It’s time for the Orioles “to get clean”

August 20, 2012 | Drew Forrester

It’s time for the Orioles “to get clean”

It’s going to take more than winning to get people to fill the seats in September.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying folks aren’t going to go to those Yankees and Rays home games next month if the Orioles are still in the race.  They’ll draw people to the stadium.

But will they draw 35,000 or 40,000 per-night, like they should with the games taking on a near “do or die” status?

I don’t know.

Here’s what I do know:  I was an 81-game plan season ticket holder a year ago.  That’s right.  The guy that some nitwits in town think “hates the team” plunked down a check for $2,400 in 2011 to own a pair of season tickets in left field.  This season, for a variety of personal reasons, I didn’t renew my seats.  But last year, I was a rarity in Baltimore.  I was an Orioles season ticket holder.

Do you know how many times the Orioles marketing folks have reached out to me or any other season ticket holder who dropped their seats prior to the 2012 season and offered me some sort of incentive or reason to attend a game this season?

None.

Not once.

You mean to tell me there wasn’t a Tuesday night home game in May or June when the club only had 12,000 tickets pre-sold that they couldn’t send all 2011 season ticket holders who didn’t renew a nice nice photocopy-signed-letter from Dan Duquette offering either free seats or a $5.00 ticket?

I haven’t received one e-mail.

Not one piece of literature in the mail.

Nothing.

That’s a start, for the Orioles, as far as attendance in September is concerned.

You want 35,000 or more there when the Rays come to town next month?

Why not go back over the last five years and invite EVERY former season ticket holder to one of those games for some sort of “can’t-turn-that-down” price.  It might just be $8.00 in the upper deck…but make the offer.  Do something to remind those folks that you haven’t forgotten about them, even though, honestly, you have, as evidenced by my own inbox and mailbox being empty all season.

Like I said, that’s a start.

Imagine 10,000 or more people (and a source tells me the club had nearly 25,000 season ticket holders in 2004 and now sports about 13,000) – some of whom might have purchased 4, 6 or even 8 tickets in their season ticket account in years past – getting an email from the Orioles saying, “Hey, we know you used to be here a lot…why not come back in September and see what we’ve done to upgrade our product?”  Included would be a $5.00 ticket offer, a buy-one-get-one-free option or some other attractive sales incentive that might get them to say, “I think I’ll go back to the ballpark.”

It’s not rocket science.

It’s just being nice, mainly.

Here’s another suggestion for the brass.  Again, there’s no sense in beating the dead horse that is “what has happened to the Orioles’ attendance?”.  Instead, let’s just look at September – only – and figure out how to get people to the games.

This one is so easy even a Steelers fan could figure it out.

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12 Comments For This Post

  1. Bill Says:

    Don’t usually agree with you but your right the day of ticket surcharge is just foolish. Wanted to o to the red sox game last week, cheapest ticket was19 dollars. Even the red sox and Yankee fans don’t sell the park out any more. Not on the week days any way. That’s another policy that should change. But I will say the town itself is much more excited about the team. I have any friends , some transplanted from other cities who could care less for years ago are beginning to embrace the team and watch them on a nightly basis, hopefully those type do cone out in September. The team is very likable and deserves support. (DF: Of course you don’t usually agree with me, you’ve been apologizing for the team for 5 years or so. That’s OK. I appreciate the fact you finally admitted the club has been gouging people on the surcharge. Must have been tough for you to do that…)

  2. sal Says:

    go os, drew is part of the gestapo of the dinky wnst, who like to bash the os even when there winning because the cant get press passes, bunch of cry babies…

  3. Bill Says:

    Well it’s hard to agree with you when 90 percent of the time your wrong and biased. Nice to see you wrote a blog on the Lukejones.net website. (DF: Oh, right, I forgot. You’re the guy (that’s “you’re”, not “your”) that’s in charge of deciding when I’m wrong and biased. LOL. Say hi to Dan Duquette today when you take him his afternoon bottle of water.)

  4. tsnamm Says:

    All great ideas Drew…now lets see if they’re even going to play meaningful baseball in Sep…every baseball analyst has wondered what smoke and mirrors the O’s have been using to stay in contention, and now it looks like the air may be out of the balloon…with the Ray’s passing us and the Yankees not slowing down, we can hope to stay in contention for the 2nd wild card spot. The team did as close to next to nothing to improve itself at the trade deadline to make that push, instead hoping for more luck and magic. The organization will need to address the starting pitching, with the team still winning in spite of the fact that the starting pitching has been mediocre at best if not overall poor. That is not going to continue indefinitely and will end probably sooner rather than later. This year has been nothing short of a miracle, and if the team is truly trying to improve, they need to face facts and not keep wishing for miracles to make them relevant again.

  5. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    Wow, that must have been one hell of a vacation you were on. To think that anything you said is going to happen is foolish thinking. Nice article but, the O’s are not going to change for you or the fans, why be nice when 50 mill profit seems pretty good, without saying we are sorry for our mistakes.

  6. unitastoberry Says:

    If the Os compete and are in it to the end that’s going to bring back some old guys like me. In fact I’m looking at buying some tics for after Labor day just in case.

  7. Jason Manelli Says:

    Totally agree, the O’s have been behind on PR for the last decade, and they usually take your advice a couple of years after you give it! So I look for them to droop the surcharge sometime around the summer of 2014 or so.

  8. BudIce05 Says:

    Got my Eddie Orange Jersey and Brooks White Jersey for the track down I-476 and subsequently to I-95 to support our O’s secure a playoff spot. Like I stated before my love for the O’s as a ball team exceeds my disdain for Pete and his yes men. Especially when they are winning as they have this year.

  9. Robert Says:

    As long as that same-day surcharge stays in place I will do the same & stay away. As you implied, a permanent policy reversal (not just this September) & an apology would go a long way to repairing the burned bridge, otherwise, I just as soon spend my spring through autumn free time doing far more enjoyable activities, like riding my bike, tending my vegetable garden, throwing a frisbee, or anything active outside (we only have from April-October to enjoy the outdoors in these parts). I suppose I owe the O’s brass an thanks for showing me that there is life without baseball, and not only that, it’s much better than watching the team on tv or in person. Cheers.

  10. bill Says:

    Thanks for the great work. You guys at WNST are the best. That’s why I read the site every day and comment on everything.

  11. bill Says:

    Does anyone know how I can get rid of this premature gray hair I have? And who should I see about fixing my teeth? No one up here in Dover, PA seems to know how to do it.

  12. bill Says:

    I, Bill Neuhaus, do not like WNST. I hope all you know that by now. (DF: I couldn’t really tell…but thanks for clarifying that, Bill.)

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