published Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Kershaw's visit packed financial punch

Clayton Kershaw, center, walks onto AT&T Field on Wednesday to start for the Chattanooga Lookouts against the Smokies. Catcher Chris O'Brien, left, walks alongside.
Clayton Kershaw, center, walks onto AT&T Field on Wednesday to start for the Chattanooga Lookouts against the Smokies. Catcher Chris O'Brien, left, walks alongside.
Photo by Tim Barber.

Clayton Kershaw threw 86 pitches during Wednesday night's rehab assignment at AT&T Field, and he threw a lot of coins into the coffers of the Chattanooga Lookouts.

The appearance of the two-time Cy Young Award winner resulted in a sold-out crowd of 6,318, and packed houses lead to increased sales of hot dogs, peanuts and beverages. Before Monday night's announcement that Kershaw would be coming, the Lookouts had sold about 2,900 tickets to Wednesday's game.

"That was as good of a night as we've had here in the last three seasons," Lookouts general manager Rich Mozingo said Thursday afternoon.

Mozingo would not cite any financial specifics regarding Wednesday night, but AT&T Field is configured with about 1,700 seats at $9 apiece, 700 at $6 apiece and 3,900 at $5 each. So a sellout crowd results in about $39,000 in revenue.

Another revenue stream is concessions, and Minor League Baseball recently determined that a family of four spends $30.50 to eat and drink at a game. With a crowd of 6,318, that estimate swells to $48,175.

So the visit by Kershaw produced in the neighborhood of $90,000 for Lookouts officials.

"I can't comment on that, but the night was a lot of fun," Mozingo said. "I was unbelievably surprised by how well it went. Everybody did exactly what they were supposed to do, and it was a very well-run night. My staff did a marvelous job.

"What we hope from our end is that we had something to bring people out, and now they will come back for more."

Wednesday's sellout gave Chattanooga a season attendance average of 4,298, and the experience was appreciated by Lookouts coaches and players.

"It was everything you would have expected it to be, from inside the clubhouse to out on the field," Lookouts manager Razor Shines said before Thursday's game. "You had fans crawling on dugouts and going crazy. It was just a good atmosphere, and in no way was it a distraction. It was really good for the players."

Said outfielder Scott Schebler: "It was just cool seeing the best pitcher in baseball around us. It was hard not to take your eyes off of him, because you were wondering what he was going to throw. It was a little harder to concentrate, but I don't think it threw off anything. It was just fun to have him."

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.

about David Paschall...

David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...

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