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Cubs Tourism Attendance Stresses Need to Develop Homegrown Fans

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jul 25, 2011 3:28PM

According to ESPN Chicago's Jon Greenberg, recent numbers compiled by the Cubs marketing department confirm just how much of the team's total attendance is a result of tourism. How much?

Try 37 percent. With the Cubs' reduced attendance figures this season - through Friday the team was averaging 36,853 per game - Greenberg highlight the need for the organization to field a good team in order to keep the turnstiles clicking and reinforces Tom Ricketts' argument that, since Wrigley Field is one of the state's largest tourist destinations, it should be renovated with city and state tax money.

Even so, the declining attendance numbers are striking. The Cubs have already passed 2 million in attendance this season, but their per game attendance figures are down 1,868 per game this season, or that Greenberg's search for "best available" tickets for Saturday's game against the Astros yielded bleacher seats priced at $85.76 each.

The lack of razzle dazzle around this team and their performance on the field are keeping die hard Cubs fans - the ones who follow the farm system, score the games in ink and keep track of sabermetrics - away from the ballpark. Greenberg wrote that the Cubs marketing department is grasping at straws to being people to the Friendly Confines. But it looks like the days of Harry Caray simply saying "It's a good day for baseball" on WGN are becoming a thing of the past.