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Shifting Priorities

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Shifting Priorities

Unread postby consigliere » Wed Jun 06, 2007 6:14 pm

Gary with another great piece today. That "Shifting Priorities" sums up exactly how I feel with the Browns and Indians right now.

While I don't believe the Cavaliers will ever become a permanent #1 in this town, they sure as hell are the #1 attraction right now. I liken it to the Bulls....that is a Cubs and Bears town, but when Jordan was there he temporarily made da Bulls the #1 team in town, and when he left, they are now #3 again.

That said, I wanted to comment on Gary's mention about the Browns. He is spot on. This IS a dying franchise. With the most recent glory years all the way back to the late 80s, we are going on almost 20 years since a successful run for this franchise. Which means, this franchise has serious problems with fans under 35ish. They don't have anywhere near the loyal support of fans from 16-25 now like they did back in the 80s. And, that is where diehard-fandom starts.

Anyway, I posted this in the Indians thread because Gary hits on another great point with the Indians. While the Cavaliers have made this playoff run, the Indians hot start has really been put on the backburner. It will be interesting when the Cavs season finally ends, when/if the fans come on board with the Tribe, or how long it will take.

One of the biggest reasons the Indians had so much success with attendance in the late 90s (aside from a multitude of other reasons) was there was absolutely NO COMPETITION. The Browns were gone for 3 years, and the Cavaliers were mediocre and boring. All attention was on the Indians. With the Cavaliers now the hot ticket in town and likely so for as long as The King reigns in Cleveland, and the Browns back and the following they still get.....the Indians will be hardpressed to ever approach those attendance figures of the past.

In past discussions about payroll and attendance and all that, one of the main points people always came back to is if the Indians win (and/or spend), the fans will come. It will be interesting if this indeed happens.

And, talk about timing. Dolan has to privately be beside himself. We always talked that the Indians needed a great start to create fan interest and boost ticket sales for later in the year.....well, they finally get that great start....and no one notices because all eyes are on the Cavs. We'll get large crowds for some key series' (like the Detroit one over the weekend), but when you draw 14K like they did last night after 35+ a night the previous four games, we still have a ways to go before it seems the Indians are taken seriously by the fans.
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Unread postby Mr. MacPhisto » Wed Jun 06, 2007 7:27 pm

Not in or near the city, but I know that I wasn't even checking the score of the Tribe game during game six of the EC Finals. I picked it up because they announced it on TNT, but I really didn't care at that point - and the Indians have always been my favorite team on the planet.

I do believe there will be spillover after the Cavs are done, especially if the Cavs manage to shock everyone outside of Cleveland fandom and win. People will realize that this Indians team also has a shot, especially with strong fan support. They've been excellent at The Jake and could be even better with the fans showing up. In short, I think the Cavs will make the fans of Cleveland thirstier and more willing to commit to a winner like the Indians.
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Unread postby FUDU » Wed Jun 06, 2007 7:42 pm

With the Cavaliers now the hot ticket in town and likely so for as long as The King reigns in Cleveland, and the Browns back and the following they still get.....the Indians will be hardpressed to ever approach those attendance figures of the past.


IMO as big a reason as anything for the Indians great attendance of the 90's run was the playoff birth that ended the drought since 1948.

It all got jump started with the finish of the strike shortened 94 season (virtually ended with Tribe in first) and the incredible start to the 95 season in which it was blatantly obvious on June 1 the team would win the division.

That playoff birth continued the surprising string of sell outs that got under way in summer of 95. (my jaw still drops when seeing we beat out 2nd place by 30 games)

The Indians, more so than the Browns and Cavs, had been desperate for success for decades. The Browns and Cavs at least made the playoffs a few times and the Browns of course made a legit title run. Both teams endured incredibly tragic disappointments to their success runs of the times.

The Indians had not even sniffed playing in October let alone a .500 record. So when the time came the people gorged themselves as if they hadn't eaten in weeks.

Another thing to consider, IMO it helped a little bit anyway, was the fact that downtown Cleveland was in a pretty good era of cool hip party places for people in their 30's and younger. It was the most recent hay day of the flats. I think the Tribe and the Flats coincided in each others success in terms of drawing people.

Plus hasn't the city of Cleveland under gone something like a -95,000 population count since 96ish?
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Unread postby ArtGold » Wed Jun 06, 2007 7:59 pm

I don't know if you will see much of a spike in attendance even if the team makes the playoff. For the past few seasons attendance has been in the 1.8-2.1 million range, and I suspect the ceiling may be 2.5 million with a playoff team. I just don't see the great historical attendance for the Indians, except for the run after Jacobs opened. Perhaps the excitement can come back and they can get the attendance back up there again, but I kind of doubt it.

An attendance of 2.5 million isn't bad though, and would probably help boost the franchise value. I know Forbes does an annual valuation exercise concerning pro franchises and the Indians are a middle of the pack club in valuation, but one of the slower growth clubs in year to year value.

Signing stars to long term contracts seems to help interest in Cleveland, I believe the departure of Manny and co was when the attendance dipped.

As I said, I doubt we will see 3 plus million again, but 2.5 million should be a realistic goal for measuring franchise attendance success.
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Unread postby consigliere » Wed Jun 06, 2007 8:33 pm

Agreed Art. I have always maintained in attendance discussions in the past that if/when the Indians become a perenniel winner again that 2.5M is probably the ceiling as far as attendance goes, which is roughyl 30K on avg per game. About 75% capacity, and nowhere close to the 3.2-3.4M and 42K a night they averaged in the 90s.
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Unread postby jjgmyers » Wed Jun 06, 2007 9:11 pm

While I don't believe the Cavaliers will ever become a permanent #1 in this town, they sure as hell are the #1 attraction right now.



Of course they are #1 right now, they are in the NBA finals for the 1st time in franchise history. I don't care what city you're in or what team rules the city, the team that's in the finals of their sport will dominate the city for that time being. We sold out 2 games at the Jake while the Cavs were next door playing in the Eastern Confernce finals. I think that speaks for itself. When the Indians make the playoffs in October, people will be all about the Tribe and you'll hear then that no one cares about the Browns and then the Browns make the playoffs and no one will care about the Cavs at that point. It's just the way it is. 99% of people are fair weather fans anywhere you live. I just bought my "I was a Cavs fan before it was cool" T-Shirt today b/c I thought it was dead on the mark

To put things in perspective, I remember my Mom, who did not know one thing about baseball or sports in general being the biggest Tribe fan in the 90's when they were in the playoffs and World Series because it was the "it" thing then, just like the Cavs are now.
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Unread postby swerb » Wed Jun 06, 2007 9:33 pm

To put things in perspective, I remember my Mom, who did not know one thing about baseball or sports in general being the biggest Tribe fan in the 90's when they were in the playoffs and World Series because it was the "it" thing then, just like the Cavs are now.

I remember that too Joe. Me and Anna had some good times down at the Jake.
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Unread postby jjgmyers » Wed Jun 06, 2007 9:42 pm

I remember that too Joe. Me and Anna had some good times down at the Jake.



Nice! Never thought the day Anna would get some pub on the Blurbs
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