College baseball can be a great draw for minor-league operators — provided the right teams are involved.
We may be more than a month away from the start of the regular season, but minor-league operators — especially those in the South — are finding themselves already gearing up for business with the launch of college games hosted at pro parks.
And that can mean big business.
Take what’s happening in Montgomery, where the Montgomery Biscuits (Class AA; Southern League) are hosting the Capital City Classic, a March 10 match between Alabama and Auburn at Riverwalk Stadium. Over 6,000 tickets have already been sold for the matchup, and Biscuits GM Greg Rauch says there’s a good chance the game could set a ballpark attendance record, set during the 2006 Southern League All-Star Game. To date all the chairback seats have been sold out, with only berm seating remaining.
There are other instances of college games being a solid draw in a pro ballpark — Fluor Field, home of the Greenville Drive (Low Class A; Sally League), is also hosting a high-profile college match — and we expect the trend to continue and expand next spring.