Productions was also played on the videoboard between the 5th and 6th innings.  Each fan will receive a special 700th game commemorative baseball as they exit the ballpark after the game. The team also gave fans commemorative baseballs when they reached the 500th consecutive sell-out mark on June 17, 2009, and the 600th consecutive sell-out mark on July 18, 2010.

LONGEST RECORDED REGULAR SEASON SELL-OUT STREAKS IN MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

No.      Team                                                  Years

700*    Boston Red Sox                                  2003-2011

455      Cleveland Indians                               1995-2001

203      Colorado Rockies                               1995-1997

LONGEST RECORDED REGULAR SEASON SELL-OUT STREAKS IN AMERICAN PROFESSIONAL SPORTS HISTORY

No.      Team                                                  Years

744      Portland Trailblazers (NBA)              1977-1995

700*    Boston Red Sox (MLB)                      2003-2011

407      Colorado Avalanche (NHL)               1995-2006

* Active Sell-out Streak


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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