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Rays Sellout First Two Home Games of ALDS PDF Print E-mail
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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 24 September 2008 10:09

RaysThe Tampa Bay Rays announced Tuesday night that the team’s first two home games in the American League Division Series are sold out. The tickets were purchased by fans who participated in the team’s Postseason Ticket Opportunity, which allowed fans to register to win the opportunity to purchase tickets in a special online pre-sale.

The Rays are capitalizing on the team's first postseason appearance by offering "a very limited number of tickets" available as postseason packages to those who place deposits, starting at $50, for 2009 full or partial season tickets.

Should the Rays capture the American League East championship, tickets to Home Game 3 would go on sale in the same fashion.

Division Series games, dates, and times, are to be determined.

Source: Tampa Bay Rays


Maury Brown

Maury 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 is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and 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.

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

 
Nationals On Pace to Set Attendance Low for New Ballpark PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 24 September 2008 00:50

Nationals Park

Nationals Park, sparsely attended

UPDATE #2: The Nationals drew 23,299 on Weds. night, meaning the Nationals will need to draw 34,860 to pass the Reds and miss having the worst first year attendance in the Camden Yard era. The article, and table below have been updated to reflect the new data.

UPDATE: One of our readers pointed out that Jacobs Field and the Ballpark at Arlington were omitted from our study. Both ballparks opened in 1994, a strike shortened year. The table below has been updated with figures for both added with projected attendance figures based upon average attendance at the time leading up to the strike. The overall outcome for the Nationals remains the same. -- Maury Brown

In sports, we’ve all heard this saying at the end of a season:

"They have a mathematical chance.”

And, while that chance is normally referring to teams straining to make the postseason, as you’re about to see, this team’s postseason chances probably died in early April.

With two games left at home, the Washington Nationals are on the cusp of having the worst opening-year attendance of any new ballpark in the Camden Yards era – the period of rapid ballpark construction beginning after Oriole Park at Camden Yards was opened in 1992  and the incredible success it generated for the team. And, while Camden Yards is considered the ballpark – the gold standard, if you will – of the throwback ballpark craze that has swept MLB, it really got moving with the White Sox’ New Comiskey Park, or as it is now called, U.S. Cellular Field.

As I said, there is a mathematical chance that the Nationals will not own this dubious distinction. 58,158 (update: after Weds.' game, this figure now stands at 34,860 with one home game remaining) fans is all that separates attendance at Nationals Park from the worst first-year attendance of all the stadiums which opened in the last 17 years, the Reds' Great American Ball Park that opened in 2003. That year, the Reds had paid attendance of 2,355,259. With two games left to play in Nationals Park, the Nats have drawn an anemic 2,297,101 (update: after Weds'. game, this figure now stands at 2,320,400 with one home game remaining). In their last four games, three of which were played on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – traditionally the best days of the week for attendance – the Nationals have averaged 26,585 (update: after Weds.' game, this figure now stands at 27,245). That same average in their two remaining games against the Marlins would not be enough to keep Nationals Park from becoming the worst attended new ballpark opening since 1991.

One could easily parade a list of issues that have surrounded the club and team this year as partial reasons for the woeful attendance. Low morale created by ownership, injuries, bad trades, an inability to sign top draft picks. You name it, they're all there. On top of those issues, radio and television ratings are beyond terrible, so the apathy runs deep (see The Nationals Need to Break the Status Woe). On Tuesday, Tim Lemke and Mark Zuckerman of The Washington Times published the article that best covers the incredibly dismal season for the club (Nationals ‘miserable’ on, off field).

As I was quoted in the article:

"For a first year in a ballpark, it's not good," said Maury Brown, founder of the Business of Sports Network and publisher of bizofbaseball.com. "You have to add the caveat that they weren't very good and they were decimated by injuries. But it's just not good, and excuses only go so far."

