Good weather, new Mexican League teams and some popular franchise shifts accounted for an 11.2 percent attendance increase among Minor League Baseball teams in April.
MiLB clubs attracted 6,401,632 fans through the end of April, an 11.2 percent increase over the same time period last year. The total number of fans is the second highest since 2000 and only less than the 6.7 million people MiLB drew through April in 2008, when the industry set its season attendance mark of 43.2 million patrons.
“Minor League Baseball clubs work extremely hard in preparing for their seasons and the 6.4 million fans who visited our ballparks through last month is a testament to their efforts,” Minor League Baseball President Pat O’Conner said. “Additionally, our clubs have kept their prices at a level where our industry is, once again, one of the more affordable, family entertainment options.”
The 11 full-season leagues and 136 clubs averaged 3,752 fans a game through last month.
In raw numbers, this year’s attendance was 645,085 more than last year through April. Carmen and Aguascalientes, two new Mexican League clubs, attracted a combined 147,816 fans.
The following clubs led their league in average attendance through April: International—Lehigh Valley IronPigs (8,078); Pacific Coast—Round Rock Express (7,583); Mexican—Monterrey Sultans (11,878); Eastern—Richmond Flying Squirrels (6,000); Southern—Pensacola Blue Wahoos (4,823); Texas—Frisco RoughRiders (6,745); California—Lake Elsinore Storm (3,923); Carolina—Winston-Salem Dash (4,417); Florida State—Daytona Cubs (2,732); Midwest—Dayton Dragons (8,513); and South Atlantic—Greensboro Grasshoppers (5,279). The Blue Wahoos are new to the Southern League this season, as the Carolina Mudcats franchise was sold and moved to Pensacola, with the Kinston Indians (High Class A; Carolina League) sold and moved to Carolina.
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