ATTENTION CLEVELAND: YOUR CLEVELAND INDIANS ARE IN THE PLAYOFF HUNT.
As of today, The Indians sit just 4.5 games out of First Place in the AL Central and just 1.5 games back in the Wild Card race. This should be an exciting time in Cleveland. Especially with the way the Browns played on Sunday.
The Cleveland Browns, who played miserably, had 71,513 fans in attendance which is close to the capacity of First Energy Stadium at 73,200. Yet, The Indians who are making a push at the right time for the postseason only tallied 9,794 at Progressive Field last night as the Indians beat the Royals 4-3. Those 9,794 true fans that were at the game last night were almost doubled by the number of dogs at the ballpark for “Puppy Palooza”.
What is wrong with Cleveland? This “Tribe Town” has been missing out. The Tribe has won 5 of their last 6 games, and are peaking at the perfect time. Two weeks ago, the Indians’ playoff chances were dwindling. They were riding a losing streak and everyone seemed to think that hope was lost after finishing the month of August with 5 straight losses.
But now, the Rays, Rangers and Tigers have started to slip. The tide has turned and the Indians can feel it. 6-2 in the month of September thus far means the Indians are doing their job. So, why aren’t the fans doing theirs?
Yes, the low attendance numbers could have long term problems as many free agents will remember the lack of support. But, let’s keep this in mind. The city of Cleveland hasn’t won a championship in ANY sport since 1964. And that wasn’t even a Super Bowl. Back in the 1990s, when the Indians were a powerhouse in Major League Baseball, they had 455 consecutive sellouts. That number is retired along with all the greats. There are 19 games left in the 2013 season, and the Tribe can see the light at the end of the tunnel. That light? The postseason.
The fact that people claim that Cleveland at its core is “Tribe Town” is just ridiculous. Cleveland is and always will be a Browns Town. But the question I’d like to pose is, why does it have to be one or the other? Why can’t Clevelanders support all three professional teams equally? To have 71k at a Browns loss and not even 10k at an Indians’ win is ridiculous. Last night’s crowd at the game was the smallest September crowd in the history of Progressive Field.
So what can be done to get the crowds to “The Prog”? How many dollar dog nights do the Indians need to have? Back in the beginning of summer, #TribeMarketingIdeas was a trending topic on Twitter. Someone should get to work because, we as a city have already had the loss of a team. We wouldn’t want the Indians to move because of the fans’ lack of enthusiasm.
— Zach Mentz (@ZachMentz) September 10, 2013
— Cameron Juhasz (@CameronJuhasz) September 8, 2013
The good news is that the Indians have a favorable schedule to close out the season, playing the Royals 5 more times, the White Sox 6 more times, the Astros and the Twins.