To expand on the idea that excuses only go so far, the research detailed below tells a tale in which a team's won/loss record doesn’t have much impact on first-season attendance for  new stadiums or for expansion teams – an excuse many a die-hard Nationals fan has used to rationalize this glaring issue. As you will see, the fans making excuses don't have much to hang their hat on.

Of the 18 ballparks built from 1991 to 2008 when Nationals Park opened, there were some awful on-field records: 100 losses by the Pirates, 99 by the Devil Rays, 98 by the Marlins, and 97 by the Diamondbacks. Each of those teams had attendance figures above the 2008 Nationals. And in the case of the Diamondbacks, short of the Orioles, they had the highest first-year attendance of the 16 stadiums during this era. Worse for the Nationals, all those other teams play in smaller markets.

And if that's not bad enough, the Nationals could very easily see attendance in 2009 drop below this year’s figure as the honeymoon effect dissipates and season ticket renewals drop.

The Nationals have a chance for redemption, but it will require that owner Ted Lerner pull back from his current restrained stance and allow president Stan Kasten to do his stuff, otherwise, look for another year of the status woe.

To be taken seriously by fans in the coming off-season, the Nationals ownership will have to be equally as serious about repairing the damage done since purchasing the club.

Attendance by Ballpark - Camden Yards Era
Club
Ballpark
Year
Attendance
Record
Finished
Orioles
Camden Yards
1992
3,684,650
79-83
4th
(AL East)
D-Backs
Bank One Ballpark
1998
3,610,290
65-97
5th
(NL West)
Cardinals
Busch III
2006
3,407,104
83-78
World Series Champions
Rockies
Coors Field
1995
3,390,037
77-67
2nd
(NL West)
Giants
Pacbell Park
2000
3,318,800
97-65
1st
(NL West)
Marlins
Joe Robbie Stadium
1993
3,064,847
64-98
6th
(NL East)
Phillies
Citizen Bank Park
2004
3,250,092
86-76
2nd
(NL East)
Astros
Enron Field
2000
3,056,139
72-90
4th
(NL Central)
Padres
Petco Park
2004
3,016,752
87-75
3rd
(NL West)
White Sox
New Comiskey Park
* 1991
2,934,154
87-75
2nd
(AL West)
Mariners
Safeco Field
^ 2000
2,914,624
91-71
2nd
(AL West)
Rangers
Ballpark at Arlinton
1994
Æ 2,860,798
52-62
1st
(AL West)
Indians
Jacobs Field
1994
§ 2,816,716
66-47
2nd
(AL Central)
Brewers
Miller Park
2001
2,811,041
68-94
4th
(NL Central)
Devil Rays
Florida Suncoast Dome
1998
2,506,293
63-99

5th
(AL East)

Tigers
Comerica Park
2000
2,438,617
79-83
3rd
(AL Central)
Reds
Great American
Ball Park
2003
2,355,259
69-93
5th
(NL Central)
Nationals
Nationals Park
2008
æ 2,297,101
æ 59-98
5th
(NL East)

 

* Pre-dates Camden Yards (Opened on April 18, 1991, just under one year before OPACY opened on April 6, 1992)

^ First full season. Opened July15, 2000.

Æ Based on projected average attendance due to strike shortened season. Actual, 2,503,198 over 63 games. Average of 39,733 per game.

§ Based on projected average attendance due to strike shortened season. Actual, 1,995,174 over 51 games. Average of 39,121 per game.

æ As of 9/24/08. One game left in season at Nationals Park

Source: Baseball Reference, ESPN, Business of Sports Network research


Maury Brown

Maury 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 is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and 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.

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

 
Tickets for Final Games At Yankee Stadium Running As High As $18,300 PDF Print E-mail
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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 11 September 2008 23:22

Yankee StadiumIt seems that more than a few people wish to send off Yankee Stadium, or if not, profit on the secondary ticket market.

After 26 World Championships and more than 7,000 baseball games, the final countdown for Yankee Stadium commences on Friday when the Yankees begin their last regular-season homestand.

