The Indians are doing all they can to get you to come back to the ballpark this summer, but will you go? I'm not asking the die-hards or the ones always go to a handful of games a year. I'm asking you, the fan that clings to your Kenny Lofton jersey and swears you'll never give the Dolan-lead Tribe another dollar.
I always thought winning would bring fans back to the park, it usually is the best elixir, but not with this team. In 2005 the Indians won 93 games, they were not eliminated from the playoffs until the final hours of the season. They were 26th in attendance that year. In 2007 they won 96 games and the Central Division championship. They were the 2nd best team in baseball. They ranked 23rd in attendance. The pre-sale for the 2008 season was average at best. No spike in ticket sales as you'd expect coming off a year like that. The message was loud and clear to Indians ownership, "we don't care even if you win, we are not coming." They weren't expecting sell outs every night, just good crowds. They couldn't get them.
Enter 2013. They've spent more money and lowered concession prices. In baseball, that is an olive branch. They didn't point to bobble-heads, fireworks and "What if' Sizemore is healthy' as the only reasons to buy tickets. They've pointed to a two-time World Series champion manager in Terry Francona. They've pointed to Swisher, Bourn, Reynolds and Myers. Legit free agents, bought and paid for. They've pointed to Trevor Bauer, a high-profile pitching prospect they insisted on having in a trade. They've pointed to cheaper hot dogs, beer and soda. Good players and cheaper beer sound great, but is it enough to get you back?
That's what they want to know. That's what a lot of us want to know. We'll find out over the summer. See you at the yard, I hope.