The Philadelphia Phillies and their brass are banking on new outfielder Bryce Harper becoming a major draw in the City of Brotherly Love.
The sticker shock that comes with signing Harper to a 13-year, $330 million deal will soon wear off. That will be replaced with heightened expectations from a fan base that is loyal and boisterous.
If the less than 24 hours since Harper’s reported record-breaking deal are any indication, the Phillies’ fan base is alive and well. In fact, their ticket sales have absolutely soared in the past several hours.
Before the Bryce Harper news broke yesterday, the #Phillies had sold roughly 200,000 more tickets than at this same point last year. They have sold about 100,000 tickets since, #Phillies senior VP of ticket operations John Weber said. Hard to say, but it might be a 1-day record.
— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) March 1, 2019
That’s no small thing. As much as the signing of Harper was meant to help field a competitive product, there’s a financial aspect to all of this.
In order to justify the record-breaking deal, Philadelphia must not only be World Series contenders moving forward, it has to see an uptick in revenue.
Last season saw the Phillies rank in the bottom half of MLB in attendance. That’s despite the fact that Philadelphia was considered a playoff contender for the vast majority of the season. Needless to say, an uptick in attendance is needed.