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The Dayton Dragons are about to sell out their 815th straight game

Jul 8, 2011, 11:20 AM EDT

Dayton Dragons

Hey Red Sox Nation: your sellout streak is nice. In a quaint, small-scale kind of way. One day, if you’re truly committed, you can show devotion like the fans of the Dayton Dragons have done for the past 11 years.

Eleven years in which they have sold out every single home game. That’s 815 games in a row. Every game they’ve played since they moved to Dayton in 2000. When they get their 815th, they’ll break the all-time professional sports record, currently held by the Portland Trailblazers.

OK, fine, tickets for the Dragons aren’t quite as pricey as they are at Fenway, so I’ll grant that there is an apples and oranges thing going on here. But you can’t deny how impressive the Dragons’ streak is.  Especially in an area like Dayton, with an economy that can be charitably referred to as “beyond crappy.” There’s a season ticket waiting list for the Dragons. A wait list for season tickets to a Class-A team.  It’s around 9,000 names long. In a park that holds just over 8,000.  Seriously, someone could kill every single current season ticket holder for the Dragons this afternoon, and you’d still be wait-listed.

The key is really the ballpark. It’s fun. It’s accessible. They keep it really clean and well-maintained and are huge on customer service there.  Reds’ prospects come and go, but people always have a reason to go to Fifth Third Field.

Or maybe they’re just coming out to see Delino Deshields. He’s the manager. And I just think that’s neat.

  1. Old Gator - Jul 8, 2011 at 11:32 AM

    All the best to the enthusiastic Dayton fans. On the other hand, anyone ever tried to buy a ticket to a Japanese big-league game on game day? I’m too preoccupied with rehearsals today but if my memory serves me right, one of the Japanese teams – and I don’t think it was Yomiuri, maybe Hanshin (?) – hasn’t had an empty seat since the end of the Shogunate. Sellouts are par for the course over there. Some Japanese colleagues of mine once emailed me to ask if it was true about the average attendance at Feesh games. They were horrified. I had to demur and attribute it to our low breeding rate, and blame that on the humidity.

  2. sdelmonte - Jul 8, 2011 at 11:37 AM

    I just love that the best name for a bank I’ve ever seen is on a ballpark. The Fifth Third Bank…makes me wonder what happened to the first four Third Banks.

    Our last best hope…Third Bank 5.

    They said it was daft to build a Third Bank in a swamp!

  3. wsubrian - Jul 8, 2011 at 11:41 AM

    It really is great to see a game in Dayton. It’s a very laid back casual and fun experience, and it seems to keep people coming back over and over again. Heck the Dragons haven’t even been all that competitive for a while now, but it really doesn’t matter. They draw in crowds, good or bad, which is a testament to the easy going good time people should have at a baseball game.

  4. Innocent Bystander - Jul 8, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    This is amazing to me. Even more so that it’s a minor league team. Forget the price difference. Despite what you, me and HBT readers think of minor league baseball as an extension of the majors, in reality it’s not why most fans go to the games. In the majors fans have strong allegiances and passion for their team. You could understand sell outs there. The minors are all about entertainment. Sure there are some fans that bleed Dragon blue (or whatever color they are), but they are few. Minor league baseball is more equivalent to seeing a movie or going bowling. Some people do those things 50-70 times a year, but to have 17,000 people who want to go to a minor league baseball game that many times in a summer is unbelievable. Good job by the team.

  5. motherscratcher23 - Jul 8, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    It’s a nice little park. Very kid friendly and a great place to watch a game.

    I’ve been there and have the Wily Mo Pena bobblehead to prove it.

  6. mornelithe - Jul 8, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    Let me know when the Dragon’s win the World Series

  7. Detroit Michael - Jul 8, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    Due to bank mergers (I’m guessing that’s the cause), Fifth Third Bank must be a big sports sponsor. The Dayton Dragons play in Fifth Third Field. The Toledo Mudhens play in Fifth Third Field. The West Michigan Whitecaps play in Fifth Third Ballpark. The University of Cincinati Bearcats basketball team plays in Fifth Third Arena.

    • wsubrian - Jul 8, 2011 at 12:54 PM

      5/3rd has a pretty wide grasp across the region, especially Ohio and Michigan. They are based out of Cincinnati I believe, but have big centers based out of: you guessed it, Dayton, Toledo, and around Kalamazoo/Grand Rapids area in Michigan, among other places.

  8. ngearhart1981 - Jul 8, 2011 at 12:45 PM

    This is great. To me there’s nothing sadder than chunks of empty seats at a baseball game, especially when a seat to lots of parks can be had for the price of a Big Mac value meal. Kudos to the Dayton Dragons!

  9. royalsfaninfargo - Jul 8, 2011 at 12:53 PM

    Minor league baseball is one of the true fun things about the industry. Most of the players will never make it to the bigs, but play anyways. For every Bryce Harper there are a thousand guys you never heard of that play for next to nothing compared to their major league compatriots. We have a local minor league team here in Fargo, ND that has a beautiful stadium and draws very nice. I just wander how long it will be before a Boston fan rips on this story for besmirching the almighty Sawx.

  10. stoutfiles - Jul 8, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    I was at the Dragons game last Friday; it was a great time as always. Two reasons they sellout.

    #1: Fan experience. After every side change they have events with the fans, shoot T-shirts, kiss cams, etc. They get people involved and make it more than just baseball.

    #2: Dayton. The city has a huge population including the surrounding areas, yet there is hardly anything to do here. They have hardly any competition when it comes to family activities.

  11. ballsout1950 - Jul 8, 2011 at 1:04 PM

    I went to a dragons game a few years back while visiting friends in Dayton. It is a wonderful park right along the river with a beautiful cumminity park just a short little walk away. If I lived in Dayton I am sure I would be a regular attendee. I have seen many games, both in the majors and the minors and few of the parks have been so enjoyable a place to see a game.

    Not very surprised that they have sold out so many games

    • ballsout1950 - Jul 8, 2011 at 1:08 PM

      I really need to review before I post: community……….

  12. hotkarlsandwich - Jul 8, 2011 at 1:14 PM

    Maybe they should move the Tampa Bay Rays to Dayton…. Just a thought

  13. huskerguy - Jul 8, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    5/3 is a crap bank BUT one awesome stadium. I live 40 miles north and go to at least 5 games a year. Season tix are tough but not impossible. Black and dark green jerseys are sweet. Very accessible. Dayton is going through tough times with businesses moving out but Daytonians grab a hold of their local things and do their best. Check out the high school sports draws.

    Heater and Gem are kid favorite mascots. I have friends that visit and want to go to that stadium. Sweet time.

  14. foreverchipper10 - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:14 PM

    In contrast nobody attends the AAA Yankees games. It is actually quite pathetic. You can get a ticket for about 7 dollars and then just walk down to the first row behind the dugout and the players will talk to you. That part is kinda neat but it is sad to see the stadium so empty all the time.

  15. snakedoc60 - Jul 8, 2011 at 4:57 PM

    I have been a partial season ticket holder for 4 years ( I was on the waiting list for a year). A 17 game package is affordable. And they split the cost to monthly payments. Its fun for all. We love our Dragons. My 7 year old Grandauhter cried when she found out Cody Puckett got moved to High A. When ny season tickets came in the mail they were not in an envelope… They came UPS in a Dragon’s tote bag. Classy if you ask me.

    Move Tampa here? nah, we’ll keep our Dragons thanks.

  16. Brian Murphy - Jul 8, 2011 at 11:06 PM

    And they did all without a Fifth Third burger! Impressive.

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