Last night, in an 11 inning thriller the Lynchburg Hillcats beat the Dash 5 - 4 to win the Carolina league Championship.
Attendance was a paltry 1203 - for a championship game and after having a good season.
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Our Carolina League Champion Hillcats couldn’t fill the stadium. It was a good game too.
Not one mention by our local media. Although I trust that Mandalay will use the “We’re bringing a Champion to town” ad campaign.
And while I am glad for the Hillcats – the fact that they couldn’t fill the stands for the game is a PR disaster for Mandalay and Atlanta. There is no amount of advertising they can do to overcome this, either.
After all that posturing about how good MiLB will be for us the fact that the Hillcats couldn’t draw a crowd COMPLETELY and utterly destroys Terry’s argument that tens of thousands of people will come here to see MiLB ball being played.
And while I enjoyed following them – I came to the realization that NSS was too optimistic in attendance projections almost immediately. The weekday figures were not so good. Sell outs were very rare, and didn't happen during playoff and championship games.
I can’t imagine how bad attendance will be here, if they play poorly, and every team has their bad seasons.
The city can no longer believe the rosy scenario Mandalay and NSS laid out for them. They have to come to the conclusion that the risk is too great for them to take on the cost. The Hillcat attendance figures show that some cities just don’t support MiLB ball – and after the Roosters and Waves situations – they should be thinking that maybe, just maybe, Wilmington is the same, and that we should NOT spend that money.
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