Friday, July 29, 2011

Cape League All-Star Game Fails to Attract Fenway Park Crowd

By Zach Baru

There was a lot of green at Fenway Park earlier tonight, green as in empty seats at the Cape Cod Baseball League All Star Game.  Before 7,007 on Friday night, the game was nothing but a marketing failure.  $10 ticket prices and partnering up with Comcast SportsNet were not enough to aid the game, which is becoming a staple at Fenway.  This is the third straight summer Fenway has hosted the game, and hopefully next year's attempt will have a better marketing plan.

Pricing tickets at $10 each was a modest approach.   But let's face it, with 30,000 empty seats, adding additional price levels would have been a better strategy.  Having tickets start at $5 would have attracted more fans, especially the family of four who doesn't exactly expect to drop $40 right off the bat at a Cape League All-Star game.  Additionally, having price levels at $10 and then $20 for the premium seats would have been acceptable.  This would have created the potential for additional revenue, while still keeping the prices at a reasonable level.

The upcoming Futures at Fenway minor league double-header will have tickets starting at just $5.  Why couldn't the Cape League do the same?  With the exception of a few instances, selling a seat for $5 is better than leaving the seat empty and not selling it at all.  Especially after lost concession and merchandise revenue from unsold seats.

Having live coverage on Comcast SportsNet was a great way to reach out to the entire region.  However not nearly enough advertisements were shown on CSN to get the word out.  Having such great media coverage for the game was an excellent opportunity for the Cape League, however they should have used the opportunity more to their advantage.

Aside from all of the failures of this game, just having the game at Fenway can certainly be looked at as a success.  And live regional television coverage is definitely something for the league to be proud of.  It is great that all of New England was able to catch a glimpse of the Cape League, which is of one of the region's finest traditions, and a staple to any summer in Massachusetts.  

Zach Baru can be followed on Twitter @zbaru and reached at

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