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CUB-BRAVE REPORT

Braves Finally Have a Large Audience

October 01, 2003|From Associated Press

ATLANTA — Here's a change: The Atlanta Braves will have sellout crowds at Turner Field for the first two games of their playoff series against the Chicago Cubs.

Of course, there were a bunch of Cub fans filling the seats.

"Our fans are everywhere," Cub Manager Dusty Baker said before Chicago's 4-2 victory in Game 1 on Tuesday night. "Any tickets that haven't been sold, I hope they show up in droves and buy the rest of them."

The Braves have failed to sell out at least 15 postseason games since moving to Turner Field in 1997. This year, they benefited from playing the Cubs, which led to a more favorable television schedule, and from the fact they offered a chance at World Series tickets to fans who bought tickets to a division series game.

Atlanta hasn't sold out any postseason games the last two years, but demand was so strong this year that 3,000 standing-room tickets were put on sale for each of the first two games.

"I've been asked all week why they don't sell out here," said Cub reliever Mike Remlinger, who pitched for the Braves from 1999-2002. "As a player, it was frustrating. But the fans we had were great fans."

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Giants' Executive Vice President Larry Baer used to work for CBS in New York. So, he isn't going to complain about San Francisco not playing in prime time.

"The Cubs are a great story," Baer said. "TV revolves around soap-opera stories, magical moments and great story lines. And the Cubs are a great story line."

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