Indians pack the house

June 23, 2008
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vicfield22The Indianapolis Indians had a big weekend. The Indians won two out of three from Rochester but all three games were monetary winners for the AAA minor league baseball franchise.

Mostly blue skies along with moderate temperatures ushered in some of the season’s biggest crowds. Friday’s game drew a season record 13,509 to the team’s home field, which has 12,500 permanent seats and accommodates 14,500 including outfield lawn seating.

Saturday’s game drew 12,189 and Sunday’s game attracted 11,051. All of these numbers were registered without any kind of massive marketing hook used to bring people to Victory Field. This weekend’s attendance numbers were far above last year’s average of 8,383 per game, which was the team’s highest attendance since 2001.

Despite a softening economy—or perhaps because of it—the Indians have seen an attendance upswing in recent years. Attendance in 2007 was up 10 percent from 2006, and early season 2008 numbers were up about 6 percent over the same period the year previous. June, July and August are usually the strongest attendance periods for the Indians.

Indianapolis continues to rank sixth in the 14-team International League this year in attendance, but if weekend crowds like this last one continue to fill the stands, that rank could be going up soon.

What draws you to Victory Field?
  • I think it is a different type of entertainment that is Cheap. My family and I are going tonight (Monday) because my cousin from Purdue wanted to come to indy to hang out for her birthday. So we are going to do a nice dinner at PF Changs. And to offset that cost we are going to walk to Victory Field for $9 tickets! You got to love the price, the venue, the variety of people that go. It's a great place to have fun and bond with the people youre with, even if you don't enjoy baseball.
  • I like Monday games because they have $1 items at the concession stand. Now that's a deal!
  • It is 'pure' entertainment. By that, I mean that it is genuine. No NBA cry babies that pout when they don't get their way on the court or in the contract room (or the IMPD questioning room, for that matter). These kids are playing their heart out doing what they love just to make it the next level. I think that this is something that Hoosiers can relate to, in it's simplest form....
  • While I tend to agree that the Vic lends itself to fine, affordable, family sports viewing entertainment for the non-serious baseball fan there are a few things that are missing and oddly enough, the Indians Baseball club has little control over the matter. #1: Baseball at the triple-A level deserves a more identifiable season ending product. Instead, there's a meaningless game in Vegas or somewhere out west to determine the IL or AAA champion. It changes so much that it's become an ambiguous afterthought. #2: For better or worse, Victory Field and its fans, have taken on the personna of Chicago Cub fans. The experience at Wrigley overshadows anything on the diamond. The new 'friendly confines' minor league style; Maryland and West Streets.
  • The Indians are by far the best entertainment during the summer. Our kids are in the Knot Hole Club, which is a season ticket for $14. No better deal than that. The company I work for has an outing at the ballpark coming up in July. Our employees can't wait for the event. So we make it to quite a few games a year without spending much money.
  • Great view too! :)
  • The apathy for wins and losses (as GeorgeOrwell describes) can be attributed to the fact that there are no players that the team or city can identify with and the Major League affiliation, while bringing some good talent in to play good baseball, isn't a draw to anyone. Per a previous post earlier in the year, it would be huge if the Indians could ever be associated with a team like the Reds (maybe sometime again in the future) or the Cubs (never going to happen). That would allow the Indy fan base to get excited about something other than a $1 hot dog. At least when we were affiliated with the Expos for a long time we were able to keep Razor Shines around... he was a draw every year because you knew he'd be on the team. Baseball just has become too big of a business have have a roster spot at the AAA level for a Razor Shines (or a Crash Davis). The players we have here now are basically anonymous to us. I love baseball and I couldn't tell you a single player (besides Bullington from Indy and Ball St.) that's on the roster right now.
  • Hey, $1 hot dogs are nothing to sneeze at. I do think the Indians made a big, big mistake by not maintaining its relationship with the Cincy Reds. I bet that has cost them a lot of money over the years. I think a Reds affiliation would definitely drive attendance up. That aside, I wonder if the Indians marketing department couldn't do a better job of marketing some of these players and emphasizing the players they have had that have gone on to become MLB stars. People love to go to a game with the hope of watching the next great player. I saw him when ...
  • In response to an earlier post about having players the city can identify with. If you look at the Pittsburgh Pirates roster it is filled with former Indians. That just goes to show we have MLB talent right here in Indy. Nate McClouth played here for a year or two and is tearing up the National League this year. He may make the All-Star team. Ian Snell threw a no-hitter in Indy and is a fourth or fifth starter on just about any team in MLB. If you can't identify with a player you should probably come to more games. Andrew McCutcheon is a top 15 prospect in all of baseball and sprints out every fly ball and ground ball. He will be a major league star someday. If you come to multiple games you will identify with him. I would much rather see these guys for one or two years than a Razor Shines or Crash Davis for 10 or 15. These are future stars, not has beens or never will be's. No disrespect to Razor, he was great for the city, but a rarity.
  • I go to games because I love baseball. It's a great game.

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