Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Otters Big Hit with Crowds ; Team Attributes Larger Turnout to Weather, Better Play

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Otters Big Hit with Crowds ; Team Attributes Larger Turnout to Weather, Better Play

Article excerpt

The combination of improved play, creative weekday scheduling and pleasant weather has made it a good summer for the Evansville Otters. Going into Sunday evening's home game against the Frontier League's travel squad, known as the Greys, the Otters had a per- date average of 3,309, leading the independent professional baseball league. The Gateway Grizzlies were next with 3,306.

The Otters have had a few standing room only crowds, including an announced 8,253 on July 24, when Evansville topped Traverse City 1- 0 on Military Appreciation Night. Six home dates remain at Bosse Field, Aug. 30-Sept. 1 and Sept. 3-5.

"We're up almost 700 over last year," owner Bill Bussing said. "And if we lead the league (at season's end), that would be a first for us... A lot of things have come together."

The Otters burst out of the gate this season, reaching 11 games over.500 at one point. Even as injuries and key player departures brought the team back down in the standings, Bussing said the solid start "created some more excitement" that's lasted through the summer. A wild-card playoff berth and winning record remain in reach.

The ballclub this season chose to schedule more home doubleheaders - playing the same number of games on fewer dates - and Bussing said the elimination of many Monday and Tuesday games has bumped the per-date average.

Lastly, the weather "has been ideal," Bussing said. "That's probably the most important factor of all. I don't care how good a team we have or how attractive our promotions are, if the weather's oppressive, people tend not to come."

The club, which in recent years has lost money, is benefiting from the attendance boost. Fixed annual costs to run a Frontier League franchise are about $1 million.

"At this point, we're holding our own," Bussing said. "We're about broken even. That's tentative, because at the end of the year, the bills start coming in and the revenue stream dries up. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.