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07/28/08 7:55 PM ET
Brewers to surpass attendance mark
Single-season figure to fall during crucial series vs. Cubs
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers hosted their eighth straight sellout crowd on Monday, setting a franchise record, and by the end of the week will have pre-sold enough tickets to break the club's single-season attendance record. The Brewers drew a record 2,869,144 fans to Miller Park last season. At some point during the current four-game series against the Cubs, they will surpass that figure. The 3,000,000 barrier remains within reach. "I'm superstitious, so I won't mention that number," Brewers executive vice president Rick Schlesinger said. "But all the trends are pointing very, very well. There are a number of sellouts coming up, and because we have relatively few August games, people are already pushing into September." Schlesinger expects to draw about 176,000 fans for the four-game tilt against the Cubs. All four games will be sellouts, but standing-room-only tickets remain available at Brewers.com, where fans can also pre-purchase parking. On Thursday, the Brewers will play in front of their 11th straight sellout crowd. "And the sellout streak is not going to end after the Cubs series," Schlesinger said. "The advance sales for the Nationals series [Aug. 8-11] is very strong, and then our advance sales for other games in August is very strong. I sort of feel like one of our goals is to keep this sellout string going as long as possible." The official seating capacity at Miller Park is 41,900, but the figure needed to deem a game "sold out" is slightly less and changes from day to day, Schlesinger said, because of the varying number of seats set aside for scouts, other club officials and players. Generally, any crowd over 41,000 is a sellout. The Brewers sold out seven straight games from July 19-Aug. 2 last year, a record that fell Monday. By mid-afternoon, the team was about 400 standing-room-only tickets shy of cutting off sales entirely at 45,000. "I have to remind myself that this is a Monday," Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said. "I keep thinking that a few years ago, we would draw 11,000 on Monday, 12,000 on Tuesday and Wednesday and then we would get a big crowd of 18,000 starting Thursday." The Cubs have always been a big draw. On Sept. 6, 2003, the Brewers hosted 46,218 fans for a game against Chicago. It's likely that the record will stand. "In retrospect, we probably shouldn't have done that," Schlesinger said. "We've increased staffing here, but for this ballpark, that is just too many people to have and make sure that everybody is having a good guest experience. The revenue from the last 500 tickets doesn't compensate for the strain on our staff and the problems that you get. "I don't see a situation that the record gets broken unless we enlarge the ballpark somehow."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.