The Philadelphia Phillies sold 43,623 tickets for a game that they played against the Cincinnati Reds on July 7, 2009. That sellout of Citizens Bank Park began a streak that officially ended yesterday. It was the longest sellout streak in National League history.
The Phillies' game against the Atlanta Braves on August 6, 2012, wasn't particularly important. That specific calendar date is historically important because the 41,665 tickets sold total was below the 43,300 - 43,400 amount that the Phillies consider to be a 'sellout'.
The Phillies sold a total of 11,585,952 tickets through August 5, 2012. That's an average of 45,082 tickets sold per game.
The 'fan reaction' to this season has been evident through blossoming numbers of empty seats that could be seen during a variety of games within (at least) the past month. The sellout streak may have actually ended before August 6, 2012. But, that is the date that the franchise officially announced that the run had ended.
Spanning multiple seasons, the 257 regular season sellouts (the number jumps to 273 when playoff games are included) represents an era of good feelings and big baseball money at One Citizens Bank Park Way.
Philadelphia definitely was a football town during the Phillies' down years. But, it also became a baseball town in the mid-2000s. That fact will remain in place as long as the baseball team bounces back next season. Some will dispute the use of the word 'fact' and claim that this information is pure opinion. As someone who follows both teams, so be it.
Setting and selling the future
Due to injury issues, off-years, a lack of enough strong offseason moves and some other factors, the Phillies are playing through their first irrelevant August in many seasons.
The Phillies 6-1 loss to the Braves, on the night the sellout streak ended, continued to erase every last line of hope that some diehard fans still believe they can see.
Everyone knows that in order to continue to fund a high-payroll, Citizens Bank Park needs to be filled during most games. Attendance concerns haven't been a consideration in recent years. The Phillies hope that after this season, this issue isn't revisited for a long time to come.
Sean O'Brien's professional writing career began in 1990, when he first began working in the Philadelphia Phillies farm system. He was a freelance sports writer for five years and is currently a Featured Contributor for Yahoo! Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @SeanyOB and read his daily Sports Blog: Insight.
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