Blue Claws close on 5 million fans

Posted: June 12, 2012

THE LAKEWOOD BlueClaws will become the fastest team in the history of New Jersey sports and the South Atlantic League to reach 5 million fans.

The franchise, a Class A affiliate of the Phillies, is 20,290 fans away and opens an eight-game, 7-day homestand Monday with a doubleheader against Delmarva (6:05 p.m.).

The BlueClaws are second in the league in attendance this year with an average of 5,225 through 27 home dates. They have led every year since 2008.

"Since Day 1 in 2000 when we put tickets on sale a year before our first game [April 2001], we've had unbelievable support from our fans and our community," said BlueClaws GM Geoff Brown, one of five front-office members who have been with the organization for all 12 seasons. "Five million is a great milestone that we're very proud of, but it wouldn't have happened without the unbelievable fan support that we've received."

An additional 26 game-day staffers also have worked all 12 seasons for the organization.

The 5-millionth fan will receive season tickets for next season, an autographed team jersey and other apparel, and the chance to take batting practice on the field, the BlueClaws said.

The BlueClaws have been so popular that the team announced in March that attendance this season would be capped at 8,000 per game after they polled groups of ticketholders to see what, if anything, could be done to make the games more enjoyable.   

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