Braun saga hasn’t hurt Brewers at box office
The uncertainty surrounding National League MVP Ryan Braun has not hurt the Brewers at the box office, the team’s chief operating officer said Sunday.
As fans began filling the Frontier Airlines Center for this year’s iteration of Brewers On Deck, COO Rick Schlesinger said the team expects to parlay its 2011 NL Central title into a record-setting sales season in 2012, whether or not Braun is on the field for Opening Day.
“Our ticket sales have been tremendous,” Schlesinger said. “We are well ahead of last year, and we are expecting to have an all-time attendance record. Our numbers have been great.”
The Brewers set the record just last season, drawing 3,071,373 fans while setting other club marks with 96 regular-season wins and 57 wins at home. It marked the third time in franchise history and the third time in four seasons that the Brewers topped the three million mark.
They set another club record this winter by selling their one millionth ticket for the following season on Dec. 22, nearly a month ahead of the previous mark. That news came 10 days after ESPN reported that Braun faced a suspension following a positive drug test.
“There has been no decline or plateauing [in sales], even after the announcement that Braun was under investigation,” Schlesinger said. “I think fans are excited about the season.”
Braun was notably absent from Sunday’s “On Deck” event, which featured autograph and photo sessions among other events. He withdrew last week with the blessing of Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio, who cited the sensitivity of Braun’s confidential appeal.
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