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Updated: August 21st, 2013 2:42pm
P.J.R.: No tribute or complaint due for Twins' attendance

P.J.R.: No tribute or complaint due for Twins' attendance

by Patrick Reusse
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The wisdom we've been hearing from the FSN cheerleaders and other boosters concerns the tremendous pride that the sporting public should feel in its support of the Twins during this third straight losing season.

This was based on large crowds for a weekend series against Houston and decent attendance for the most-recent homestand.

This is all hogwash. The honeymoon period of near sellouts was expected to be four or five years when Target Field opened in 2010. This was based on the team remaining competitive rather than falling off the cliff as did the Twins in Year 2.

The ballpark remains spectacular. The weather has been the same. And late July and early August always has led to a spike in Twins' attendance -- even when it was a spike from 7,000 to 10,000 in the mid-'70s at Met Stadium.

Bottom line: What has happened with Minnesota with a new ballpark and bad teams is what would've happened in most any city.

The Twins opened Target Field with a division-winning team in 2010 and sold 3,223,640 tickets. They collapsed in 2011, but most of the tickets were pre-sold and the official attendance was 3,168,116. They were awful again in 2012 and the tickets sold fell to 2,776,116.

The Twins have 16 home games after Labor Day. There will be crowds announced in the low 20s. They will finish at roughly 2.4 million -- a drop of 25 percent in attendance since the ballpark opened.

There's no special credit to this area's sports consumers. The crowds have descended as could be expected ... no slower, no faster, than in most areas with a great new ballpark. And the descent is hitting the owners heavily with the team's bottom line, so use some brains and stop using the cliche:

"The Pohlads don't care about winning because they have a full stadium anyway.''


Patrick Reusse has been covering sports in the Twin Cities since 1968. He co-hosts SportsTalk from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. and hosts The Ride with Reusse from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. He also co-hosts "Saturday Morning SportsTalk" from 10 a.m. to noon on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Patrick | @1500ESPN_reusse | The Ride with Reusse