If season ticket renewals are any indication, fans of the Indianapolis Colts aren't concerned about the future of the team. Despite coming off a 2-14 season and the possibility of losing the "face of the franchise" in Peyton Manning, ticket sales for the 2012 season are moving along smoothly.
Colts' Chief Operating Officer Pete Ward told the Indianapolis Star this week that ticket sales were "tracking similarly" to last season and the year before. The Colts make 60,000 of the 62,408 seats available at Lucas Oil Stadium available for season ticket purchase. Typically, Ward says, the team sells out around 95 per cent of that allotment. The remaining seats are set aside for Colts' employees, visiting team families and other corporate entities.
Colts fans weren't absent this season either, despite the often poor product on the field. The Colts sold out all eight of their home contests. Indianapolis has a string of 114 consecutive sellouts, including playoff games since 1999.
Contrast that with the Cincinnati Bengals, just down the road on I-74, who only sold out two of their eight home games this season despite having a team that went to the playoffs. Even in Indianapolis, the NBA's Pacers are having difficulty filling Banker's Life Fieldhouse this season even after earning a playoff berth last season and having an exciting young roster.
What can be gleaned from this is that Colts fans, at least for now, continue to have confidence in the organization. But with a struggling economy and limited disposable incomes, the Colts shouldn't assume that will last forever. Jim Irsay and the rest of the Colts management must remain committed to providing fans the same superior product they've seen over the past decade.
The Pacers didn't, and after Reggie Miller left town, the fans left the Fieldhouse. Irsay and the Colts don't want to see that happen at Lucas Oil Stadium.
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