Brewers preview, 2011: Trades, expectations lead to brisk ticket sales
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With off-season moves that brought pitchers Shaun Marcum and Zack Greinke to Milwaukee, along with the decisions to hold on to Prince Fielder for one more year and sign Rickie Weeks to a long-term extension, the Brewers are in position to have a very good year on the field -- and at the turnstiles.
Ticket sales for the 2011 season have already exceeded last year's pace. The team surpassed the one million mark already and heading into the season, has sold 1.7 million tickets.
"We're about six or seven percent ahead of where we were at this time last year," Brewers Vice President of Business Operations Rick Schlesinger says. "We'd like to get that number to about 10 percent ahead because that will get us on the track to three million for the year."
Three million fans is now the gold standard for the franchise, which attracted 3,068,458 during the 2008 season and 3,037,451 in '09. A disappointing performance in 2010 saw attendance drop to a still-respectable 2,776,531.
Fearful of another lost season on the field, General Manager Doug Melvin made some key off-season moves and just like that, the Brewers are once again a hot commodity.
"It was a great piece of marketing for us," Schlesinger says. "The trades have really propelled ticket sales."
The Brewers consistently rank near the top of fan-affordability rankings thanks to a large number of ticket discounts and promotions. About 57 of the 81 home games have some sort of program that adds some bang to the fans' buck.
The two most popular are Spring Madness, during which certain seats are half-price and sodas and hot dogs are just $1 and the Five-Day, Five-County Weekend, during which residents of Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, Ozaukee and Washington Counties -- where the Miller Park sales tax is applied -- can purchase half-price tickets.
Other popular programs are deals with Summerfest, Wisconsin State Fair and the Milwaukee Admirals. Fans can purchase tickets to those events and a Brewers game for one price.
"We're very sensitive to budgets," Schlesinger says. "We want the Brewers to be affordable to everyone. You can take a family of four, get great seats, have plenty to eat and drink and do it for under $100."
Getting to three million fans is no easy task but Schlesinger believes that the Brewers offer the kind of value that fans are looking for -- and in 2011, they have the talent on the field to match. The more the turnstiles spin, the better chance the Brewers have to make much-needed moves later in the season.
"There's no question that attendance is very important," Schlesinger says. "It helps tremendously ... It doesn't matter if you're the Yankees, the Brewers, the Marlins or the Giants, ticket sales are still your No. 1 source of revenue."
Tickets are already sold out for the April 4 home opener against Atlanta and the April 9 game against the Cubs. Tickets to bobblehead giveaway games are going "very quickly," Schlesinger says.
Miller Park ticket information
Live sales: At the Miller Park Ticket Window (behind the home plate gate) or at ticket kiosks near the home plate gate, the Hot Corner, loge level and club level concourses.
By phone: Tickets can be purchased by calling (414) 902-4000.
- Field Infield Box -- $50 ($80 marquee)
- Field Outfield Box -- $40 ($65)
- Loge Diamond Box -- $46 ($65)
- Loge Infield Box -- $48 ($55)
- Loge Outfield Box -- $30 ($60)
- Club infield box
- With waitstaff -- $40 ($60)
- Without waitstaff $36 ($60)
- Terrace Box -- $21 ($25)
- Terrace Reserved -- $15 ($20)
- Field Bleachers -- $20 ($30)
- Loge Bleachers -- $20 ($30)
- Bernie's Terrace -- $8 ($15)
Season-long ticket promotions
$13 Brewers Fair Fridays -- At Miller Park, every Friday is a $13 Fair Friday! Your Fair Friday purchase includes one Terrace Reserved ticket to one of 13 Friday Brewers home games during the 2011 season and one general admission ticket to the 2011 Wisconsin State Fair. The offer is valid for "marquee" opponents like the Cubs, Cardinals and Twins. For information, call (414) 902-4000 or visit brewers.com/statefair. Tickets are subject to availability, through July 31.
Associated Bank Brewers Checking 2-for-1 ticket discount -- Associated Bank Brewers Checking customers can receive a 2-for-1 ticket discount on Terrace Box, Terrace Reserved and Club Outfield tickets for select games and receive 10 percent savings on purchases made at the Brewers Team Stores in Miller Park by showing their Brewers checks or Baseball Fan Platinum MasterCard Check Card. Valid dates include: April 26, May 24, June 22, July 7, Aug. 16 and Sept. 14.
Looking for recommendations on where to catch the Brewer's opening day game if you don't have tickets? Any good local bars?
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