WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The 2017 NBC World Series Baseball Tournament is in full swing. While many athletes and fans have invaded the City of Wichita, some people have said the crowds have been somewhat underwhelming.
Teams from across the country swarmed Lawrence Dumont Stadium on July 29 for the beginning of the 83rd annual event. The 2017 tournament has brought cheers, gasps and some marathon-like games.
“Oh, it’s awesome. I love it,” said fan Nate Seidl.
“It’s all baseball. That’s the reason I’m out here. I like baseball. I enjoy watching,” said fan Carrie Twyman.
Carrie Twyman has been attending the NBC world series for years. She said overall the crowds at the games have been good, but they could be better.
“The first week was really, really slow. This week it’s picked up somewhat,” Tyman said. “When it’s the local teams, they seem to draw a bigger crowd than some of the away teams do. Then, the Kansas Stars they’ve had a decent crowd this year, but I think it was busier last year than this year.”
The Kansas Stars, a group of former MLB players, took to the NBC World Series field for the first time in 2016. The team, made up of players like Roger Clemens, played in front of a sold-out crowd nearly every night. The NBC World Series has yet to sell out a game in 2017.
“We have not had any sell outs in their first two games, but Chipper Jones is expected to be here to play on Wednesday, so ticket sales, we should expect to see an increase now that that has been released,” said NBC World Series Tournament Director Kevin Jenks.
Jenks admits the stands have not been quite as full as the 2016 tournament, but he’s optimistic about the overall attendance.
“Our numbers, they are not dead even, but they are really close,” Jenks said. “Now what we are hoping to see is good weather, good match ups which I know we have in championship week and a lot more walk ups coming up.”
Jenks said he and his team have increased promotions for the 2017 Kansas Stars Team. They are also offering a number of ticket deals. For example, kids wearing their baseball or softball team shirts can get into all of the NBC World Series games for free.
More than 55,000 people attended the 2016 tournament. That was about a 25 percent increase from 2015, according to Jenks.