Game attendance decline at Montgomery Biscuits games

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Veronica Johnson may be an example of why many people haven't attended a Montgomery Biscuits game this year. Johnson loves the Biscuits but never found the time.

"It seemed like every time they played at home I had to work," she said.

She's not alone.

Apparently more than a few didn't go to a few games this year.  According to the Southern League, the Biscuits averaged more than 4,800 per game during the first season in 2004. So far in 2011.. the average per game has been little more than 3,700, a drop of 23%.

The team's front office declined an interview but did tell us through email, a number of factors have to be taken into consideration; 2011 had fewer weekend dates than last year. And so far, 2011 has had two rained out games, the oppressive heat and you can't dismiss the team's record. With a current record of 62-68 there is no chance of winning a championship this year.

While the numbers are down Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange says he is not the least bit concerned about the drop in attendance coming at a time when the city is trying to revitalize downtown.

A case in point.

"I do not see this as a hiccup in the redevelopment of downtown. There are more venues for people to choose from other than the Biscuits. Also our sales tax revenues are up a little more than 4% which translates to about $5 million," said Strange.

To be fair other Southern League teams have seen a drop as well. For example, the Birmingham Barons had a per game average attendance of more than 4,500 in 2004. In 2011 so far that number has dropped to just slightly more than 3,900, down about 14%.

Montgomery city leaders say the Biscuits organization is not only making its lease payments on time but ahead of schedule.

"I'm going to get around to it," said Johnson.

Johnson, meantime, says she will try to make it to a game before the season ends. With 6 home games remaining, a grand slam in attendance could go a long way.