Barring something totally unexpected this Saturday, the Dayton Dragons (Low Class A; Midwest League) will set the record for consecutive sellouts by a professional sports team, with all 7,230 seats filled at Fifth Third Field for the 815th straight time.
The streak would break the sellout record set by the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers between 1977 and 1995.
It’s truly amazing that a team playing in Dayton — a city not exactly booming at the moment — would be breaking the record. But we’ve seen enough over the years of how Robert Murphy and Eric Deutsch run the team to know exactly how it happened: hands-on customer service. We’ve had the pleasure of walking through Fifth Third Field with Murphy and seen how many regulars at the ballpark personally know him. You won’t go far at a game without running into a customer-service rep: the team employs some 110 game-day staffers and a front-office staff of 34. And the team’s customer service extends far past the ballpark: their season-ticket renewal materials are among the tops in the industry and surpass the offerings of many Major League teams. Add to that affordable tickets (the top box seat goes for $13.75) and concessions, and it’s pretty clear why the team continues to draw in the fans. It’s truly a stupendous accomplishment, one that should be studied closely by more professional sports teams.
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