While attendance usually sags during the first months of the year, the San Diego Symphony successfully beat the odds in 1988 with a $10-per-seat equivalent of a January White Sale. Public relations director Les Smith said attendance at subscription concerts over the last four weekends averaged 1,704--which is more than 76% of the hall. That figure is up significantly from attendance at the season's opening programs in November and December.
The best house all season was Jan. 29, the Friday before the Super Bowl, when 2,214 patrons came to hear Maxim Shostakovich conduct his father's Fifth Symphony. That night's attendance even topped last November's opening night red-carpet hoopla, when 2,162 San Diegans came to Symphony Hall to hear the orchestra play there for the first time in more than a year.
"We knew we needed to do something," Smith said. "There were some people who didn't even know that the symphony was back."