2011 Reds

Will Reds attendance increase as much as front office expects?

Steve Henson of Yahoo Sports has taken a look at the Reds off-season. He talks about this year’s payroll actually being lower than last, about how the deferred salaries could be a risk to the Reds future, etc…he also predicts that Renteria will be the starting SS, playing 100 games.

But he says this…

Reds brass believes attendance at the Great American Ballpark could increase from two million to nearly three million this season. That would take a lot of W’s.

With something like 145 games on TV, a tough economy, minor league / non affiliated teams (thus cheaper tickets, etc) in Dayton, Lexington, Indianapolis, Florence, etc, plus other factors that I hadn’t thought of….is this a reasonable expectation by the Reds front office?

Do you believe this team can/will draw almost one million more fans than it did last year?

17 thoughts on “Will Reds attendance increase as much as front office expects?

  1. One thing Henson doesn’t mention is the Bengals. Cincinnati, much to my chagrin, hasn’t been a baseball town for quite some time. It’s an NFL city. The Bengals have almost always been a disappointment, but this year, fan dissatisfaction has reached a boiling point. Or at least it appears that way. Fans may choose to begin spending their discretionary NFL income on the Reds and Jay Bruce jerseys instead of the men in stripes and Ochocinco jerseys.

    And, of course, the Reds front office continues to find ways cheapen the price and entice ticket buyers with dollar hot dogs, cool giveaways (remember the skateboard deck).

    The real issue is April/May. Fans in Cincinnati typically wait until the whether warms and the team proves they are for real before coming out in numbers. The Reds really need fans to go all in during the early months and not wait until June.

    This team is on the verge. If they can get off to a good start and real baseball fans come back, 2.8M is a real possibility.

  2. Good question…Ohio isn’t exactly in the best economic condition…I’m originally from Dayton and on my last visit back there I was horrified at what had become of my hometown…I really don’t think baseball is big on a lot of residents radars right now…I had weekend season tickets last year when I was still living back east and a lot of games I attended(aside from the civil rights game) had sparse crowds…it wasn’t until later in the season that they began filling in a little more…I’d love to say that management is right and that a young exciting team will bring the fans in but we’ll have to wait and see

  3. I think the Reds have done everything in their power to give the fans the best experience—food, promotions, quality product on the field, etc. Now it’s up to the fans. 2.4 million feels about right.

  4. I don’t know if I agree that it’s an NFL city, but I think the division is a lot closer than it used to be, IMO mostly b/c of year after year after year of Reds losing seasons. A losing season is baseball is a marathon…

    The spending on Bengals point is interesting though. I read somewhere recently where they made the point that the Reds are pushing their tickets right now, which is the same time that Bengal season ticket holders are trying to decide whether to renew or not.

    I’m sure that soP (son of Paul, aka Mike Brown) hates it when the Reds win…

  5. I don’t know if the reasons Bill cited will play a big role, but I do think a 50% jump in attendance is pretty unrealistic, regardless.

  6. More than “predict” that ER is going to be the starting SS he proclaims it without looking at what Reds executives have said.

    I’m not saying it’s not going to happen (much to my chagrin), but I think that he is misinformed more than predicting.

  7. I don’t think there’s any way 3 million happens for attendance. That an average of over 37k per game, or 88% capacity. Only 7 teams did that last year.

    I agree with Swaff, 2.4mn seems about right

  8. I think a jump from 2M to 2.5M in attendance is likely. The Reds have never had a season with 3M, so I wouldn’t expect that this year. It’s not unattainable in 2012 with a good performance this year (regular and postseason.)

    The Reds attendance in 2010 was almost identical to the 1999 Reds attendance (2,061,222.) In 2000, the Reds drew 2,577,371 to the ballpark.

    It went from 1,855,787 in 2002 up to 2,355,259 all on the basis of a new ballpark.

  9. I don’t see it–not with the corresponding tix prices. I also have to say, my Bengals fan/friends are not viewing it as either/or, Bengals/Reds. If 2M up 20% to 2.4M–that’s really darn good and the Reds should not really have a higher expectation. A good start is critical to make this happen, too.

  10. I think if the weather is good on the weekends and barring a face plant out of the box, I have no doubt the Reds attendance will be improved. Bad thing is that they there are too many clubs like the Pirates, no one will pay to see play. Some of those mid-week Pirate games drew NADA.

    2 million a year is like 25000 a game average, which considering those Pirate or Padres games, isn’t too bad for Cincy if you ask me. They only drew 2.5 million at the height of the Machine. Could they get there? Sure, but I think it is going to take another year or two of winning to clear out the stink.

    I think Cincy would be in an NFL city if it had a team run like an NFL club, but the ownership is probably been passed by the Bidwells and is now has to be the worst in the league. Al’s crazy, but at least he was good at it once. Bengals won’t get good for more than a flukey year until the Mike B. lets go of the club and hires some pros to run it right. Mike B.’s making money either way, so why should he care? Which is why the fans are finally starting to get wise and not show up.

    Cincy has had some bad clubs and been burned, they are loud and loyal fans, but they have been through about 20 years of some of the most ineptly run sports franchises in American Sports. Bad economy or not and more games on TV, I can see being a slow burn to try and get it so it is the place to be.

  11. I hope to add at least four to the total this year, driving down from Indy once or twice.

    I think the number of games on TV is the most limiting factor. The number should be high for exposure, but low enough that people have to pony up cash to see them now and then. And the in-stadium experience must be strong to get people off their couches.

  12. Much to my disdain .. The entire country .. with few exceptions is dominated by NFL Football .. Cincinnati is no exception . But I agree with others , the two biggest factors to influence attendance besides a winning team is (1) 145 games on local TV and (2) the weather .. Attendance will be up if the team contends but not by much over the 2,000,000 they drew in 2010

  13. If we get nice weather in April and May along with a decent Reds start out of the gate, the Reds can draw better than last year. The Reds marketing does a nice job with promotions especially in regards to special pricing.

  14. 3 million? Well…probably not. 2.5 million? That’s a lot more realistic, but even that might be pushing it, all things considered.

    I continue to think the Reds should jump on the RSN bandwagon as soon as they can.

  15. One comp – the Brewers went from 2.3M to 2.8M to 3.0M from 2006 to 2008. 2007 was their first winning season in forever, and 2008 was their WC year. I think an increase of 500,000 is realistic.

  16. I think their schedule helps this year in that a lot of their weekday games, especially beginning in June, are against opponents that draw better. Home weekday series starting June 6:

    Cubs
    Yankees
    Mets
    Rockies
    Phillies
    Cubs
    Astros

  17. Reds attendance after opening day doesn’t usually pickup until the end of May. If the Reds have a good start and play .500 plus baseball, they could draw 2.3 million. I don’t think they ever drew much more than 2.5 million in the Big Red Machine era

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