MiLB reports a very slight attendance drop in May 2009 when compared to the previous year; bad weather is blamed.
The folks at Minor League Baseball report 7,475,169 fans attended games in May, pushing the season total to over 12.7 million. That breaks down to an average crowd of 3,924 per opening, a very slight decrease over May 2008.
Seven of the 11 full-season leagues reported increases over their 2008 average crowds through May, led by the 15.1 percent jump in the Florida State League. Other leagues reporting growth at the gate were the Eastern (6.5 percent), International (6.2 percent), Midwest (3 percent), California (1.6 percent), Pacific Coast (1 percent) and South Atlantic (0.8 percent).
Bad weather is cited as the reason for the drop: clubs lost 36 more openings in 425 fewer opportunities through May, when compared to last 2008; last year MiLB teams averaged 3,954 fans per game in May.
“We experienced an incredible amount of rain throughout the month of May, which accounted for some of the attendance drop year-to-date with last May,” said Minor League Baseball President Pat O’Conner. “We are encouraged that the per-opening average has remained strong as we head into the heart of the 2009 schedule.”
Subscribers to the weekly Ballpark Digest newsletter see articles before they're posted to the site. You can sign up for a free subscription at the Newsletter Signup Page.