Yesterday the Worcester Tornadoes announced that “controlling interest” had been sold to a group out of Maryland. I must confess I was surprised since I have written about the great family experiences we’ve had attending the games. When you get right down to it though the problem seems to be in their attendance numbers. The Telegram has reported their attendance has dropped steadily since they started out back in 2005. Their total season attendance dropped by a staggering 37% since 2005. The significant first drop was in the 2008 season which slightly preceded the economic downturn.
The good news is that the new owners do not plan to move the Tornadoes out of Worcester. This is at least for the 2010 season. Peterman(Sales) and Bassiocos(general manager) seem to be staying for now. The interesting subtle implication in the Telegram article is that Worcester’s Rich Gedman may not return.
The Tornadoes did have some challenges this year even though they got to the playoffs. Their regular season record was 43-50. They went on a skid in the second half with an 8 game losing streak that may not have helped ticket sales. Bad weather and the economy also played a role in decreased attendance. The main problem according to the press release seems to be paying off debt associated with the building of the ballpark.
Even though the Worcester Tornadoes have only been here for 5 seasons it would be hard to imagine not having our own team. Hopefully the changes will be good for Worcester and Tornado fans. The burden just isn’t on the new owners but on the fans as well. If you want a local professional baseball team you need to support them.
On a lighter note, my kids are hoping they won’t get rid of the whirly pops…