You may remember our April piece on the facilities projects at Cal’s Evans Diamond. Today, we take a look back at those projects and the impact that they had on the attendance of Bears baseball.
Cal officials are calling the recent facility upgrades at Evans Diamond, and the entire 2013 baseball season, a success. Despite college baseball’s well documented struggles, anytime that an athletic program can double ticket revenue from the previous year, it is a big deal. Cal baseball did just that with $89,187 in ticket revenue in 2013, a 101 percent over 2012.
As one would expect, the large jump in revenue is the direct result of a dramatic increase in attendance. After the lights were installed, one month into the season, seven games drew over 1,000 fans. In the three seasons prior, only three games broke that threshold. The first night game in school history drew a record 2,133 fans.
Of course, nights games allow a broader range of fans, including those with jobs and young students, to attend games. The team and Head Coach David Esquer were able to see a difference. “The atmosphere at our games immediately changed. The games became an event, and I saw more families at our games than ever before. Seeing the energy that the young kids provided the stadium was great,” he says.
In addition to the lights, a videoboard was installed at Evans Diamond. As the board features fixed signage, sponsorship will be an additional revenue stream for the program. While those numbers have not been released, it is safe to assume that sponsorship revenue could double as well.
This increase in revenue is unprecedented. As you may remember, the Cal baseball team had its funding cut back in 2011. After extraordinary fundraising efforts, the program was reinstated and is now enjoying a new level of success.