Monday, August 24, 2015

Can Alex Gordon and Joba Chamberlain Reverse the Attendance Slide at the Trailer Park?

After plateauing in 2012 as the "new ballpark smell" wore off at former Omaha Royals' new ballpark out in Sarpy County, attendance began to drop the last two seasons. Not a huge surprise; any new venue always sees a spike in attendance as people rush to see the new facility. The trick is to capitalize on it while you can and expand your customer base.  As I asked in 2010:

I fully expect Royals attendance to increase in 2011, but that's not the question.  It's where Royals attendance will be in 2015, once the "new ballpark smell" has worn off.

Well, we kind of know the answer now.  Average attendance prior to this homestand was 5,335 fans a night.  That's below the 2008 average of 5,375 a night. That's two years before the "final season at Rosenblatt" and the ensuing interest in "one last season of nostalgia" mind you.  Prior to building the new park, Royals attendance was increasing every it's going in the opposite direction.

Or at least it was until it was announced that the Kansas City Royals were assigning former Nebraska baseball legends Alex Gordon and Joba Chamberlain to Omaha. It never hurts ticket sales around Omaha when you can offer a chance to see a couple of former Husker legends, so I'd be shocked if the final average attendance doesn't top the 2009 average when the season is over. But let's put the credit where it's due: Husker Power.

Mind you, I doubt that the ownership of the Omaha Storm Chasers is all that concerned about it. They've got a sweetheart deal in Sarpy County with the ability to charge more for tickets and parking, so even if attendance is down, the revenue is up.

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