published Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Lookouts getting off to hot start with fans

Chattanooga  Lookouts fans  shield themselves with signs during a game last month against Birmingham at AT&T Field.
Chattanooga Lookouts fans shield themselves with signs during a game last month against Birmingham at AT&T Field.
Photo by Doug Strickland.

STARTING STRONG

The Chattanooga Lookouts are off to their second-best start from a home attendance standpoint (through 15 games) in the past eight years:

YEAR — AVERAGE

2012 — 3,983

2011 — 3,922

2010 — 3,719

2009 — 3,708

2008 — 4,037

2007 — 3,327

2006 — 3,699

2005 — 3,551

Source: Chattanooga Lookouts

The Chattanooga Lookouts have surged out of the gate at the gate.

Through the first 15 dates this season at AT&T Field, the Lookouts are averaging 3,983 fans a game. That's the highest such average for the Lookouts since 2008 and the second-highest since 2004, when the 6,340-seat facility was known as BellSouth Park.

"It's been awesome," Lookouts president and general manager Rich Mozingo said Wednesday. "The two things that really do drive this business are weekend dates and weather, and both of those have fallen in our direction at this time. It's just been an absolutely wonderful start."

The Lookouts have played before five AT&T crowds in excess of 5,000, including sellouts on April 6 and last Saturday.

Mozingo was general manager of the Lookouts from 1999 to 2002 and returned to work for team owner Frank Burke last August, handling daily operations and allowing Burke to focus on the sale of the Class AA club. The two talk three or four times a week, and there has been a healthy competition since opening day.

"Any time I get the chance to compete against Frank, I love it," Mozingo said. "He's such an awesome baseball person and an awesome leader, and to have this kind of start relative to where we've been the past couple of years is kind of cool. It's been very fun for both of us, and you can bet that I look every single day and see how we're doing compared to the last couple of years."

Said Burke: "I want him to win and would very happily let him brag. He's had two series wrapped around weekends, but he's also had a Sunday through Thursday. He's done very, very well so far, and that helps just as much as the weather."

about David Paschall...

David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...

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