Is it the weather, the economy, or just the fact that fans seem to be flocking to baseball in all forms this year? Minor League Baseball has announced that its clubs attracted 8,407,103 fans last month, bringing the industry’s season total to 22,346,686 in paid attendance through June. The 176 clubs in 15 leagues across MiLB have seen 901,800 tickets sold than they did through June of last year, representing a 4.2 percent increase.
The month of July is also seeing a good jump, thanks to Fourth of July celebrations at stadiums across the country. The 80 MiLB ballparks that hosted games attracted 539,795 fans for an average of 6,747.
The Salt Lake Bees (15,411) and Albuquerque Isotopes (15,309) led the 13 clubs that entertained crowds of more than 10,000 on the Fourth of July. The others were the Indianapolis Indians (14,504); Charlotte Knights (14,206); Fresno Grizzlies (13,839); Iowa Cubs (11,950); New Orleans Zephyrs (11,778); Durham Bulls (11,117); Las Vegas 51s (11,026); Lansing Lugnuts (10,512); Rochester Red Wings (10,412); Lehigh Valley IronPigs (10,100); and Memphis Redbirds (10,063).
"Our attendance remained strong through June, as our clubs continue to provide our fans with a high quality product,” Minor League Baseball President Pat O’Conner said. “Hopefully the momentum generated from the half a million fans who attended our games yesterday will serve as a springboard for yet another favorable month at the turnstiles for our clubs.”
MiLB clubs averaged 4,008 a game in 5,576 openings through last month. Eight leagues are seeing an increase in paid attendance than they did in 2011.
The following clubs led their leagues in average attendance through June: International—Lehigh Valley (8,966); Pacific Coast—Round Rock (8,355); Mexican—Monterrey (10,793); Eastern—Richmond (6,385); Southern—Pensacola (4,877); Texas—Frisco (7,697); California—Lake Elsinore (3,396); Carolina—Frederick (4,806); Florida State—Clearwater (2,590); Midwest—Dayton (8,494); South Atlantic—Greensboro (5,671); New York-Penn—Brooklyn (6,923); Northwest—Spokane (4,366); Appalachian—Greeneville (1,501); and Pioneer—Ogden (3,839).
Source: Minor League Baseball
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).
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