DAYTON, OHIO (WDTN)– Thursday night will make the 1,317th straight sellout at Fifth Third Field, as the Dragons open the 2019 season against the Bowling Green Hot Rods.
“It’s amazing that no game has ever been played at Fifth Third Field that we haven’t sold out all of the stadium seats,” said Eric Deutsch, Executive Vice President of the Dayton Dragons.
What started as initial buzz and excitement, turned into a lasting connection with the Dayton community. It’s a connection that eventually rewrote the record books.
Deutsch said, “We hit our five hundredth straight sell out and then we said ‘Well what is the record out there?’ and we found out the Portland Trailblazers of the NBA had a streak of 814, so that was our next goal.”
It didn’t stop there. In April of 2007, the Dayton Dragons made Sports Illustrated’s Top 10 list of ‘Hottest Tickets in Sports’– putting them on the same level as world champion major league teams.
Then, on July 9th, 2011, the Dragons broke the all-time sports record for consecutive sell-outs, recording their 815th straight sell-out.
Robert Murphy, the Team President, remembers the moment well.
“The celebration that we had to recognize breaking the streak was probably one of the best things during the course of our entire time here. This community, it was just a great thing for them that they should be really proud of. And it got the attention of the entire world.”
Heading into the 2019 season, the Dragons’ sell-out streak stands at 1316 games, nearly 500 games longer than any other organization in sports.
Murphy recalls the hard work it took to get here, including the two years spent building the stadium and making it through the first full season.
“It was really a unique experience to come to Dayton and to start something from scratch,” said Murphy. “If you don’t have great people that can execute on the plan, then it’s never going to be something that matches what your vision points are.”
That vision has made the Dayton Dragons one of the most successful sports organizations in the country, and they show no signs of stopping.
“So here we are are 20 years, and we’re setting ourselves up for another sold-out season, which has never been done before in the history of sports for 20 straight years.”