The Charleston RiverDogs (Low A; Sally League) achieved a major attendance milestone Wednesday night, when they surpassed 300,000 total fans for the season.
Wednesday’s game against the Hickory Crawdads drew a reported 3,411 fans, bringing the RiverDogs’ total attendance figure on the year to 300,085. That represents a new single-season attendance record for the Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park , and marked the first time in history that the franchise has welcomed 300,000 or more fans in a season.
The RiverDogs have run a pretty solid operation over the years, and there were a number of factors that allowed them to reach this milestone in 2017, according to team president Dave Echols. More from The Post and Courier:
Echols said the 300,000-milestone is a product of several factors. For starters, the organization always has promotions that cater to fans. Thirsty Thursdays, Bark for Your Brew, and Trendy Tuesdays are a few examples.
And this particular season, Charleston got a significant boost from June 16-18 when Tim Tebow, who played for the Columbia Fireflies at the time, came to town for a three-game series. Riley Park saw three of its nine sellouts that weekend as Tebow — a former NFL quarterback who won two national titles and a Heisman Trophy at Florida – helped the team total 17,321 fans during the series.
Outside of Tebowmania, Echols said attendance recently has seen an uptick because fans have caught playoff fever. For most of the second half of the season, Charleston has been sitting in first place in the Southern division of the South Atlantic League.
Joseph P. Reily, Jr. Park first opened in 1997. The RiverDogs did introduce one significant ballpark upgrade prior to this season, as they opened the Riley Park Club.
The RiverDogs will play their home finale on Thursday, giving them a chance to add to their record-breaking attendance total.