Monday, October 8, 2012
Dodgers aiming for top attendance
By Mark Saxon
The Dodgers led the National League in attendance every season from 1977 through 1986. They led in all but one season from 2004 through 2009.
Then came the end of the Frank McCourt years, with the team's popularity bottoming out in 2011. The Dodgers drew fewer than 3 million fans for the first time in more than a decade and got outdrawn by the Angels for the first time ever. Season ticket sales hit an all-time low on opening day 2012.
After the new owners took over shortly after Opening Day, fans gradually got on board. The Dodgers saw their attendance climb by 13 percent from 2011 levels last year, with the team bringing in more than 3.3 million fans.
Team president Stan Kasten thinks that's just the beginning of a trend and predicted the Dodgers could get back to their perch and surpass the Philadelphia Phillies as the league's top-drawing team in 2013.
"I know it's possible," Kasten said. "Whether we can continue to build fan support that quickly, I don't know."
Kasten said the 13 percent jump was actually greater than it appears, "because of the way arithmetic was done this year vs. the way arithmetic was done in the past," Kasten said. "That's really all I can say about it."
Kasten said he doesn't anticipate increasing the average ticket price for 2013, though he said prices will be "tweaked," some rising, others falling.