Tebow helps St. Lucie Mets set attendance record

Posted at 9:06 AM, Aug 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-08 08:55:45-04

At First Data Field in Port St. Lucie, the autograph seekers are out in the midday sun, waiting for Tim Tebow, who obliges them before heading off to practice.

Over at the ticket booth, Barry Gans is buying tickets for Tuesday's game.

“(The) Season wrapping up so we wanted to get out before the season wraps up," said Gans, a Tebow fan who just moved to the area from St. Augustine.

Fans will not be alone at the ballpark.  Through Sunday night, more than 111,000 people have come to First Data Field this year.  Those are the best numbers in the club's 30-year history.  The average attendance is just over 2,000 but since Tebow’s arrival in late June, an average of over 2,600 people have turned out.

“What it means is a lot more eyes on the city, a lot more visitors.  It’s basically free marketing for the city," said Port St. Lucie Mayor Greg Oravec, who added that locals and day trippers are helping gas stations and restaurants.

Over at Park Avenue BBQ, just down the street from the ballpark, employees get ready for another day.

“Everyone’s really excited he’s in PSL.  He’s a giant star and he’s handsome," said Marianna Quick.

The general manager says each home game means an extra 6 to 8 tables served, and while Tebow hasn’t been in yet, his family has.

“We knew it was his family because one kid said, 'Hey Mom Uncle Timmy is on TV.'” said general manager Tony DeJosia.

As he was signing autographs, I asked Tebow what he thought of the record numbers.  He simply shrugged his shoulders before adding this: “Thankful for the support.”