Attendance at Cleveland Indians games was down this season, but that didn’t stop the team from showing a huge increase in ticket revenue.
Cleveland ranked 28th in Major League Baseball with just 19,661 tickets distributed per game this season. That was down slightly from last year when they averaged 19,797.
However, the team actually showed an increase of approximately 20% in ticket revenue according to Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com. The increase was due to the team giving away fewer free tickets through promotions as well as a dynamic pricing system that encouraged fans to purchase tickets earlier.
In MLB, attendance figures represent the number of tickets distributed and not necessarily the number of tickets sold or even the number of people in the stands. This was an issue during the Red Sox’ “sellout” streak which was often enhanced by having unsold tickets distributed for free by various means.
Certainly teams want higher attendance figures, but this is a clear example that they may not be indicative of how well the team is actually doing at the box office.
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