Monday is the last official day for Snow Days.  This was the second year that Progressive Field was transformed into a winter wonderland that included ice skating and snow tubing, as well as several hockey games.  The whole point of Snow Days was to earn extra income for the team; rather than sitting idle during the winter, the Indians could continue to pull in money from a snow-covered Progressive Field.

Unfortunately for the Indians, Snow Days was a financial loss for the second year in a row.  It was always expected to take a loss in its first year; I imagine this is because they had to purchase all of the materials to put the event together.  Once they already owned all of the equipment, they could expect to turn a profit in subsequent years.  The rainy weather was blamed for this year’s poor attendance.  Even today’s Frozen Diamond Faceoff hockey match-up between Ohio State and University of Michigan did not meet attendance expectations – organizers hoped for 30,000, but attendance was 25,864 as Michigan defeated Ohio State 4-1.

When I first heard about Snow Days last year, I thought it was kind of a ridiculous idea.  I made cracks about having bake sales and other various fundraisers in order to raise money for the team.  Then I went to it and actually had a pretty good time; I figured if it helped, then more power to them.  I went back again this year, but we almost had Progressive Field to ourselves.  I went a bit earlier in December than I did last year, but it still seemed like absurdly low attendance for a nice day on a weekend.  (A side note: I didn’t realize how out of shape I was until I did a few laps around the field on the ice skating rink.  I was sweating like Fausto Carmona by the time I was finished).

It sounds like the Indians will evaluate Snow Days moving forward – they may consider limiting the events, or perhaps having it every other year.  While I’m sure the weather may have been a factor overall, the day that I went this year was sunshine and temps in the high 30s…yet there were still probably more Snow Days employees than attendees.  Cost may have been a factor for some people.  It’s $27.50 for a tubing/skating combo, $22 for tubing only, $11 for skating only, and $5.50 for admission with no activities.  The ice skating alone is pretty reasonable, especially considering that it comes with free skate rental.  However, if you had a family of 4 and wanted to do the tubing/skating combo, you’re suddenly forking over $110.

Snow Days may return next year, but there probably will be a number of changes if it does.  When you’re a penny-pinching team, you can’t afford for your off-season money making venture to take a loss for a third straight year.


I couldn't resist a photo op. Props to my friend for patiently waiting while I put tiny hats on stuffed cows so I could take their picture!

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