(INDIANAPOLIS) - Kent Erdahl reports the rebuilding of the Indianapolis Colts is taking a toll on season ticket renewals.
After saying goodbye to number 18, along with several other players, Colts season ticket holders gave the organization a number it hasn't seen in a while.
According to the team, 87 percent of season ticket holders have renewed their tickets for next season, that's compared to 93 percent last year.
Larry Hall, Vice President of Ticket Operations says the last time season ticket renewals were below 90 percent Peyton Manning was just starting his career.
"We've been over 90% for the last decade for sure," Hall said.
Though the numbers are down, Hall says the team is still in a good position because it is once again building around a number one draft pick and generating momentum through the hiring of new GM Ryan Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano.
"We're off some from last year, but there's a path of optimism," Hall said. "Having that first pick in the draft is a big deal. We're excited about it and there's a lot of excitement in our building."
The Colts season ticket renewal deadline actually came a week before the team released Manning and cut several notable players such as Joseph Addai, Gary Brackett and Dallas Clark.
The decline in renewals didn't surprise a lot of fans.
"All of the personnel changes were made after season ticket money was due or the number would have been much lower," wrote Colts fan Chris Pedigo.
"Indy showing its typical fair weather fantod," wrote Jeff Manback.
One season ticket holder who opted not to renew for 2012, disputed similar comments about "fair weather fans".
"Every single one of you must have $2k sitting around burning a hole in your pocket then. It's not being a fair-weather fan not renewing my season tix after the miserable season I just sat through," wrote Alex Comella. "I can still cheer my team on just as much from my couch without wasting all that money to be disappointed each week."
Despite the uncertainty around the team during the renewal process, Hall says he believes the economy was a bigger factor in fans opting not to renew their tickets.
"I think our fans are very knowledgeable and they understand the circumstances that led to some of the changes that have happened with our organization in the last few months," Hall said.
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