Last Friday, only 19,047 people paid to see the Phillies take on the Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. Based on my completely unprofessional estimate while at the game, there were barely half that number actually in the seats.
Whether this was understandable or not, it was in fact the worst attendance figure in CBP history. As the season progresses and the team's record falls further and further below .500, numbers in the teens are going to be the new normal for the stadium.
The Phillies cannot be happy about this. The first sign of this concern came yesterday when the team posted a Groupon for tickets - half off tickets regularly priced at $33 or below. Along those lines, a friend who lives near the stadium told me that the team offered free tickets to the "On Deck" pre-season games at CBP to people who live in the stadium district. It wouldn't surprise him if that happened during the regular season as well.
It's probably only a matter of time before we start seeing tickets in Phillies' Franks packages, like the team did in the 1980s. It's that bad.
But how about enticing more people to come to games? The product on the field isn't going to do it, but promotions are a way to get more people through the metal-detector-ed gates. There's no doubt that some creativity is needed in this department. Forget about the usual Cole Hamels t-shirt given out a week after he's traded or the Phanatic pencil for fans 14 and younger, we're talking breaking the mold and giving us something new, something to get excited about.
Along those lines, we here at The Good Phight put together several ideas for promotions for the Phillies this year. And best of all for the organization, you can steal these free of charge.
Play major league baseball! With this promotion, a randomly chosen fan will have the opportunity to play right field for the Phillies in the 8th inning of every home game. After all, if the Phillies are playing Grady Sizemore and Jeff Francoeur there, do they really care that much about the position? Obviously not. So why not you? Bonus: if the team is up or down by 4 or more going into the bottom of the 8th, another randomly chosen fan will get to bat lead off that inning. (via David S. Cohen)
Everybody hustles day: Ever wonder what it's like to play for Larry Bowa? To be on a team with Dallas Green at the helm? This day will be your opportunity to live that as a fan. Fans caught not hustling between their seats, concessions, and the bathroom will enjoy being endlessly chastised by former players positioned throughout the ballpark as "hustle arbiters." Bowa and Green themselves will be placed in special sections to really give fan sloths a true MLB tongue-lashing. (via Eric Chesterton)
Eternal Return posters: Did you know that the team's current stars have their counterparts in the team's past? Learn all about these great players of yore with these unique posters pairing the two. Already scheduled: Freddy Galvis and Steve Jeltz; David Buchanan and Bruce Ruffin; Darin Ruf and Kevin Sefcik; and Odubel Herrera and Sil Campusano. Every kid in the Delaware Valley will be asking their parents - why was this Kevin Sefcik guy traded for Bobby Abreu? Can we bring back that 65mph Ruffin curveball? How do I get my hair to look like Steve Jeltz's? (via LTG8)
Warhol movie night: Let's admit it - sometimes you get a little bored at Phillies games. Sure the games are faster these days, but a long baseball game can be tiresome at times. On this night, you can fight the boredom by watching the endlessly exciting Andy Warhol masterpiece "Empire." Eight-plus hours of the Empire State Building . . . in slow motion! That will spruce up your fan experience, no doubt. (via LTG8)
Everybody manages, whoohoo! Maybe you don't actually want to play baseball, but everyone wants to manage. On this night, managerial decisions will be crowdsourced through the miracle of modern technology. Man on second, one out, down by 2 in the 8th inning, Ben Revere at the plate - should he bunt? Text 'a' for bunt, 'b' for swing away. Ken Giles has already pitched to 4 batters, his velocity is in the mid-90s, and he's having trouble finding the strike zone. He needs one more out in the 8th and he's facing Bryce Harper, Phillies up by 2. Text 'a' for leaving him in, 'b' for bring in Papelbon, 'c' for bring in Diekman. Ryne Sandberg will be contractually obligated to follow the crowd. (via Wet Luzinski)
Got an idea for the Phillies? Leave it in the comments. They can use your help this year, no doubt.