Thoughts and pictures of my local minor league baseball team the New York Penn League Connecticut Tigers; a Detriot farm team. We'll still be looking at former Navigators/Defenders players along the way....

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

From yesterday's Waterbury Republican-American..

Minor league baseball teams not feeling economic pinch, yet

By Ed Daigneault
The calls weren't answered with quite the same enthusiasm during the long, bleak winter. It was largely because the long, bleak winter mirrored the economy.

When Bill Dowling, owner of the New Britain Rock Cats, and Charlie Dowd, general manager of the Connecticut Defenders, began making calls to their usual advertisers during the offseason, the response wasn't what it normally is. That was the first sign that the economy might have an effect on each man's business.

“A lot more phone calls had to be made,” Dowd said. “A lot more TLC had to be put into it.”

Dowd, in his second season with the Defenders after a long stint in the same job with the independent Bridgeport Bluefish, successfully lured the key sponsors back. Enough so, in fact, that he said the Defenders have eclipsed last year's advertising numbers.

In New Britain, the Rock Cats experienced some defections among smaller sponsors, Dowling said. But the team hasn't felt any impact on the fan side of things. The Rock Cats set an April record for the franchise with 57,000 fans turning out for the 12 games played last month.

“Some of the smaller companies are coming back, but in smaller numbers,” Dowling said. “That was the first indication that something was going on. The big sponsors are back at the same dollars. Fans have been turning out in droves. We're lucky.”

Dowd is somewhat lucky, too. The Defenders had experienced dwindling attendance numbers for years. While they're still near the bottom among Eastern League franchises, Dowd reported a 14 percent attendance increase from this point last year.


Blogger ourfatein08 said...

14% increase? I think Mr. Dowd is using some seriously fuzzy math. Trust me...

2:36 PM

Blogger tbones613 said...

Looking forward to seeing Harrisburg over memorial day weekend. The economy won't keep me away...I'll be there for three games. Besides Maxwell, I really like Luke Montz. He's a very hard worker and good offensive player. I'm not sure about his game calling, block/throw skills, receiving but he's got some pop in his bat and is an animal in the weight room. I think he'll make it!

6:59 PM

Blogger thehondohurricane said...


Bien's got to be reaching for the cool aid. EME in right field.

7:37 PM


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