Splish splash, the Chattanooga Lookouts have taken an early bath.
Sunday afternoon's series finale between the Lookouts and the Birmingham Barons at AT&T Field was scratched due to unsafe field conditions following the recent abundance of rain. Thursday night's game was postponed and made up as part of two seven-inning games Saturday night, and Friday night's contest was delayed nearly half an hour by rain.
The Lookouts, who are off to a 6-3 start, do not play at AT&T Field again until April 30, so this was Chattanooga's lone homestand of the month.
"April is historically a very good month for us," Lookouts president and general manager Rich Mozingo said Sunday. "We came into this season without a lot of April dates, and to have the weather we've had on top of it makes this very tough. It's a tough way to start the season."
Because the Lookouts do not host the Barons again in the Southern League's first half, the game will be made up when the teams play in Birmingham either in May or June. Sunday's cancellation was announced less than an hour before the scheduled first pitch.
"It was more of a cumulative thing," Mozingo said. "We're a little bit above six inches for the last five days, according to our groundskeeper, and it just caught up with us."
Last Wednesday's home opener for the Lookouts drew a crowd of 3,699, while Friday night's game had an audience of 2,326 and Saturday's doubleheader drew 5,274. That three-gate total of 11,299 pales in comparison to the 20,536 fans who attended Chattanooga's opening homestand last season.
The steady rain throughout Friday resulted in the most disappointing night, as AT&T Field was essentially just one-third full for the game and the accompanying fireworks display. According to Minor League Baseball, a full house at a facility similar in capacity to AT&T, which holds 6,340, can result in about $90,000 revenue given the average ticket prices and the average food and beverage consumption at a Double-A game.
"Considering the weather forecasts leading up to the series and during the series, I've actually been thrilled with the crowds," Mozingo said.
Lookouts officials also went through a wet and frustrating July 4th weekend homestand in 2013, when only one of the five games started on schedule.
Contact David Paschall at email@example.com or 423-757-6524.