Phillies ticket sales way down this year

Phillies second baseman Chase Utley signs autographs for fans. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)
Phillies second baseman Chase Utley signs autographs for fans. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)
Posted: March 01, 2013

Sales of Phillies tickets are lagging well behind the pace of the last few seasons.

But nobody's panicking at Citizens Bank Park, according to John Weber, vice president for sales and ticket operations.

And fans should see this as an opportunity - with seats available for every game, he said.

Last year, five games - the Red Sox games, two bobblehead giveaway dates, and the game where kids can run the bases - were gone by mid-February, less than a week after the Phillies put single-game tickets on sale.

Today, any game - including those with Cole Hamels and Carlos Ruiz bobbleheads - can still be purchased individually, except for Opening Day, which is part of a Six Game Pack.

The overall decline is dramatic - a half-million seats, down to about 2.6 million from at least 3.1 million a year ago.

Fans might wonder if that could spell trouble sustaining one of the biggest payrolls in the league.

It's important to put the figures in context, Weber said.

Sales are strong. It's just that the last few years have been "unbelievable," he said, with a sellout streak that lasted 257 games, and more attendance each of those years than any club, with one exception, the New York Yankees in 2010.

"Last year, there were 18 teams that didn't hit 2.6 million," Weber said.

The ticket sales staff has had to hustle more this off-season, instead of just processing orders as they poured in, but he's confident the final tally will once again impress.

In 2009, fewer seats were sold as of about March 1 - about 2.5 million - despite coming off a World Series win. But the final attendance set a new club record of 3.6 million, broken the following year.

"We're pretty fortunate that we have passionate fans, a beautiful ballpark, and a team hungry to compete in the National League East and get back in a World Series," Weber said. ". . . We're looking forward to the challenge of 2013."

For more on tickets, go to www.phillies.com/tickets.


Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com.

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