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The Brewers have already sold a million tickets

Feb 2, 2010, 10:31 AM EST

I mentioned this morning that Brewers fans were some of the better fans I’ve seen — a point some of you have disputed in the comments.  Fair enough, as my assessment of them is based on anecdotal “man, I’m sure having fun at this ballgame with all these Brewers fans” stuff. By some more objective measures they may not stack up.  Of course, by one objective measure they certainly do:

The Milwaukee Brewers have already reached 1 million tickets sold for the 2010 season. The
franchise reached the milestone on Monday. It was the second-earliest
date the club has reached that milestone. Last season, the Brewers
reached 1 million sold on Jan. 19. The Brewers hit 1 million despite the fact that the franchise has not yet begun group or single-game sales.

Last year the Brewers ranked ninth in overall attendance.  Every single team ahead of them plays in a larger MSA than Milwaukee, most of them much larger (come to think of it, I believe Milwaukee is the smallest MSA in all of Major League Baseball).  We can argue about who’s more knowledgeable, but I think Milwaukee may have them all beat for enthusiasm.

  1. Levi Stahl - Feb 2, 2010 at 10:40 AM

    Milwaukee’s attendance last year really impressed me. I knew they had been very successful in the past, but the bloom had worn off their new ballpark pretty quickly, it seemed, and I expected that the response to their playoff appearance, while real, would be relatively muted. Glad to see I was wrong, and that they’re holding strong going into this season.

  2. BC - Feb 2, 2010 at 10:46 AM

    I think Kansas City may be smaller than Milwaukee.

  3. BC - Feb 2, 2010 at 10:50 AM

    I stand corrected. Kansas City is the 27th largest metro area as of 2008, Milwaukee is 34th. Author 1, Commenter 0.

  4. TMW - Feb 2, 2010 at 10:52 AM

    It’s advantageous to have Cub fans sell that place out 9-10 times a year at Wrigley North to help put them in 9th place. It would be like if the Orioles moved to Newark and made sellouts for Yankee and Red Sox games that much more accessible.
    Twins fans crowd that stadium 3 times every year too.
    But it’s an excellent place to see a game.

  5. Jim Hiss - Feb 2, 2010 at 11:24 AM

    Like Minnesota, not bad for a team that was almost folded by Spud Selig.

  6. Doug - Feb 2, 2010 at 11:28 AM

    Leave to an idiot cub fan to take the credit for the BREWERS drawing 3 million fans a year. I knew it would be just a matter of time. Meanwhile, the million tickets sold figure only includes full and partial season ticket holders – very few, if any – are cubs or Twins fans. Individual and group tickets have yet to go on sale.

  7. TMW - Feb 2, 2010 at 12:00 PM

    Well, I’m not a Cub fan. And I tend to buy tickets through a season ticket holder who gives me a good price on Twins/Brewers games because he hopes to make most of cost back on selling them to Cub fans. I would be stunned if he was the only guy doing this.

  8. Doug - Feb 2, 2010 at 12:11 PM

    The effect that cubs fans and Twins fans on the Brewers final attendance figures is GROSSLY overrated. With 3 million in average attendance the Brewers average about 37,000 a game. Let’s say the 12 games that feature the cubs and Twins are sellouts at approxiamtely 43,000 per game. Those games account for about 12 games on the schedule. Let’s also say that if it wasn’t the cubs or Twins the Brewers actually only drew 30,000 for those 12 games on the schedule (about 20% less than the average attendance figures). The difference would be about 13,000 fans less for 12 games. Therefore:
    12 games x 13,000 tickets = 156,000 tickets
    The Brewers drew OVER 3 million last year – so basically without the cubs and Twins games on the schedule they would draw about 2.85 million fans. Still a pretty amazing figure for a market the size of Milwaukee. So before all you cubs and Twins fans start taking ALL the credit please realize it is the the fans of the BREWERS and the great people of WISCONSIN who make those turnstiles click – not you.

