PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan)- Pittsburgh Pirates President Frank Coonelly is all smiles these days. Why should he not be? His team is a season-high 25 games over .500 (Going into today’s 12:35 p.m. game vs. the Marlins) and lead the St. Louis Cardinals by three games in the race for the NL Central. He joined the guys on The Fan Morning Show live from the Pirates’ radio booth on Thursday to talk about the success of his Pirates.
“This is what we envisioned when the park opened,” Coonelly said. “The fans’ reaction have been nothing short of spectacular.”
That is an understatement. Coonelly informs us that today they will past last year’s total for tickets sold. That guarantees this year will be the second highest attendance of all-time with a real shot of breaking the all-time high of 2,464,870 set in 2001 when PNC Park opened.
Coonelly also pointed out that the Pirates’ ratings on flagship radio station 93.7 The Fan and on television on Root Sports have been through the roof. This year, they have received nine out of 10 of the highest rated television games ever.
Coonelly also addressed what the fans are begging for – When will Andrew Lambo come to Pittsburgh?
“I expect to see him up here this year” Coonelly said. “It could be before Sept. 1 or after when rosters are expanded. Coonelly said the numbers he is putting up in AAA Indy are legit because of the park he is playing in. He also says they have a strong desire to resign A.J. Burnett.
The excitement for this team was there last year as the team competed for a division title and playoff spot. But we all know how that ended. Coonelly acknowledges that last year had a disappointing end to it, but this year is different.
Coonelly admits that he and Manager Clint Hurdle may have made some lofty predictions for this team around Opening Day and that may have been another stupid thing to say, but he is feeling better about it today.
“We are now in a very good position to reach those goals.”
“it’s our time this year,” Coonelly said.
He knows that they still have work to do, but has a good feeling on how it will end.
Listen to the full interview here: