Monday, May 9, 2011

A Thought On The Attendance

-- 11,373 fans showed up tonight. That's not a big surprise, even with all the media overkill on being at .500 after 34 games. It was a promotion-free Monday night, plus the Bucco faithful have seen early success before. It may create a buzz around town, but it won't spin turnstiles unless it goes deeper into the season.

The front office has spent years using promotions to drive attendance instead of product. The real baseball fan has been ignored in a fashion by that blueprint.

Winning, of course, is a good thing; there's been far more Bucco talk around the water cooler this year than usual, thanks to their performance and the Pens' early exit from the playoffs. They're now in a nice position to reach a tipping point in attendance, if they keep on winning (and the rain stops).

Remember, the hard-core fans are still holding their breaths, waiting on that five-game skid that has inevitably followed whenever the Bucs sniffed at respectability. They want to see fireworks on the field, not from a river barge. Once bitten, twice shy...

If the Pirates keep up their competitive play and attendance continues to lag after school is out, then there's some reason to be concerned. But right now the team is just wooing its fans. They have decades of disappointment to overcome before they win them over.

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