Crunching Numbers With Wade

Dear Wade Howell [Vice President; Down East Wood Ducks and Hickory Crawdads]:

I hope your presentation at East Carolina University went well today. I am sure there was not a dry eye in the house if you shared any narratives about Bads85’s rather inspiring success story. While you were in Greenville doing your speaking engagement, my nose was to the grindstone, sorting through Wood Ducks’ box scores, compelling attendance data for the 2017-18 seasons. You see I am not just another charismatic, pretty face; I am a guy who can roll up his sleeves and flex my intellect muscle to analyze data to determine patterns (I don not really roll up my sleeves; that is a metaphor. I wear polos).

Let’s start with the positives. Despite playing in antiquated stadium in a city with the highest poverty rate in the Carolina League, the Wood Ducks never had a game with a paid attendance less than 1,025 in 2018, indicating a somewhat solid season ticket base. Considering Kinston has the lowest median home prices and the third highest violent crime rate of the Carolina League, this somewhat established season ticket base represents solid progress in the last two seasons.

Before I get to the negatives, let me say your organization’s concession food presentation on Twitter is exquisite, light years ahead of that merchandise presentation. Excellent work. Those chicken and waffles look amazing, and I cannot wait to sample them with you when I visit Historic Grangier Stadium. I hope we can sit in the duck blind in the bullpen while we devour these treats. I have a holiday inflatable of Santa and Frosty in a duck blind, and I assure you, it is the talk of the neighborhood during the shopping season.

Let me also assure you I do not think I know as much as your organization as you do — you are the boots on the ground, the guy who is there day after day, even when a hurricane floods the town (that is an awesome story). I am just crunching some numbers here, thinking aloud. You almost certainly are aware of these numbers because you are Wade Fucking Powell [Vice President; Down East Wood Ducks and Hickory Crawdads]. I am hoping by sharing the information, you can answer some questions.

The Wood Ducks’ highest attended game in 2018 was July 3rd with 3,441 in paid attendance, despite having a stadium capacity of 4,100+ (the Wood Ducks drew 4,267 in their inaugural game in 2017. Did your organization reduce seating capacity in 2018?

Here is your monthly attendance averages:

April (1,9330; 10 dates)

May (1,660; 17 dates)

June (1,975; 11 dates)

July (1,875;12 dates)

August/Sept (1,631)

Yes, I realize the weekend/weekday games do not match up (plus you lost two Saturday games to inclement weather in May), but I am not even an unofficial assistant for your organization, so those numbers are close enough for this discussion. As you know, most minor league attendance lines increase from April to where the peak in mid July, then drop as the August doldrums set in. How much of that May dip was weather related? The August Blues nipped at you harder than a puppy who chewed his way into some sniffing glue, but the number that jumped out at me was that you only drew 2000+ six times after the July 3rd game (twenty-five total games). Again, how much do you think the weather affected those numbers? 

That is enough data analysis for now. Let’s talk possible promotions. I see the median age of Kinston is 44.2, which is very scary. That means a great deal of old people on fixed incomes, and those cheap bastards do not attend games. I would suggest hitting up every nursing home in town for some EXCURSIONS. Sell them special cheap tickets because senior citizens live for discounts, especially ones they think they earned by growing old. Hell, send your team bus to pick up the residents because it is not doing anything that night anyway. Give them some sack dinners filled with Jell-o! and other soft stuff, and they will not clog your concessions lines. Just do not give then any Viagra because they will try to procreate like teenagers on Grad Night. Young people should not have to see Grandma slipping her nursing home crush the tongue.

Anyway, tomorrow is the big Ticket Pick Up Party. Sleep will be hard to come any tonight. While I cannot physically be there, I am sure you will feel my presence in spirit.

Your friend in baseball,


PS: Is Leonard Smalls the greatest fictional bounty hunter of all time?

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