South Bend enjoys largest crowds in park history
Published 5:43 pm Tuesday, September 15, 2015
SOUTH BEND — This week, the South Bend Cubs officially announced a new, historic attendance record of 347,678 fans for a single season in downtown South Bend. The new record was set on Friday night, Sept. 4, during the final home game of the 2015 season at Four Winds Field.
“We want to thank the amazing fans who came from a hundred miles in every direction to Four Winds Field all summer long,” commented team owner Andrew T. Berlin. “To have reached this new milestone means that the work we’ve been doing to make this a place where families and young people enjoy themselves night after night is working.
To all of us at the South Bend Cubs, it’s confirmation that this really is a place where everyone comes to play—and not just the professional team down on the field. But, we’re not done; there’s a lot more to come.”
“I am proud of the South Bend Cubs, especially with this season’s record attendance,” said Mayor Pete Buttigieg. “The huge success of this ball club is a major part of South Bend’s ongoing comeback. Four Winds Field has been a great downtown venue and a regional draw with something new every year. We can’t wait to see what comes next.”
“When it comes to South Bend sports stories done by regional and national publications, they’re not solely about Notre Dame football anymore. Now, they’re about the South Bend Cubs and Four Winds Field,” said Jeff Rea, president of the St. Joseph County Chamber of Commerce. “Whether it’s the New York Times article about our baseball synagogue, Inc. Magazine about the success of the team, or the Chicago Tribune’s story about Theo Epstein throwing out the first pitch at Four Winds Field, the South Bend Cubs under the leadership of Andrew Berlin and his team President Joe Hart have had a huge and permanent impact upon this city. Everyone here is grateful for it.”
South Bend’s new attendance record was set after 69 home games and one rainout at Four Winds Field during the 2015 season. The record attendance of 347,678 has been reported to the offices of MiLB (Minor League Baseball) and officially places the South Bend Cubs in fifth place for attendance among all 16 teams in the Midwest league.
The team also established a new benchmark of 58 percent for stadium sellouts at Four Winds Field for a single season. Forty home games were sold out this year.
“We had over 5,000 tickets sold on average per game,” Hart said. “Just a few years ago, the average was less than 1,800.”
In addition, a record amount of Indiana state sales tax collected from concessions and merchandise sold at Four Winds Field this year will be retained by the City of South Bend. The tax revenues, along with all state payroll taxes paid by employees of the team, will be diverted to the city through a special fund established by the Indiana state legislature.
The fund—The Professional Sports Development Fund—allows any Indiana city with a professional sports team to keep the state tax revenues. From 2004 to 2014, the city of South Bend earned $5 million from this fund. 2015 is expected to be a record year for the city due to the success of the South Bend Cubs.
South Bend will also receive an additional $41,851.25 in revenue associated with a ticket surcharge based on the record-breaking 2015 in-park attendance. The surcharge revenue reflects year-to-year attendance growth at the ballpark since the team was purchased at the end of the 2011 season. There was no surcharge revenue for the city at the end of that 2011 season.