More than 150 million people have watched baseball games in the "House That Ruth Built" during the stadium's storied history. With the Major League Baseball regular season winding to a close, fans have only 10 Yankee home games left to experience it. That's 518,000 seats.

According to secondary ticket market company RazorGator, seats to each and every home game remain available. Data shows that ticket prices are not just hot for the final regular season game at Yankee Stadium, but the entire final homestand. The average ticket price for the finale on Sept. 21 is $1,111 while the median for the other nine games is $222. The New York Mets finale at Shea Stadium is the next most-coveted ticket, averaging $425. Overall, the average price for the home finales of all 30 MLB teams is $98, according to RazorGator. Several teams have tickets selling for as low as $5.

"The reality of this being 'it' for a venue as rich in history as Yankee Stadium is definitely bringing a huge number of fans to the market," says Scott Roback, Vice President of Business Development for RazorGator.

"Imagine the memories that started with a trip to Yankee Stadium, so many fans are looking for one last memory, a chance to say they 'were there' and a chance to say goodbye."

Ticket price averages on RazorGator, highs and lows for each Yankee game of the homestand are:

Date / Opponent
Avg
Low
High
Sept. 12 vs. Tampa Bay
$205
$50
$1,220
Sept. 13 vs. Tampa Bay
$320
$80
$1,220
Sept. 14 vs. Tampa Bay
$231
$55
$1,098
Sept. 15 vs. Chicago (AL)
$155
$45
$1,477
Sept. 16 vs. Chicago (AL)
$133
$35
$926
Sept. 17 vs. Chicago (AL)
$163
$42
$2,380
Sept. 18 vs. Chicago (AL)
$189
$58
$1,220
Sept. 19 vs. Baltimore
$265
$69
$4,210
Sept. 20 vs. Baltimore
$340
$109
$4,820
Sept. 21 vs. Baltimore
$1,111
$274
$18,300

The averages around the rest of the majors are as follows for RazorGator:

Boston ($326), Chicago Cubs ($183), Philadelphia ($176), Milwaukee ($142), Los Angeles Angels ($142), Houston ($112), Chicago White Sox ($104), Tampa Bay ($95), San Francisco ($84), Los Angeles Dodgers ($81), Toronto ($78), Minnesota ($69), Arizona ($63), Atlanta ($60), Seattle ($53), St. Louis ($50), Oakland ($48), Colorado ($45), Baltimore ($44), San Diego ($43), Detroit ($39), Cincinnati ($39), Washington ($36), Texas ($35), Pittsburgh ($27), Cleveland ($24) and Kansas City ($21).

Source: RazorGator


Maury Brown

Maury 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 is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and 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.

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

 

 
At Current Pace, MLB Will Not Have Fifth Consecutive Attendance Record PDF Print E-mail
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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 09 September 2008 00:00

MLBMajor League Baseball has enjoyed four straight seasons of record paid attendance, but at the current pace, the league will be coming in just below last year’s record figure.

As of Saturday, Sept. 6, average attendance for the league is at 32,614, down from 32,757 on the same date last year, or a 0.44 percent decline. The drop in paid attendance (tickets sold, not turnstile clicks) comes as both Yankee and Shea Stadiums see their swansongs, and a new ballpark opened in Washington, D.C.

The Yankees, already exceptionally popular and running at 92.2 percent of capacity, have only seen an increase of 0.46 percent or 243 more tickets sold per game on average from last season. The Bronx Bombers are seeing nearly 53,000 fans per game (52,982) compared to 52,739 at the point last season, even with this being the final year in The House That Ruth Built.

The biggest declines from last year to this come from the Rangers (-20.58 percent), Padres (-13.75 percent), Athletics (-13.42 percent) and Mariners (-12.10 percent).

Those offsetting the losses with the largest attendance gains over last season are the Rays (20.51 percent), Nationals (17.87 percent), and Rockies (12.94 percent).

