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State College ends season strong at gate

The State College Spikes saw a 12 percent increase in August attendance from a year ago, fueled by large walk-up crowds.The State College Spikes (short season; NY-Penn League) franchise-record crowd of 5,757 for Sunday’s home finale at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, capped the most successful final month at the turnstiles in team history. The Spikes averaged 4,305 fans per game for their final 15 home dates (starting August 1), an increase of 12 percent from last season’s final month attendance.

Highlighting the Spikes’ final month box office surge were four of the franchise’s 10-largest single-game crowds, all of which took place within the last eight home dates. In addition to posting a single-game record of 5,757 on Sunday evening, the Spikes also recently welcomed crowds which rank as the team’s 2nd-largest (5,708 on Aug. 21), 8th-largest (5,504 on Aug. 13) and 9th-largest (5,401 on Aug. 18) in history.

“The way our fan base turned out at the ballpark over the final month of the season really has energized our entire organization and gives us tremendous momentum heading into our off-season planning and already has us excited to open the gates for the 2010 season,” said Jason Dambach, Spikes General Manager. “As the season progressed, our fun, family-oriented promotions, great food, friendly atmosphere and affordability really became addicting for fans and those factors combined with a significantly better and more fun-to-watch on-field product than 2008 really took the experience of coming to a Spikes game to a whole new level. Everything came together perfectly over the final month of the season, including special experiences like the New York-Penn League All-Star Game and Sunday’s home finale.”

“Last year’s on-field struggles, coupled with the challenges presented by the economy, made last off-season an uphill battle, but as the results of this year show this was clearly the strongest finish we have ever enjoyed,” said Spikes Chairman & Managing Partner Chuck Greenberg. “As we look ahead to our fifth anniversary season in 2010, it’s clear the Spikes have never been more popular and knowing we have such enthusiasm from the community shows what a great value our product is and how our efforts to become engrained in the community are appreciated.”

Fueling the Spikes' success at the gates were all-time record totals for day-of-game ticket sales, also known as walk-up sales. 1,654 walk-up tickets were sold for Sunday’s game, besting the record of 1,357 set just 17 days earlier on August 13. Overall, the Spikes posted walk-up crowds of over 1,000 on six different occasions during the 2009 campaign, a total which represents more than the franchise’s first three seasons combined. The club posted five 1,000-plus walk-up crowds between the 2006 and ’07 seasons and none in 2008. Overall, total walk-up attendance for the entire season was up 12 percent over 2008 and 19 percent better than the inaugural 2006 season.

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