Revs hope to set attendance mark during playoff game
- The Revs are hoping to set the Atlantic League playoff attendance record for Game 3 on Friday night.
- Somerset holds the current playoff record of 7,835 fans, set last season.
- York trails Sugar Land 2-0 in the best-of-five Freedom Division Championship Series.
There's no doubt that the first two games of the 2016 Atlantic League Freedom Division Championship Series didn't go how the York Revolution would have liked.
The first-half division champions lost both games on the road to the Sugar Land Skeeters and now return home for, potentially, the final three games of the best-of-five series. Game 3 is Friday night, and when York takes the to the diamond, the Revs hope to have a huge home-field advantage. If everything goes according to plan, it will also be a record-breaking home-field advantage.
"The day you make the playoffs, you start from scratch on the fact that you have this date and you start with zero tickets sold," team president Eric Menzer said. "So, we wanted to challenge ourselves internally, and we knew that by putting it out there in the public that that would be, not only a challenge for the community, but a challenge for ourselves."
Over the past several weeks, with the Atlantic League playoffs looming, the Revs have gone with the motto "Rally the Troops." The team is hoping to attract enough fans to Friday night's Game 3 against the Skeeters to break the Atlantic League playoff attendance record. Currently, the record for most fans at a playoff game is 7,835 at a Somerset Patriots game last season.
It's expected that the Revs will play in front of a sellout or near-sellout crowd on Friday. Only a couple dozen tickets remain available, according to the interactive seat map on the team's website. The listed stadium capacity at PeoplesBank Park is 7,312, but the stadium record is more than 8,000 fans, which was set back in 2011 when the organization played host the 2011 All-Star Game. Menzer said both records are well within reach as the game nears.
Winning first-half title a big advantage: Menzer mentioned the difficulties of promoting a playoff game because, in most instances, teams only have a few days to generate interest and sell tickets for the game. However, York had a huge advantage because it clinched a playoff berth back on June 30 by winning the first-half Freedom Division title, giving the organization weeks to drum up marketing tools to sell tickets. That played a huge part in the team going all-in on breaking the attendance record.
"There's no question that from a business perspective, there's a huge advantage to winning the first half," he said. "When you're in the situation that Sugar Land was in when you have, what, three or four days lead time, it's very hard to get that word out. So, yes, there's a huge advantage from a business perspective to winning the first half and it provides us the opportunity to do something like this."
The team is also hoping to fill the park through some interesting ticket giveaways, including during the recently finished York Fair and at the White Rose Bar and Grill. The team also tried to appeal to businesses that, if they bought blocks of tickets for their company, the company name would be printed on the back of T-shirts that will be given out to fans at the game, a source a free advertisement.
The weather for Friday night is supposed to be clear and in the 70s, making it perfect weather for watching baseball. Menzer is hoping that attracts fans to the game, as well. Plus he's counting on the memories from the last time the Revs made the playoffs in 2014. He said that game brought the community together. He's hoping that the combination of those two things, plus the idea of being part of a record-breaking evening, will all be attractive for fans.
"What I hope for the people who are there (Friday) night is I hope the team wins," he said. "But, I also hope that anybody who is there (Friday) night gets to participate in really an awesome community experience with their fellow Yorkers. ...The most rewarding part (in 2014) was seeing all those people having a great time together, cheering for a common cause and that's what sports does for a community."
Should York win Game 3 and force a Game 4 on Saturday and, potentially, a Game 5 on Sunday, then Menzer and the rest of his front office will need to work tirelessly trying to sell fans on attending those games as well. But, in this instance, this is one time when Menzer said he wouldn't mind working on a Saturday or Sunday.
First pitch for Friday night's Game 3 is set for 6:30 p.m.
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at firstname.lastname@example.org