September 2, 2013

On Baseball: Sea Dogs' 2013 attendance lowest in 20-year history

Sunday's sellout follows the Sea Dogs' best August attendance in four years. But those numbers could not compensate for what has been the lowest average attendance in the team's 20-year history.

By Kevin Thomas
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

In this Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, fans keep an eye on a pop fly as the Portland Sea Dogs hosted the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at Hadlock Field. Despite good August numbers, the Sea Dogs experienced their lowest attendance numbers in 20 years this season.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

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But the extra number of promotions and between-inning activities has bumped out time for Red Sox highlights on the video board.

Those highlights used to be a mainstay of Sea Dogs games and were always greeted with cheers.

"It's something we're making sure we're going to get back in," Iacuessa said.

There is also the board itself. It is 10 years old and could use an update. Iacuessa would only say he and his staff are looking at all areas that need improvement.

ONE PROMOTION that needs to be changed is when a staff member brings out a small inflatable cow. Fans, especially kids, go crazy and cheer, wanting to receive the "valuable" prize.

But the promotion takes place during the game and not between innings. It makes for a strange scene. Fans are cheering, regardless of what is happening on the field (a recent game featured the fans at their loudest while a Sea Dogs player struck out).

THE SEA DOGS remain one of the most popular teams in the 12-team Eastern League. They ranked fourth in attendance last year and will be fourth or fifth this year. It's impressive, considering that Portland has one of the league's smallest population bases and is the northernmost city.

But the Sea Dogs' staff hopes to see bigger crowds, maybe even some day getting back to the glory days of 2007 (and the record 6,483 average).

It will take good marketing, an improved schedule, better weather, continued innovations and (maybe) a few more wins.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

Twitter: ClearTheBases

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