Attendance losses are out weighing gains with less than a month to go in the season. 17 clubs are posting declines compared to 13 posting increases.

Random Notes…

  • The White Sox, who have been sitting atop the AL Central, are seeing a decline from an average of 33,141 at this point last season to 30,831 in 2008, a drop of 7.49 percent.
  • The Red Sox are now the all-time consecutive sellout champions. As of Monday, September 8, the club from Boston has sold out 456 straight games.
  • Unsurprisingly, teams that made the playoffs last year are, for the most part, posting paid attendance gains. The Angels, Red Sox, Indians, Yankees, Diamondbacks, Cubs, Rockies and Phillies combine for an increase of 3.41 percent over last season. Who’s muddying the waters in this group? The Indians are averaging over 1,500 less per game this season than last or a decline of 5.66 percent. The only other team on the decline out of the 2007 postseason lot? The Angels, who are running away with the AL West (1.21 percent below this time last season).
  • In the futility department, all the teams in last place, with the exception of two, are drawing less than last season. The Orioles are close to even (only an average of 26 less than last season), with the others drawing less than 2007 being the Pirates (-8.81 percent), Mariners (-12.10 percent), and Padres (-13.75 percent) as the decliners out of the bottom feeders. The Nationals are up 17.87 percent, but that’s misleading. At 18th out of the 30 clubs, the Nats will wind up with one of the worst average attendance figures for a new ballpark opening since the Camden Yards era. Currently, the Nationals are at an average of 29,487. Last season at RFK? An average of 24,217. The other team that’s posting a modest gain? The Royals at 20,285, an increase of 1.60 percent or 324 per game.
  • The Rays are the darlings of the league, and are posting the highest increase from this time last season at 20.51 percent. But even with the sizable increase, the Rays are still the fifth worst in the league for an average paid attendance at 21,573.
  • Is it a sinking ship? Consider this: The Mariners are averaging 29,433, or 19th in the league in overall paid attendance. Remember, seven years ago when Safeco Field saw its first full season, the Mariners were the league’s best draw beating out San Francisco and the Yankees. Of course, they won 116 games that season.

At a league average of 143 persons less a game this season compared to last, MLB could still pull off another record attendance season, but it will be close. Time is running out. The Nationals and Pirates are already offering cuts in ticket prices for the remainder of the season, and promotions tied to gas cards have been done in an attempt to get families out of the house and into the ballpark during the economic downturn. That fifth record attendance season could happen, but chances are fading.

MLB's high water mark for attendance came last year with 79,502,524 in paid attendance, or an average of 32,785 per game. The record shattered the previous season's record mark of 76,042,787, or 31,423 per game and an increase of 4.6 percent over the 2006 record figure.

Even if MLB doesn’t break the attendance record, it will be close and will most likely be the second highest attendance figure of all time. When you look at how well the All-Star Game went, and other business aspects, the odds are that even if attendance were down a smidgen at the end of the season, revenues will be up. MLB will certainly crow about that even if they don’t chest thump on attendance.

An extra special thanks goes out to David W. Smith of the indispensable Retrosheet for supplying the data for this research.


Maury Brown

Maury 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 is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and 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.

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

 
Nationals Lower Season Ticket Prices for Next Season PDF Print E-mail
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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 04 September 2008 13:57

NatsWith the Washington Nationals drawing far fewer fans to their new stadium than most anyone anticipated, the club will lower prices for season tickets next season.

The Nationals are currently averaging 29,486 in the inaugural season of Nationals Park. They rank 18th in attendance through 71 games, or 70.4 percent of capacity. As reported by The AP:

Prices will go down for 7,500 seats in the 41,888-seat Nationals Park, mostly in the outfield sections. Seats in most of the discounted sections will cost $5 to $10 less per game, lowering the stadium’s average season ticket price for a non-premium seat to approximately $29.

For the most expensive seats which are behind home plate and cost as much as $400 per game, the Nationals don’t intend to lower prices. In many televised games, those seats have often been empty, thus giving the Nationals a further negative appearance this season and leading TV viewers to believe game attendance is poor.


