The Yanks, who finished first in their division at 47-29 and are chasing another New York Penn League crown, sold more than 206,000 tickets to regular-season games in 2009, said club president Joe Ricciutti.
That's more than any other year in the Island team's history, he said.
"It was a very, very strong season," said Ricciutti, who added that the tickets sales grew by 9 percent in 2009, compared to an average overall growth of 2 percent for all minor-league teams in the country.
The Yanks sold out 26 out of 38 regular season home games, he said, an increase over the 17 sellouts seen at Richmond County Bank Ballpark, St. George, in 2008, when 189,000 tickets sold.
The numbers continue a trend that began in 2007, when Mandalay Sports and Entertainment took control of the team and, in Ricciutti's words, "rebuilt the whole organization."
The team sold 115,000 tickets in 2006, he said, and 165,000 in 2007, when there were five game sellouts.
For Ricciutti, the reason is simple: The Baby Bombers provide "great value and family entertainment."
"Those are the things that, if you do them in any economy, you'll do OK," he said. "It's a value-driven experience."
Key to that has been the team's $15, all-you-can-eat "Pinstripe Plan" ticket, said Ricciutti, which means that fans can eat and enjoy a game "without taking your wallet out of your pocket again if you don't want to."
"That's a very powerful message," he said. "You don't get that at the movies."
Ricciutti said that the increased attendance has also been the result of a "natural building process" that began when Mandalay stepped in and the New York Yankees parent club also took a stronger hand in the Island team.
The Staten Island Yanks, he said, have also made community involvement a priority, and worked to raise the team's profile across the Island. "We know how to develop our audience," he said. "It does take time."
The Island itself has been a boost to the team as well, according to Ricciutti, a native Islander.
"It's a really, really great community to be a part of," he said. "And the organization is finally giving the community something to be proud of."
© Copyright Staten Island Advance 2009
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.