Lidge merchandise sales closing strong

It’s obvious by the quantity and price of tickets still available for Wednesday’s game compared to last year’s Game 1 that Phillies fans have an expectation this year that they didn’t last year.

As of around 5 p.m., around 850 tickets remained for Game 1, which gets under way at 3 on Wednesday. And tickets in general for home Phillies NLDS games were selling for an average of $153, a StubHub spokesman said, as compared to $270 for last year’s home games vs. the Rockies.

Making the playoffs for a second straight year, Sean Pate said during a phone conversation earlier this evening, “has changed not necessarily the demand but the average sell price for a lot of these tickets. People are still buying them in mass numbers, but the fact they’re not spending quite as much as they were last year because they’re looking” for a run that takes them into the next round or the World Series. “There are quite a few tickets for sale under $100.”

Prices figure to drop once the clock heads past noon, as agencies and sites try to unload their inventory and some ticketholders decide not to leave work early for a mid-afternoon game.

This return trip back to the playoff also has had an impact on merchandise sales, said Modell’s marketing manager Derrick Morgan earlier today. He said that while traffic and the sales of postseason apparel “have been pretty much on par” with last year’s, the stuff leaving the stores has had a different look to it.

“Brad Lidge has picked up big time, especially considering what he’s done this year,” said Morgan, noting that the Phillies closer got an extra bounce today by being named the National League Comeback Player of the Year. “We’ve definitely seen an increase in demand for anything that has Lidge’s name or number on it. Even some of the secondary players have really picked up, guys like Jayson Werth is probably a good example of that, where you get people who already have the typical [Jimmy] Rollins, [Ryan] Howard, [Chase] T-shirts and they kind of want something that stands out a little bit more. So they look out for the secondary players, guys like Werth and Pedro Feliz and Lidge have [all] picked up.”