  9. TMW - Feb 2, 2010 at 12:37 PM

    Point taken. To be honest, the Brewers are the closest thing I have to an NL team and I honestly didn’t expect such a fiery, defensive response. I didn’t say anything incorrect. It is in fact advantageous to be helped out by Cub and Twins fans for 1/8 of the home games played. Cards fans are die-hards too that are willing to make that trip. I really didn’t mean to take anything away from Brewer fans because they’re great and the pre-game parking lot scene at a Brewers game is better than most in the league.

  10. Zonebrick - Feb 2, 2010 at 12:47 PM

    You’re all wrong! – – It’s the bratwurst!

  11. Doug - Feb 2, 2010 at 12:57 PM

    It’s just that we Brewer fans are quite tired of the whole “Wrigley North” moniker that the obnoxious cubs fans try hoisting on Miller Park. Then they also try to take credit for the Brewers excellent attendance figures – when really they only account for a slight increase.
    Your point that the Brewers are ‘helped’ by having the Twins and cubs as 1/8 of their schedule doesn’t really hold a lot of water. With three regionally alligned divisions within each league and a heavy divisional schedule that is complemented by the addition of an interleague series with a designated ‘regional’ rival -theoritically shouldn’t all teams be the beneficiaries of increased regional rivalries that increase attendance? Are the Brewers REALLY the only team that is helped because their schedule features games with rivals? Ultimately, the success of the Brewers attendance-wise is how they draw outside of the games that DO NOT feature rivals – and for the cubs, Twins or carDUInal fans to take credit for that is just misguided and wrong.

  12. Doug - Feb 2, 2010 at 12:58 PM

    You are right. It IS the bratwurst.

  13. lar @ wezen-ball - Feb 2, 2010 at 1:40 PM

    Just figured I’d jump in here and say that I pretty much agree with everything Doug is saying. Yes, the Brewers are helped by the Cubs and Twins games, but pretty much every team is helped by something like that. The Brewers are getting to 3 million fans these days because the fans are coming out to see all those other games, and it’s fun to be a part of.

  14. Mike - Feb 2, 2010 at 1:46 PM

    TMW only said the relative proximity to the Twins and Cubs helped, not that it was responsible for the good attendance. That’s fairly indisputable. Ask yourself why Bud worked to get the Brewers moved to the NL. It’s great that a somewhat small market draws so well. It’s a great park, a fun team, and a terrific atmosphere, but like everywhere else, people show up because the team is good. The two years after Miller Park opened, attendance was below 2 million.

  15. Doug - Feb 2, 2010 at 1:59 PM

    Of course proximity to rivals helps. That’s why the three divisions in each league are arranged roughly along geographic lines – to increase rivalries amongst clubs and ultimately attendance. The reason that attendace dropped so low two years after opening Miller Park is that that team lost 106 games that year. Who would really want to watch that? Once the luster of a new park wears off a team must WIN to draw fans – especially in a small market like Milwaukee. So in all reality the reason the Brewers have been drawing so well the last few seasons is not cubs fans or Twins fans – it is because they are fielding a competitive and interesting enough product that 30,000 people will show up to watch it on a Tuesday night in April against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Period.
    BTW- Anytime you mention Bud Selig and conspiracy theories it devalues everything else you are trying to argue.

  16. BC - Feb 2, 2010 at 2:14 PM

    It’s ALL ABOUT the bratwurst!!!

  17. Mike - Feb 2, 2010 at 2:50 PM

    Why did there have to be any conspiracy? It was baseball business. Are you suggesting Bud was indifferent as to where the Brewers landed when the league alignment question was decided? In 2004, when the Brewers got just over 2mm in attendance, the 10 Cubs games were over 20% of their attendance for the year and none of them were on the weekend. Admitting that it helps does not diminish the Brewers or their fans. It’s great they are doing so well.

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