Indians hit 8-year attendance high

September 2, 2008
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vicfieldWith the books just closed on the Indianapolis Indians' 2008 season, the team’s front office is already looking forward to next season. And why not? This team is hot. Red hot. And I’m not talking about on the field, where they amassed a 68-76 record.

In a time when fans are quick to grumble about the Pacers’ on- and off-court  shortcomings, Peyton Manning’s injuries and disappearing act and even the escalators at the new Lucas Oil Stadium, the Indians have become the darling of the local sports scene.

Win or lose, this team has been attracting fans in growing numbers since 2003, when season attendance at Victory Field fell to 555,000. This year the Indians drew 606,155, the team’s highest attendance mark since 2000. That puts the team’s average attendance at 8,538 per game. Since June 19—a stretch of 38 games—the team averaged more than 10,000 fans per game. Saturday's season closing game drew 15,066.

The attendance turnaround started when team officials began making a serious push to brand Indians baseball as affordable, family entertainment. It’s been a theme forwarded by the team’s local ad agency, Hirons & Co., sans glitzy marketing campaigns or the zany game-day antics that often dot the minor league baseball landscape.

“We think providing affordable, family fun in a safe, clean environment is more important that anything else,” said Indians General Manager Cal Burleson.

The Indians also have gained corporate support for their efforts. Sponsorship revenue is up 20 percent this year over last, Burleson said. “Obviously our message is resonating,” he said. “We feel very good about that.”

Indians officials, who have an agreement to be the AAA farm team of the Pittsburgh Pirates through 2012, recently announced that ticket prices will be unchanged for next year. Reserved seats are $9, box seats are $13. Knock off $1 for kids.

“We need to be really aware of our tickets’ price point, and how that fits into the market,” Burleson said. “We want to make sure we stay affordable for everyone.”
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  • Really good to hear. If only the TB Rays could reach these kind of attendance numbers. ;-)
  • I am a season ticket holder and am proud to say I used every ticket this year. I handed them out to clients and employees and attended a number of games myself. Best value and entertainment in town.
  • Great to hear about the Indians. Indianapolis is a fun city, and I am glad that they enjoy the Pirates Triple-A ball club. They're for sure some fun players on that team.
  • PS - Anyone interested, I run an awesome Pittsburgh Pirates blog on MLBlogs.com. The link can be found below, and be sure to spread the word!
    http://theburghblues.mlblogs.com/
  • I don't know why the Pirates need a triple A farm team they already have one at PNC Park

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  1. I think the poster was being sarcastic and only posting or making fun of what is usually posted on here about anything being built in BR or d'town for that matter.

  2. Great news IRL fans: TURBO the IMS sanctioned movie about slugs running the Indy 500 has caught the Securities and Exchange Commission because Dreamworks had to take a $132MILLION write down...because the movie was such a flop. See, the Indy/IMS magic soiled another pair of drawers. Bwahahahahahaha! How's CARTOWN doing? HAHAHAHA...Indy is for losers.

  3. So disappointed in WIBC. This is the last straw to lose a good local morning program. I used to be able to rely on WIBC to give me good local information, news, weather and traffic on my 45 minute commute.Two incidents when I needed local, accurate information regarding severe weather were the first signs I could not now rely on WIBC. I work weekend 12 hour nights for a downtown hospital. This past winter when we had the worst snowfall in my 50 years of life, I came home on a Sunday morning, went to sleep (because I was to go back in Sunday night for another 12 hour shift), and woke up around 1 p.m. to a house with no electricity. I keep an old battery powered radio around and turned on WIBC to see what was going on with the winter storm and the roads and the power outage. Sigh. Only policital stuff. Not even a break in to update on the winter storm warning. The second weather incident occurred when I was driving home during a severe thunderstorm a few months ago. I had already gotten a call from my husband that a tornado warning was just southwest of where I had been. I turned to WIBC to find out what direction the storm was headed so I could figure out a route home, only to find Rush on the air, and again, no breaking away from this stupidity to give me information. Thank God for my phone, which gave me the warning that I was driving in an area where a tornado was seen. Thanks for nothing WIBC. Good luck to you, Steve! We need more of you and not the politics of hatred that WIBC wants to shove at us. Good thing I have Satellite radio.

  4. I read the retail roundup article and tried Burritos and Beers tonight. I'm glad I did, for the food was great. Fresh authentic Mexican food. Great seasoning on the carne asada. A must try!!! Thanks for sharing.

  5. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...

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