Cleveland, OH- The Cleveland Indians have an interesting dilemma. What makes it even more interesting is the fact that it’s somewhat simple to solve. The Indians averaged 24,083 spectators per game in 2018, in 2017 that number was higher at 25,285. Progressive Field holds 35,041. The last time the Indians weren’t in the bottom 20 in league attendance was 2002. Unlike most writers and people in the media, I don’t blame attendance problems on the fans. I blame this squarely on the Indians.
The Indians need to take a look at adjusting their ticket prices. The cheapest tickets for most games is the upper bleachers. The price for four tickets to a game after fees is $84.35, that comes out to about $21 a ticket. That is definitely not the most affordable family activity.
One ticket is almost as much as four tickets to a Lake Erie Crushers game. Obviously, the quality of baseball is nowhere near as good as an MLB game is but that isn’t the point. If parents are looking for entertainment and to go to a baseball game the high prices might turn them off and cause them to go to a cheaper alternative. Besides families, this also turns off high school students who don’t have a large amount of disposable money. It just isn’t worth it for some people.
Besides looking bad having a stadium with 10,000 seats empty, the Indians are also losing a chance to make money. The people who are buying expensive seats are clearly willing to pay for them and typically the lower bowl is full or almost full. The Indians should cut the cheapest tickets in half if more people came to the game they would make more money. When more people come to games, more people buy concessions, beer, and merchandise. The Indians could literally give away tickets and make money off of concessions.
It doesn’t look good to have a half-empty stadium and it doesn’t make much sense financially either. The Indians need to take a look at adjusting their ticket prices, especially when they decide to rebuild this team eventually.