Thursday, June 11, 2009

Study: Beavers in Lents will have lowest attendance in Triple-A

PORTLAND, Ore. — An independent study by consultant HVS, Review of Lents Park Site and Proforma, has concluded that an average of 3,222 fans are likely to attend the average Beavers game in Lents Park. In 2008, the Beavers reported selling an average of 5,607 tickets nightly.

The study was requested by the office of Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman.

Attendance that low would drop the Beavers to the lowest draw at the Triple-A level, and on par with teams like the Single-A Salem (Va.) Red Sox and Double-A Binghamton (N.Y.) Mets.

The study also found that "the surrounding residential housing will also limit the timing of concerts, the park's ability to book larger exhibition games, and the types of promotions permitted at the ballparks such as fireworks."

Only four of 30 Double-A teams averaged less than 3,000 fans a game in 2008. Of the 60 Single-A teams, 24 are drawing more than 3,000 fans a game in 2009. (See list below.)

The report further puts in doubt claims that a Beavers Stadium in Lents Park will do anything for the neighborhood other than create quality of life issues for neighbors.

"If the Beavers draw small crowds and aren't profitable, why would they stay in Lents?" said Nick Christensen, spokesman for Friends of Lents Park. "Then we're stuck with a stadium in our park and a $42 million bill."

Members are planning to attend Thursday's Lents Neighborhood Association meeting, which is scheduled for Thursday night at the New Copper Penny, 5932 SE 92nd Avenue at Foster Road. The Web site says the meeting will start at 6 p.m.; however, the most recent Thursday meeting at the New Copper Penny was also listed as a 6 p.m. start but didn't start until 6:30 p.m.

This grassroots group of Lents area residents seeks to preserve, maintain and enhance Lents Park as Open Space in its entirety, for the enjoyment of future generations. It supports the neighborhood and surrounding community in all uses of the park that are consistent with this mission.

Lents Park
The park is a 38-acre green space in the heart of Lents. It features walking paths, playgrounds, baseball diamonds, soccer fields, basketball courts and a community garden — all of which are teeming with activity most days of the week. It also has hundreds of old trees, many of which would be cut down for construction of a stadium.

2009 Minor League Baseball Attendance
Teams averaging between 2,750 and 3,250 fans per game as of June 9.

Team City Class Attendance
Harrisburg Senators Harrisburg, Pa. AA 3,228
Charlotte Stone Crabs Port Charlotte, Fla. A 3,143
Lake County Captains Eastlake, Ohio A 3,117
Myrtle Beach Pelicans Myrtle Beach, S.C. A 3,101
Quad Cities River Bandits Davenport, Iowa A 3,080
Peoria Chiefs Peoria, Ill. A 3,065
Potomac Nationals Woodbridge, Va. A 3,049
Salem Red Sox Salem, Va. A 3,016
Binghamton Mets Binghamton, N.Y. AA 3,008
Daytona Cubs Daytona, Fla. A 2,998
Stockton Ports Stockton, Calif. A 2,965
Great Lakes Loons Mildand, Mich. A 2,960
Rome Braves Rome, Ga. A 2,955
Mobile BayBears Mobile, Ala. AA 2,933
Carolina Mudcats Zebulon, N.C. AA 2,927
West Virginia Power Charleston, W.V. A 2,908
Clearwater Threshers Clearwater, Fla. A 2,873
Augusta GreenJackets Augusta, Ga. A 2,868

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