Maury Brown

Maury 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 is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and 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.

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Yankees Release Season Ticket Prices for New Stadium PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Saturday, 30 August 2008 12:54
New Yankee Stadium Seating ChartBe prepared to pay more for the best seats in the house when the new Yankee Stadium opens next season. The club released ticket prices for the new stadium yesterday. Fans can expect to pay $75-$100 for some seats in the outfield, while bleacher seats will remain the same as they were this year at $12. The 122 best seats in the Legends section (see the dark blue in the graphic and associated table) will run from $500-$2,500. Sections 115-125 – the next best field level seats behind the Legends section will run $325.

Even with the exorbitant prices, the Yankees are easily selling full season equivalents. As reported by Ronald Blum of The AP:

In all, the Yankees have sold more than 3,500 of approximately 4,300 premium seats on the field, main and terrace levels, chief operating officer Lonn Trost said Friday.

"Other than those 4,300 seats, which are going to subsidize everybody else, the prices are not" being raised significantly, Trost said. "And remember, 24,000-plus seats will have no price increase at all."

In a sign that season ticket sale demand is high, a very limited number of sections will be offered under 41-game or 20-game partial season plans.

One section of the Field level, two in the Main level, the majority of the Terrace level, and Grandstands will be available for the flexible plans. Cost above the season-ticket level will range from a high of $10 to no price increase in the Grandstands.

Note that these prices are for full or partial season ticket plans. Single game ticket prices have not yet been released.

(Select the thumbnail image above to see a complete seating chart associated to the graph below)

  Seating Category Full Season Price 41-Game, 20-Game, Partial Season Price
  Legends ^ $500-$2500 N/A
  Field $325 N/A
  Field $225 N/A
  Field $175 N/A
  Field $150 N/A
  Field $100 N/A
  Field $75 $85
  Main Suite * N/A
  Main $100 N/A
  Main $75 N/A
  Main $60 $70
  Main $45 $50
  Luxury Suite * N/A
  Club Suite * N/A
  Party Suite * N/A
  Terrace Suite * N/A
  Terrace $65 N/A
  Terrace $55 $75
  Terrace $40 $45
  Grandstand $25 $25
  Grandstand $20 $20
  Bleachers $12 $12

^ Based on news story in New York Post. 122 seats. First five to eight rows. Old Yankee Stadium has 162 Legends seats ringing the infield, mostly in two rows, with tickets priced up to $1,000 a game.

Table and Graphic Source: New York Yankees


Maury Brown

Maury 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 is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and 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.

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

 
In Baseball’s Smallest Market, Brewers Pass 3 Million Tickets Sold PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 29 August 2008 13:43
BrewersYesterday morning, the Milwaukee Brewers announced that they surpassed 3 million total tickets sold for the 2008 season, a staggering figure considering Milwaukee is MLB’s smallest market based on Nielson Media Research ranking the city as the 34th largest in the US.

The Brewers have currently sold out 21 consecutive home games and already have 37 sellouts with 16 home games remaining. Both marks are all-time highs for the franchise.

"Quite simply, 3 million fans is an incredible number and all credit goes to the fans who have demonstrated their support all season long," said Brewers Executive Vice President Rick Schlesinger. "We thank each and every one of the fans who have come through the Miller Park gates this season and hope that they take as much pride in this record as we do."

Through 65 home games, the Brewers average attendance is 37,994, 9th highest in Major League Baseball. The team's previous high for home attendance in one season was 2,869,144 (an average of 35,421), set last year.

Considering the Brewers' attendance since their inception, and when the city was home to the Braves, this is a testament to new owner Mark Attanasio and the staff he has installed. As Don Walker of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports,

In 1970, the Brewers’ first year in Milwaukee, the team drew 933,690 fans. This season, the Brewers passed that milestone by the 28th home game of the season.

