Pack the Park

How often is it that Tiger fans wake up in May and find their team with the 2nd best record in baseball? The answer is basically never. And yet the Tigers rank ahead of only Kansas City, Florida, and Tampa in terms of average attendance.

They are averaging 21, 257 fans per game, which is just a hair below where they were after 14 home dates last year when they were averaging 21,334.

Now last year’s ticket sales were certainly buoyed because of the All Star game. Fans that wanted to go the All Star game had to buy season ticket packages. I don’t know how many full-season equivalents didn’t renew this year, but it is probably safe to assume that there were at least 1000-2000. So in terms of genuine spontaneous interest, ticket sales are probably up this year.

But there is still the fact that 26 teams are still out drawing the Tigers.

We often hear how attendance really picks up in June and July for the Tigers – which it does. School lets out and the weather gets warmer. But what about all the other cities that also have school, and cold weather?

Then there is the historical trend of Detroit fielding bad teams, which probably lends the most credence. The Tigers haven’t been top of mind for a long time. While people are certainly buzzing about the Tigers this year, that hasn’t translated into a surge in improved attendance yet.

Part of that surge may be attributable to the schedule and timing. With the Tigers first homestand, which constituted half of their home games, they only played one night game. While people are willing to ditch work on occasion, doing it for a whole week is tough. Despite that, the team still managed a couple of games with 8,000 walk up sales. The next homestand featured a couple of drizzly nights against the Royals, which will never be a bid draw.

Now unfortunately with the team returning home for 6 games, rain is forecast for the whole week. But there are still plenty of reasons to head down.

If you want to chance the weather though, tonight would be a great opportunity. The Tigers and Team 1270 are offering upper box seats that normally cost $20 for $5 in their Pack the Park promotion. Wednesday will feature Justin Verlander against Johan Santana. Friday night the equally surprising Reds come to town – and the Tigers are undefeated on Fridays.

So I guess my question is, has the Tigers start swayed you to attend more games? If not, what are you waiting for? Is it a matter of believing in the team, or has it just not worked out logistically/economically? Or have you bought more tickets, but just for future dates that haven’t come up yet (ie Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals)?