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Despite record, Indians struggle to fill stands

Who would have thought when the season began that in mid-May the Indians would be fighting the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals for the top spot in the central division? Yet, so far the team's attendance has not reflected their stellar play. Through the first month and a half they've averaged just over 15,000 fans a game. That's in a stadium that holds more than 42,000. Team spokesman Curtis Danburg blames the weather.

Curtis Danburg: 8 of our 14 games in April have been played under 50 degrees. That's a reality we've had to deal with. We had two rain outs this past weekend. Unfortunately we can't control mother nature but our guys have been controlling what's happening on the field.

There are definite signs the attendance picture is turning around. Danburg says tickets are selling well this weekend and Saturday's game could be a sellout. Also merchandise sales are up 25% and television ratings are up 70% over last year. One positive side effect of the growing ticket sales for the local economy -- the Indians are hiring.

Curtis Danburg: We have had to add jobs for game day staffers to accommodate the fans and the uptick.

The Indians face the Cincinnati Reds tonight at 7:05.