Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Pirates Attendance On The Rise!

For all the hoopla and outrage surrounding the Pirates after the Nate McLouth trade, it's somewhat surprising to me to see that the Pirates are actually ahead of last year's attendance numbers.

"Considering the country's economic instability, the city's two-month fascination with its hockey team and less than dazzling results from the ballclub, the Pirates organization remains plenty pleased with its attendance marks now 35 games into an 81-game home slate.

Heading into Monday's game against the Cubs, the Pirates have had a total home attendance of 658,402, which averages to 18,811 per game. At the 35-game mark in 2008, the average attendance sat at 16,748.

That difference represents a 12.32 percent increase."
In the grand scheme of things, this 12% increase doesn't do much when you compare the Pirates with the other 30 baseball teams. The Pirates still rank 28th in attendance, a very embarrassing statistic when you consider just how great of a sports town Pittsburgh is.

"In light of what's going on with the economy and the industry, we're happy with where we are now," Pirates president Frank Coonelly said. "We certainly have a lot of work to do to stay ahead of last year's pace."

After yesterday's trade of Nyjer Morgan, it wouldn't surprise me if the Pirates have even more work to do if they are going to surpass last year's pace. Trading away the popular, scrappy left fielder when the team is only 6 games back was, as expected, very unpopular with the players and probably with the fans as well.

No one ever said rebuilding was easy.

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