"The challenge is to get people here the first time," said club owner Joe O'Hara, another Holy Cross grad (1970). "League-wide, we find the repeat business is strong -- in the 90 percent range. People come, they get hooked."
The Marauders have played only twice at home and have averaged about 6,500 in attendance. According to O'Hara, the league commissioner for two years before bringing the Marauders here, the break-even point is approximately 8,500. Expansion franchises sell for $500,000 -- up fourfold since 1990 -- and operating costs run upwards of $1.2 million per year. Typically, a player makes $500 per week over a 14-week season, with a $150 sweetener for each win.
"I think by July 30 -- when we play Albany here at home -- we'll be seeing crowds of 10,000 or better," said O'Hara. "I'm saying that for a few reasons: Albany is our closest rival, our advance sales, and simply because of momentum -- people are realizing that we're here now."If the breaking point was 8,500 then the Marauders fell short of that goal by a lot as they only averaged 7,474 in the regular season and only got 6,858 in their lone home playoff game. As for that Albany game in which he wanted 10,000, they only got 8,335 well short of their goal. So I guess the market does have some blame here but the team probably would of have been better off in Boston.
If each team was held to these standards in 2012, then 6 teams(Arizona, Chicago, Cleveland, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, & San Antonio) aside from the 3 that folded(Georgia, KC, & Milwaukee) would be in trouble. It's weird seeing stuff from 1994 almost mirror 2012 when it comes to player pay, franchise costs, and the such.
There's also a bit on expansion news back then as O'Hara was expecting 24 teams in the AFL(league maxed out at 19).
When he was plotting a league growth chart two years ago, O'Hara figured there would be enough interest to expand to 24 teams by 1997. There are now 10 clubs: Albany, Charlotte, Cleveland, Fort Worth, Miami, Milwaukee, Orlando, Tampa Bay, the Sting and the Marauders. Hartford is in for '95. Vancouver and Memphis are expected on board soon. By O'Hara's account, the game is moving in the right direction.
"I think we are going to build something good here," said O'Hara, the last of the fans making their way out of the Centrum Friday night, their Marauders to return home next Saturday vs. Milwaukee. "I'm a big believer the Worcester-Boston market is going to work."Despite taking loses for the first year I think he might of been better off trying to keep a team around for at least another year to see if they could get a rivalry with the Hartford team but I guess that couldn't happen...