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Extreme Measures — Throwing Fans a Curve

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What’s the best way to get your customers to come back? Lock them out.

That’s the thinking behind "Nobody Night," a promotion for the Charleston Riverdogs minor-league baseball team. Team owner Mike Veeck sought to drum up publicity by setting the record for lowest attendance at a professional baseball game.

Veeck padlocked the gates and served discounted concessions to about 1,800 fans in the stadium parking lot during the game’s first five innings. Once the game was declared official, he let people enter the park. Attendance was recorded as zero.

Some fans — and players — grumbled about the stunt, but others showed up just to be a part of history. "We come to the games when we can," said fan Aaron Houghman. "But this was an extra draw."

Source: Associated Press, July 9, 2002

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