Heading into my senior year, I’m beginning my research for my University of Dayton honors thesis. This project covers the success and profitability of minor league baseball franchises, and around my overseas travels, my plans are to visit 10 organizations for in-person interviews with their front offices.
My journeys began with a short drive down south to Columbus, Ohio. The Clippers were extremely gracious hosts - led by media relations/historian stalwart Joe Santry - and I was able to sit down with several members of the front office during the afternoon.
Some interesting tidbits from my visit to Columbus were to consider the impact of early season home scheduling on attendance. In 2009, when the Clippers first began playing at their sparkling new Huntington Park downtown in the Arena District, the team only had nine of its first 28 games at home. The squad averaged nearly 9,000 fans for those games including four sellouts en route to leading MiLB with an average of 9,526 fans per game in ‘09.
Then last season, the Clippers’ attendance dropped by more than six percent. What was the reason for this sudden change? Ken Schnacke, president and general manager, and Mark Galuska, director of marketing and sales, both pointed to the International League’s April scheduling.
While enjoying the Columbus Clippers game on Tuesday, May 10, I had to record this gem. Not as violent as the creamstick race back with my hometown Akron Aeros, but this was still pretty impressive.