Thursday, May 27

Chug one for the Chief

It's no secret that attendance is down - way down - at Tribe games played on the corner of Carnegie and Ontario here in 2010. No one in Cleveland has any money, the Indians are in last place, and I personally keep getting stuck in Europe.

The Indians have done quite a bit to try to boost the number of fans they put in the seats, including the "Get Gear, Go Cheer" promotion where spending $50 in the Team Shop gets you a pair of freebies in the mezzanine (of course I already did this, and might even run it back). The club also, as it's done for years, actively courts the family/kids demographic with all sort of events for youngsters, especially on home Sunday afternoon games. This is all well and good - the more little'uns we can get in the teepee, the better. I just realized how creepy that sounds, but I'm thinking of course in terms of the Cleveland Indians' future fan base.

However, I think that the Indians' focus on people who haven't quite mastered the art of walking leaves out a key demographic: people like me. You know, rich, handsome, stylish. Alright, I'm not any of those things, but I am 30 and single, and Kids Run the Bases Day isn't exactly luring me to Progressive Field. What would draw me to the park, however is a section focused on yuppies drinking. Yeah, there's the Party Deck and the hilariously-named Ridgid Jobsite, but that's not what I have in mind. I've yet to decide on a name for this locale, but the early frontrunner is Wasted Wahoos. Here are the details:

- We'll be located in the cheap seats, Upper Outfield Reserved. These are normally $7-9 per game.

- There will be a keg filled with beer located in the middle of this section. When the keg is empty, a different, full keg will replace it. We may or may not tear out some seats for better keg access, but come on, entire sections are being left unsold right now!

- Fans with WW tickets get a 16-oz plastic cup and a wristband with 6 plastic tickets, like they have at the Pigskin Classic, each good for a refill. You could divert roughly 90% of ballpark security to this region; if anything, it would make it overall easier to keep troublemakers in check because they'd all flock here. Plus, you could have security do like Tom Smykowski's lawyer suggests in Office Space and "kick someone's ass the first day" so people know to keep it in check.

- This is only tangentially related to my master plan, but the vendors at Progressive Field have badges that say "We ID Under 30." Next year I'll be 31, thus they cannot card me. Even they are not above the policy. I asked one of the ladies if I could simply refuse once I turn 31, and she said, "not unless you start looking a lot older." This seems to me like inconsistent application of the rules. Why set a semi-arbitrary number like this and then not adhere to it?

- While I'm digressing, I feel like the no-beer-after-the-top-of-the-7th-inning policy shouldn't apply to me. I chose to live Downtown, in large part so I can walk places and not worry about motorized transport. I should be able to show them my ID so they know I'm on foot and get served as long as I like.

- Now, back to the party section. Both sides need to profit from this endeavor. Beers are currently $7.75 for a 16-oz domestic draft. We're giving 6 tokens, which at full price would be $46.50. Let's call the ticket and the drinks $45 then. This can be negotiated. At this point, your decision is whether you want to get 4 or more, which I occasionally do and suspect that other people like myself without any real responsibilities do as well.

- As long as I'm dreaming, the kegs are filled with Pabst Blue Ribbon. Hey, it's Tribe colors!

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