Empire State Yankees attendance
Posted at: 06/29/2012 5:30 PM
| Updated at: 06/29/2012 6:40 PM
By: Robin De Wind | WHEC.com
The heart of the baseball season gets underway this weekend at Frontier Field. The Rochester Red Wings will draw the majority of their attendance for the year, starting this weekend.
But somewhat surprisingly, despite the legions of Yankee fans in Rochester, the Empire State Yankees have been a harder sell.
When it was announced that the Empire State Yankees would share space at Frontier Field with the Red Wings, some thought that the attendance for Yankees games would outpace the Wings, but that hasn’t been the case.
50 cents hotdogs and $5 tickets haven’t been enough to lure Yankees fans out to Frontier Field to see their Triple A players. The team is averaging only 1500 fans a night.
Eddie Prunella, of Brockport, said, “Maybe if they advertise more. I don't see much on TV to come out and see the games. I'm here to watch the games. I have good seats though.”
Great seats are available for the remaining 10 Yankee home games. Red Wings General Manager Dan Mason says attendance is slightly lower than expected when the deal was announced that the Wings would serve as the home field for the majority of the Yankee games.
Dan Mason, Red Wings General Manager, said, “We were hoping for a few more fans to come out and see them. Now that school is out and the weather is better, we're hoping more Yankee fans will come out and support the Yankees.”
Rochester has a large number of Yankee fans. The fan base came out in record numbers to see Yankee pitcher Andy Pettitte during a brief rehab stint earlier in the season. Outfielder Brett Gardner attracted crowds, but so far, Mason says fans are not taking the opportunity to sit by the dugout to see future members of the big league team.
Mason said, “If you're a big Yankees fan, it's your chance to get close to the guys who will be playing in New York.”
Mason says whether it’s the Red Wings or the Yankees, the stadium experience is a rite of summer in Rochester. Yankee fans haven’t caught on.
Bonnie Majestic said, “It was more of an event we never came down with less than two or three cars. I'm not certain there's an interest in seeing the Triple A Yankees.”
Mason says the lower ticket prices will be offered during the Yankees next home stand as an effort to try and get fans to the park. The Empire State Yankees wrap up their series with Gwinnett at Frontier at 7:05p.m. The Wings finish their road stretch with Lehigh Valley Friday, then they are back at Frontier Field, hosting the Yankees Saturday.