BOSTON (CBS) — It’s been apparent that the end was coming soon, and many will tell you it already did end long ago, but on Thursday, Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino confirmed it.
The sellout streak will soon be no more.
In fact, Lucchino said the streak might end on the day of the Red Sox’ second home game of the season.
Lucchino told reporters at the Sox’ spring training complex that the streak “will rest in peace some time in April.”
“Ticket sales are more challenging as they have been since our first year here,” Lucchino said.
The Red Sox boast a sellout streak that dates back to May 2003, the longest in the history of Major League Baseball. In June of last year, the Red Sox passed the Portland Trail Blazers for the longest regular-season sellout streak when they hosted their 745th straight sellout at Fenway Park. The Trail Blazers still have the longest overall sellout streak in history at 814, which the Red Sox would have been set up to break this season.
However, the sellout streak has not been without controversy in recent years. Even before the collapse of September 2011 and the atrocious start to the 2012 season under Bobby Valentine, many fans and media members speculated that the streak was not actually intact but was kept alive but ownership. However last May, The Boston Globe uncovered that on one given night, the Red Sox announced a “sellout” even though hundreds of tickets went unsold.
The Red Sox said that they count all of the tickets they distribute for free as part of the total number of tickets that count toward the sellout.
As the Red Sox dropped farther below .500 as the season went on, more and more empty seats could be spotted around Fenway Park, leading to even more doubt that the sellout streak was indeed legitimate. Now, it seems the mystery is over, with the Red Sox taking the streak out to pasture.