HomeNewsAttendanceBaseballUSA

Harper draws sell-out crowd for Phillies’ spring training debut

The Bryce Harper effect shows no sign of stopping for the Philadelphia Phillies.

The $330m (€294m) new signing drew a sell-out crowd of 10,276 for his debut with the Major League Baseball team on Saturday, a spring training game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Florida.

Harper has significantly boosted the Phillies’ commercial fortunes since his high-profile arrival as a free agent. The team have sold 340,000 regular-season tickets as well as 2,000 full season tickets.

Harper’s jerseys are also being sold at a record rate. According to Fanatics, Harper’s number three jersey broke company records by becoming the top online seller during the first 48 hours after its launch. Such has been the demand that the Phillies’ team store at Citizens Bank Park even ran out of letter Rs last week.

“I don’t think anybody could have predicted that it would be as extraordinary as it is,” Phillies owner John Middleton told USA Today. “This has created a buzz about a team that hasn’t had a winning season since 2011. Fans are looking at this like, ‘You’re credible now’. We have that credibility we didn’t have a year ago. They believe in us now.”

Read this: Local initiatives offer solutions to MLB’s national attendance problem

 

Most recent

Browning has marred thousands of once-valuable autographed baseballs, with the precise cause of the damage still unknown. Dennis Tuttle examines the impact on the baseball collectibles market

Dead since 1995, the revered Hall of Famer still commands a lofty position among baseball memorabilia collectors

Callum McCarthy looks at the various ways in which lesser-known European host cities are benefiting from staging a variety of international esports competitions.

Adam Nelson reports on how the International Cricket Council revamped its broadcast coverage ahead of the 2019 Cricket World Cup, focusing on storytelling to attract new audiences and break digital engagement records