With 59 home games in the books, the Indians have drawn 1,051,837 fans – a number which has been boosted as of late thanks to back-to-back (rockin!) firework nights and the induction of former center fielder Kenny Lofton into the team’s Hall of Fame. While these events have been beneficial for walk-up sales and all-around fan morale, every other non-event game since opening day has been sparsly attended at best, compounding the term “non-event.”
Using the pace which has been set thus far, the team will draw approximately 1.43 million fans for the entire 2010 season. For comparison purposes, the team drew almost twice this number as recent as 2002 when attendance totals were north of 2.6 million fans. Coincidentally, 2002 was the last year that the Indians were above the American Leauge average – a number that typically flucutates around 2.4 million.
If these figures hold up through the duration of the regular season, it would provide the team with a 23-percent decline year-over-year as the 2009 season provided the Indians front office with 1.76 million fans. It was also the 2009 season where team owner Larry Dolan claimed that they had lost $16 million, forcing them to cut ties with players like Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez. Despite another bout of cost-cutting trades this past summer, it is safe to assume that the financial situation would be similar, if not worse, for the 2010 season.
In 1992, at the old Cleveland Municipal Stadium, the Indians drew 1.22 million fans – not counting the 81 appearances by the Marlboro Man out in deep center field. While the team would win 76 games that season, it was one year removed from a 105-loss season after Hargrove took over following John McNamara being relieved of his duties.
Currently, the Indians are on pace to win 66 games for the 2010 season, one game better than last season’s 65-win mark.
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