Angels season-ticket sales have held firm despite the lack of a big splash in the free-agent or trade markets this winter, according to Tim Mead, vice president of communications for the club.
The team recently passed the 16,000 mark for the sale of full-season equivalents, which include full-season tickets and the number of tickets sold in mini-plans that add up to 81 games. About 90% of season-ticket holders from 2015 have renewed their seats for 2016, Mead said.
That's slightly below last season's final sales of about 17,000 full-season tickets. But with opening day still 2 1/2 months away and the season-ticket marketing plan scheduled to launch at the start of spring training in mid-February, "We feel pretty good about things," Mead said.
The Angels, who have surpassed the 3-million mark in home attendance in every season since 2003 despite a considerable reduction in their season-ticket base, did not sign a premier free agent this winter, and they are not believed to be pursuing the last available big bat, outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.
Their two biggest acquisitions were trades for shortstop and defensive whiz Andrelton Simmons from the Atlanta Braves in November and third baseman Yunel Escobar from the Washington Nationals in December.
But the Angels still feature dynamic center fielder Mike Trout, whom many consider the best all-around player in baseball, slugging first baseman Albert Pujols, a likely Hall of Famer who has 560 career homers and 1,698 runs batted in, and Gold Glove Award-winning right fielder Kole Calhoun, who had 26 homers and 83 RBIs last season.
And they made a strong push for a playoff spot last September, going 20-11 in their final 31 games and rallying for five runs in the ninth inning of an 11-10 win over Texas on Oct. 3. They were eliminated from playoff contention the following day in the last game of the regular season.
"The fan experience hasn't changed here," Mead said. "We've seen big contracts and big-name players, but I think it's a winning club more than the individuality of one person.
"The way the season ended, the September run … we played 162 meaningful games last year, and that ninth inning of Game 161, and what we tried to finish off in Game 162, left a feeling of, 'Let's get after it.' "
The Angels sold a franchise-record 31,000 season tickets in 2006, but that figure dropped to 24,000 by 2012. In 2013, the number fell to 21,000, and by 2014, it was about 18,500. In 2015, there were 17,000 season tickets sold.