(CNS) – A crowd of more than 50,000, the largest since opening day, is expected Saturday night at Dodger Stadium when the Los Angeles Dodgers begin their 10-game Dodger Stadium Greats Bobblehead Series.
Ticket packages covering all 10 games of the series, which is part of the team’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of Dodger Stadium, “are literally flying off the shelves,” the Dodgers’ senior director of ticket sales, David Siegel, told City News Service.
The first 50,000 fans entering Dodger Stadium for Saturday’s game against the Washington Nationals will receive a bobblehead depicting Hall of Fame pitcher Don Drysdale and Maury Wills, the 1962 National League Most Valuable Player.
The series also includes the first bobbleheads depicting the team’s legendary announcer Vin Scully and Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax and the first “quad bobble” of the team’s record-setting infield of the 1970s — Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Bill Russell and Ron Cey, Siegel said.
The most extensive bobblehead promotion in the team’s history is part of its effort to stem falling attendance, which in 2011 dropped to the lowest amount for a non-strike season since 1992. The team also reduced prices on nearly 54,000 of the stadium’s 56,000 seats, including a $2 decrease to the top deck price to $10.
The Dodgers’ season ticket base “continues to grow” because of lower prices, new benefits, promotions and the team’s strong play, according to Siegel.
Although prices of some premium seats were not reduced due to existing contracts, new entry-level price points were established for the Dugout Club and Prime Ticket club seats. Pricing for the United Club Suites was reduced for all individual game purchases.
For season tickets, lower prices and new benefits were made available for 96 percent of the seats at Dodger Stadium, with more than 35,000 seats available for $20 or less on a season ticket basis, including some of the lowest prices in the past 10 years or more.
New benefits to season ticket holders include the opportunity to enter the stadium one hour before the general public to watch Dodger batting practice, and for season ticket holders to play catch on the field with friends and family after select games.
The Dodgers’ 2011 attendance of 2,934,808 was 11th among the 30 Major League Baseball teams and marked the first time they were outdrawn by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Experts attributed the decline from 3,562,320 in 2010 to fan distaste of owner Frank McCourt and his former wife Jamie using the team to finance an opulent lifestyle; the team’s second consecutive mediocre season; and safety fears stemming from the opening day beating of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow.