Tucson Padres: GM Feder baffled by lack of attendance

2012-08-24T00:00:00Z 2014-07-25T12:07:07Z Tucson Padres: GM Feder baffled by lack of attendanceBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
August 24, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Mike Feder keeps pushing new buttons, but most of them just don't work.

The Tucson Padres' general manager is saddled with an on-field product that is in last place, a home ballpark in an unpopular location and the looming specter of a possible move to El Paso in 2014.

The result? The Padres are the worst-drawing team in the Pacific Coast League, averaging 2,889 fans entering Thursday's game with Colorado Springs. They are on pace to draw about 200,000, more than 100,000 below any other PCL team.

Feder says the Padres need to have fresher promotions next season, and that part of him remains optimistic that there is enough support for a Triple-A team in Tucson.

But the evidence shouts at him otherwise.

"I understand we're still perceived as a temporary situation," Feder said. "My hope all along was to do well enough that somebody would want to relocate to Tucson some day. But how can that happen when we're drawing 200,000?'

Here's a breakdown of the Padres' nightly efforts to draw fans:

Sunday - 2,408 average fans

The offer: All active and retired military are offered free admission, as are everybody's dogs.

Feder: "That was probably more effective for feel-good. We honored a lot of people in the military and let people bring dogs in. We made a lot of fans from it."

Monday - 1,854

The offer: The Padres offer sets of four tickets, four drinks and four hot dogs for $20, a value of up to $70. But it's the worst drawing night of the week.

Feder: "We had a tough time on Mondays."

Tuesday - 3,081

The offer: Eegees offered free tickets for most Tuesday games, but the Padres still averaged only 2,240 on Tuesdays if you take out the July 3 fireworks game, which drew 10,658.

Feder: "In the beginning it was a buy-one-get-one-free then we switched to a comp ticket. Those actually started getting some life later in the season."

Wednesday - 2,173

The offer: Fans could friend the Padres on Facebook and win varying prizes on Wednesdays. Hot dogs were $1.

Feder: "We've got over 8,000 friends (on Facebook). We felt it was our best way to get the word out."

Thursday - 3,495

The offer: The ever-popular "Thirsty Thursday" event upsized this year to 16-ounce beers for $1.50 instead of offering 12-ounce versions for $1, and also featured $2.50 craft beers.

Feder: "People were good with" the price increase.

Friday - 2,839

The offer: This may be the night that baffles Feder the most. The Padres can't average 3,000 on Fridays despite giveaways and entertainment.

Feder: "Friday has been disappointing. I honestly think that people don't like to go home from work, get their families and come back to the ballpark."

Saturday - 3,874

The offer: Kino has historically been easier to reach on Saturday, and appearances by the San Diego Chicken and other entertainers helped make the day the week's biggest draw.

Feder: "But for us to be successful, those 3,500 and 3,800 (crowds) need to be 4,500s."

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