The 2016 Central Division and American League defending champions, Cleveland Indians, play their first home game of the 2017 season on April 11th against the Chicago White Sox. It’s no secret the Indians have struggled with home attendance for several years. In 2016, they were at the bottom of Major League Baseball, averaging roughly 19,500 fans per game.
The front office has made a conscious effort to make the ballpark more attractive to a younger audience. Two years ago they renovated the right field concourse and upper deck now called “The District.” Last year they finished the “Home Plate Club,” a special and exclusive bar behind home plate seating.
After nearly winning the World Series and the off-season acquisition of Edwin Encarnacion, things have changed for the Indians and their fans. Optimism hasn’t been this high since the glory years in the mid-late 1990’s.
The Cleveland Crane Business journal had a great article in their most recent issue, discussing the rise in ticket sales during the off-season. You can read the full article here. http://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20170401/NEWS/170409995/the-tribe-is-finally-feeling-the-fans-love
Some of the major numbers are included in the image below. I have also included a couple of other images with valuable metrics and key performance indicators (KPI’s) used by the Indians Business Operations Team.
Brian Barren, a former Proctor and Gamble Executive, is the President of Business Operations. Because of their market challenges, the Indians have had to be realistic with expectations regarding attendance, while continuing to measure growth. They have used the following KPI’s . . .
- Paid Attendance
- Revenue Per Capita
In order to reach their goals, Barren and his team have developed 3 “tenets.” If they focus on these three areas, Barren believes, it will help them reach their goal. The goal is to be at the top of home attendance within their peer group, which would translate to being in the middle of MLB. These three tenets include . . .
- Business (Clear Plans)
- Process (Execution of Plans
- People (Hire and Develop)
Through my job I got to know Mark Shapiro before he accepted his current role with the Toronto Blue Jays. Mark helped developed strong leaders and a very talented front office. The Cleveland Indians are a model organization for others in Major League Baseball. I hope they reach their goals in 2017 and win the World Series. Northeast Ohio will #RallyTogether throughout the whole 2017 season.
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