When the Atlanta Braves started their long run of excellence in the early ’90s, Braves fans just couldn’t get enough. Season ticket sales soared and playoff tickets were at a premium.
I remember the World Series in 1991, when Braves fans felt lucky if they could find a scalped ticket for under $1,000. I’ve never been around a team that had the hysteria surrounding it like the ’91 Braves. Without a doubt, that 1991 World Series was the toughest ticket that the city of Atlanta has ever seen, and probably ever will see.
The Braves remained a very tough playoff ticket though the mid ’90s, but then a funny thing started happening. Fans became bored with the early playoff rounds, and a fair amount of empty seats started showing up. This resulted in the local and national media sprinkling a heavy dose of criticism on Braves fans and the city of Atlanta.
It was in that time frame that the city of Atlanta started getting the rap as a lousy sports town. After all, here the Braves were a perennial winner, a class organization, and fans weren’t bothering to show up for PLAYOFF games. It was a major embarrassment for the city of Atlanta.
So what will happen this October? Will Braves fans show out in this year’s playoffs, or will they give the media more fodder to dump on Atlanta?
Looking at tickets available for the NLDS on the Braves website, it appears that a fair amount of season ticket holders did not exercise their option to buy playoff tickets before this past Wednesday’s deadline. The first game in the NLDS is still several weeks away, so perhaps Braves fans will step up and open their wallets. But the bottom line at the moment is that there is still a LOT of tickets available.