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?
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.
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.
(Please see next page)