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The Red Sox’ sellout streak is in jeopardy

Apr 16, 2012, 11:33 AM EDT

Fenway Park AP

The Boston Globe reported on Friday that the sellout streak at Fenway Park — now in its ninth season — is in jeopardy, with preseason ticket sales taking a dip, prices on the secondary market going down and overall interest waning, even if only slightly. I found this interesting:

The Red Sox consider a game a sellout when paid and complimentary tickets equal capacity, so the streak could continue even if paid attendance falls slightly short.

So, while it still looks like the sellouts will continue for a while, if they have “people named Sully get in free day” or something, it’s probably a good bet that the jig is up.

  1. yankeesfanlen - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    There’s counting and then there’s accounting.
    What kind of call letters are WEEI? Sounds like Maxwell the Geico pig.

    • jwbiii - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:00 PM

      The original owner was Thomas Edison, through his Edison Electric Illuminating company.

      • yankeesfanlen - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:03 PM

        Thanks for the explanation. WRKO sounds better and it origins are a little more current.

      • jwbiii - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:55 PM

        More current? Not really. RKO Pictures was formed when RCA bought the Keith-Albee Orpheum theater chain (and also Joe Kennedy’s theater booking company – vertical integration!) in 1928, which is in the same era. RKO Pictures went bankrupt in the ’50s and after a series of transactions and adventures involving a tire company, a man in a chicken suit, and other stuff, they became RKO General Broadcasting and bought the radio station in the ’60s.

        The name does roll off the tongue a little easier, though.

      • jimbo1949 - Apr 16, 2012 at 4:00 PM

        Ah yes, but Thomas Edison also formed General Electric, which spun off RCA in 1930, which means both stations were owned by Edison.
        GE also owned the first experimental TV station in 1928. WRGB in Schenectady is the current incarnation of this.
        To continue this whole exercise, GE reacquired RCA in 1986 and proceeded to cannabalize it and sell off the pieces.

  2. proudlycanadian - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    Given the relatively small size of Fenway, the sell out record was a dubious achievement.

    • 18thstreet - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:04 PM

      That’s pretty stupid. Fenway’s biggest than it was in, say, 1975, but they’re selling more tickets now.

      • proudlycanadian - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:30 PM

        I think that you meant bigger rather than biggest. Capacity is still smaller than most big league parks.

      • 18thstreet - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:35 PM

        And they still sell more tickets, despite being a small park.

    • paperlions - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:10 PM

      Have you checked out ticket prices in Fenway? Their cheapest tickets aren’t that much less than some teams most expensive seats.

    • bigleagues - Apr 17, 2012 at 9:52 AM

      DUBIOUS?! Has to be a finalist for my “Asshat of the Year – Baseball Comments” section.

      And CRAIG I expect a slightly more circumspect and complete post from you.

      There is ZERO-POINT-ZERO chance that the Fenway sellout streak is in jeopardy – especially considering this is the 100th Anniversary season of the Park. Red sox fans simply won’t allow it to happen. The cynical will say the Red Sox ownership won’t allow it to happen . . . yet those are the very same people that have little or no grip on the standards of pro sports ticket sales.

      This story has been bandied about in April for the last three seasons. And the Globe seems to be none the wiser this year than the previous two. The Red Sox formula for reporting sell-outs is STANDARD throughout the industry.

      NO TEAM IN PROFESSIONAL SPORTS HAS EVER HAD 100% SALES OF ALL TICKETS IN THEIR FACILITY.

      Thus the Globe is either printing this because they are ignorant, or they willfully report it because they know this complete non-story will generate click-throughs.
      Time for a dose of common sense:
      ———————————————-
      Do you (or anyone who gave you a thumbs up) have any idea how difficult it is to SELLOUT your ballpark for just ONE season?

      The immediate local Boston market is roughly 1/4 the size of the immediate local New York market.

      If it’s so easy to sell out a ballpark for just ONE season, then the Yankees with 50,287 seats in a local market of 18Million+ (a mere 13,000 more seats than Fenway with local market of 4.5Million) should have the longest streak hands down. Yet they have difficulty selling out consecutive full series (unless the Red Sox or Mets are visiting), let alone a full season.

      Fenway is 27th in Seating Capacity yet the Red Sox are consistently 8th in Home Attendance. That disparity is easily the best in MLB over the last 5+ years.

      Since Henry took ownership, the Sox have added approximately 5,000 seats.

      Yes, their average ticket price is the highest in baseball. Boston is also one of the most affluent metro-areas in America – often referred to as ‘Silicon Valley East’ due to MIT, biotech firms and other innovative high-tech firms.

      The Red Sox play to an average home capacity of better than 101% over these last 8+ seasons.

      Through their first 4 home games of the 2012 season they have averaged 101.7% capacity . . . the same rate as 2011 – which was the highest since 2008’s 104%. The very same article that Craig cherry-picked from, gives proper perspective. The Red Sox have sold 2.66 million tickets for the 2012 season, this is approx 2% (TWO PER CENT) down from the 2007-2008 season in which they sold approximately 2.7 million by this point in april.

      And this very same story appeared last Spring in various media outlets. Here’s one of the less Asshat of them:

      http://www.ticketnews.com/news/Boston-Red-Sox-sellout-streak-likely-not-in-jeopardy-despite-slow-start041114285

      Boston is one of the top tourist destinations in America. And Fenway is one of the most visited landmarks in Boston.

      Bottom line, by October the Fenway sellout streak will be alive and well … knocking at the door of 800.

      • bigleagues - Apr 17, 2012 at 3:55 PM

        I scoff at these ‘thumbs down’. You can not like that the Red Sox have the sellout streak, but to go thumbs down on the cold hard facts is just a tad absurd.

  3. mybrunoblog - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    Weak economy, weak team and the idea that those world series’s teams were 8 and 5 years ago….All good things come to an end.
    Just wait until the Marlins are drawing 15K a game and watch the panic there. Red Sox fan base is one of the most loyal in all of sports. This is not a big deal.

    • hammyofdoom - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:33 PM

      The day I believe a 90+ win team is a “weak” team is the day I stop watching baseball because I’m become a spoiled brat. The fact people are calling the sox a “weak” team while the Royals, Pirates, Padres, Rays, and so many other teams just went through long stretches of futility is embarrassing to me

  4. bigharold - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    Well the way things are going Booby Valentine might have to start paying to get in Fenway, .. so that could help.

    • bigharold - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:54 AM

      No, .. I didn’t typo Valentine’s first name.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:00 PM

  5. randygnyc - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    They’ll have freebie “red-head Tuesdays” and “freckle Fridays”, and the stands will once again be full of dirty liberals.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:01 PM

      Why does that comment coming from you not surprise me?

    • Ben - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:10 PM

      I don’t get it. Those are all attributes of white people, who are the only conservatives left. Ain’t no brown conservatives in this country.

      (And yes, I know there are red-headed Arabs in Lebanon and Palestine, and brown people get freckles–not the point)

    • hammyofdoom - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:34 PM

      Theres a connection between red-heads and liberals? Hmm, more research is needed on this

  6. watermelon1 - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    They can always get tickets to their away games at Camden Yards….

  7. Mike Luna - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    Sellout records are silly anyway. Fans want to pat themselves on the back, but where were they when the team wasn’t any good?

    If I remember, this streak started in 2002 or 2003, just as everything started to come together for the Sox. In that time they’ve won 2 World Series (more than the Yankees in that same stretch) and fielded the “GREATEST TEAM IN THE HISTORY OF THE GAME OMG ROFLOL!!!!!” last season.

    If a team is good and a lot of people show up to watch them, well that’s great! That’s what should happen! Unless you live in Tampa, where it is apparently always opposite day.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:16 PM

      Pretty sure the Toronto Maple Leafs are the only team that can sell out their games regardless of the team’s performance. In fact, I think Leafs tickets are one of the only real-world examples of perfectly inelastic demand.

      • Gamera the Brave - Apr 16, 2012 at 3:20 PM

        GS Warriors in Basketball as well – every game is packed, and not much reward…

  8. ajsjr40 - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    Absolutely and entirely irrelevant. Far more concerned about a winning streak than a sellout streak. This is one of those frivolous things this ownership group cares about.

    • hammyofdoom - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:36 PM

      Well of course the ownership cares about! If millions of your dollars are invested in a team wouldn’t you care about selling tickets?

  9. oldpaddy - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    If that’s true, then why can’t I find two halfway decent tickets for my son and in June/July? Every game I look at is sold out and I’m looking at the bad teams…

  10. randygnyc - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    Paperlions- ticket prices for Yankee/ red sox are ridiculous. I bought 2 tix this morning for yanks-twins tmrw night. Behind yanks on deck circle. Section 118. Paid $115 each. Face value is between $450-$500 per seat. The flip side is my uncle has twins season tickets 2 rows behind their dugout. $75 per seat.

  11. randygnyc - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    And to put an exclamation mark on this, I received an email today from the yanks offering “legend” box seats (the infield horseshoe by the field) for the Yankees twins series. These seats rarely come available. It linked directly to ticketmaster. The price range for these tix? $975 up to $1600 per seat. Anyone know if there is another MLB team that charges $1600 for a ticket that doesn’t include food/drinks/parking?

  12. foreverchipper10 - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    I am going to try and help them by making it to my first game at Fenway this year.

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