Now that we have had a full week to digest the Braves grueling 3-1 defeat in the NLDS, I figure it is as good of a time as any to take a moment to reflect on the season that was. The Atlanta Braves entered the 2018 season boasting an unenviable streak of four consecutive losing seasons stretching back to the spring of 2014. Unfortunately, this poor on field performance also translated to poor performance in regards to ticket sales. In Atlanta, we have always taken great pride in supporting our Atlanta Braves, however even the most loyal fanbase will eventually become numbed down and desensitized by habitually losing. Because of this it becomes the responsibility of the franchise/venue to provide an enticing fan experience in a pleasant family-friendly environment that will sell tickets when the games might not. While this experience may not have always been offered at Turner Field, recently the Braves have made large investments in their fan experience by creating “The Battery Atlanta”. While the creation of this new age entertainment district makes Braves games a much more attractive option for the masses, the fans will not truly come on a consistent basis unless they are given a team to cheer for. The 2018 Braves were just that. With the bulk of the sports media world writing Atlanta off during spring training, these chippy young Braves were able to crank out 90 wins, an NL East banner and host the first ever playoff game in Suntrust Park. This team was able to identify with the city and in return we identified with them. There was an electricity surrounding this team that had not been seen in Atlanta since the days of Bobby Cox.
As we previously noted, on field success is positively correlated with ticket sales. With this in mind we see that with the up tick in success so came a bump in both ticket sales and attendance. In 2018, total season attendance was up approximately 50,000 from the 2017 campaign, and nearly 550,000 from the 2016 season. The Braves also moved up one place from 8th to 7th amongst the 15 teams in the National League. With success comes sales, and when coupled with a satisfying fan experience this franchise has the potentially to become one of the most regularly attended in all of professional baseball.The 2018 90-72 Braves were able to flip their 2017 campaign of 72-90 on its head, while pumping life into a city that so desperately wants to see its Braves succeed. With the teams young core and immeasurable ceiling it is clear that this team will make Atlanta proud for years to come. Chop on and go Braves!