It’s believed the Indians could have drawn more fans this year, but the organization reduced the number of free tickets available through promotions. This way the tickets they did sell generated more actual revenue because they weren’t discounted.So by charging more for tickets, the team sold fewer tickets...but made more money. It's a concept discussed on this blog back in January 2011:
After all, teams have long raised ticket prices to whatever the market can bear. The Rays make more money selling 20,000 tickets at $25 a piece than they would selling 30,000 at $10 a piece.Back to 2013, deMause concludes:
[I]t’s also a valuable reminder that you can’t just look at attendance figures as a sign of a team’s financial health, because that’s just about how many tickets were issued, not what fans paid for them. Not to say that the Tampa Bay Rays are secretly rolling in dough — not until they can cash in on a new TV deal, anyway — but there are numbers more important than turnstile count.