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Indians attendance increases for fourth straight year

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A strong regular season and a playoff run pushed Indianapolis Indians’ home attendance to its best mark in four years and fourth best at Victory Field since 2000.

The “regular-season attendance increase of nearly 15,000 fans was the highest in the 14-team International League,” said General Manager Cal Burleson. “This achievement was a real team effort.”

A strong marketing plan and family-oriented promotions helped fuel the gains, Burleson said, adding that a competitive team fielded by the Indians’ Major League Baseball affiliate, the Pittsburgh Pirates, helped boost interest in the team.

The team went 89-55 overall and 48-24 at home before losing to the Charlotte Knights 3-1 in the first round of the playoffs.

An extremely warm, dry summer and only two rainouts also helped attendance, Indians officials added.

The Indians drew 595,043 for 70 regular-season home games, averaging 8,501 fans per game. Two post-season home games pushed total attendance up to 605,575 for the season, which was fifth among 176 Minor League Baseball teams.

During the first round of the International League playoffs, the Indians drew more fans—10,532—than the other three league teams in the playoffs combined—8,554.

Sports marketers say affordable ticket prices for Indians games—relative to other sporting events—during a poor economy have helped fuel attendance increases in recent years.

“This organization has several things going for it,” said Larry DeGaris, director of academic sports marketing programs at the University of Indianapolis. “They have a great facility in Victory Field, they’re at the right price point given the economy, and they’re very innovative in terms of entertainment and special promotions. What they’re selling is part baseball, part outdoor picnic with a little bit of carnival thrown in.”

Attendance has been on a steady rise the past four seasons, hitting 549,552 in 2009, 569,969 in 2010, and 580,082 last season. Last year's per-game average for 71 home games was 8,170.

Ticket revenue accounted for $4.3 million of the team’s $10.1 million in operating revenue in 2011. The team had profit of $1.06 million last year, its 36th straight profitable year.

The team's all-time best attendance came in 1999, when it drew 658,250 fans.

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  • Good Family Entertainment
    The Indianapolis Indians and Victory Field are absolutely the best sports entertainment option in the Indianapolis Market. Victory Field is just a great place for the entire family. Thanks Indians - We enjoyed a great 2012 Season, and everyone working at the ballpark is a true professional.

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  1. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

  2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

  3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

  4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

  5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.

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