Not even in the heyday of the old Milwaukee Braves, when the team was the toast of the town and ranked first in the National League in attendance each year from 1953 to 1958, did the franchise come close to 3 million. The high-water mark for the Braves was in 1957, when they drew 2,215,404.

Even more remarkable, Walker notes that 3 million people is “roughly the amount of people who live in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, Washington, Racine, Kenosha, Brown, Dane, Outagamie and Winnebago counties.” According to a 2006 US Census Bureau estimate, the entire population of Wisconsin is just over 5.5 million people.


Maury Brown

Maury 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 is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and 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.

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

 
Orioles Welcome 100 Millionth Fan in Club History PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Saturday, 23 August 2008 22:09
OriolesLast week, the Orioles welcomed the 50 millionth fan to Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Today, the club announced that the 100 millionth fan in franchise history went through the turnstiles prior to the game with the New York Yankees.

Velma Greene, a resident of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, was designated as the 100 millionth person to attend a game in franchise history.


Greene, 48, is a middle school math teacher in Fairfax County , Virginia and will begin her 27th year in education this Monday. In an on-field presentation during the game, the Orioles and the Maryland Lottery presented Greene with $100,000, season tickets for five years, and a package of VIP amenities that included a seat upgrade and a commemorative jersey. All fans at tonight’s historic game received a pin commemorating the event.


“I’m overwhelmed,” said Greene. “It still hasn’t sunk in. This is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I’m truly grateful to the Orioles and the Maryland Lottery for this.”


In 38 seasons (2,716 dates) at Memorial Stadium, the Orioles drew 49,845,588 fans, an average of 18,353 fans per game. Through last night’s game, the Orioles have drawn 50,122,561 fans in 1,313 dates at Camden Yards, an average of 38,174 fans. They have drawn 40,000 or more fans on 760 of 1,313 regular season dates at Oriole Park (58%), including 10 dates so far in 2008.


As mentioned, on Tuesday, the Orioles welcomed the 50 millionth fan in Camden Yards history, Kevin Gracie. A 24-year-old law school student from Ellicott City, Gracie was designated as the 50 millionth fan and received $50,000, season tickets for five years and a package of VIP amenities.


Source: Baltimore Orioles


Maury Brown

Maury 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 is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and 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.

 
Orioles Welcome 50 Millionth Fan to Oriole Park at Camden Yards PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 20 August 2008 15:52

Yesterday at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the Orioles welcomed the 50 millionth fan in ballpark history prior to their game against the Boston Red Sox. Kevin Gracie, a 24-year-old Ellicott City resident, was designated as the 50 millionth person to attend a game at Camden Yards.

Opened in 1992, Oriole Park is the quickest ballpark to achieve the 50 million fan milestone in the history of baseball. In 17 seasons, Oriole Park at Camden Yards has hosted the third-most fans in baseball, trailing only Dodger Stadium and Yankee Stadium.

Gracie, a second-year student at the University of Baltimore School of Law, has attended Orioles games since age four. In an on-field presentation prior to the game, the Orioles and the Maryland Lottery presented Gracie with $50,000, season tickets for five years, and a package of VIP amenities that included a seat upgrade, a commemorative jersey and limousine transportation from ZBest. All fans at tonight’s historic game received a pin commemorating the event.
 
“This is unbelievable,” Gracie said. “Being an Orioles fan really paid off. I’m as excited about the season tickets as I am about the $50,000, because it means I’ll be able to come to even more games.”

Yesterday’s attendance milestone is the first of two the club will reach during this homestand. Through Monday night’s game, the Orioles were 157,273 people shy of reaching the 100 millionth fan plateau in franchise history. The designated 100 millionth fan will receive $100,000, season tickets for five years and the VIP package from the Orioles and the Maryland Lottery. All fans in attendance at that history-making game will receive a 100 millionth fan commemorative pin.

Source: Baltimore Orioles


Maury Brown

Maury 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 is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and 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.

 
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