The folks at Fifth Third Field run a veritable machine: the Dayton Dragons (Low Class A; Midwest League) notched their 1,000th consecutive sellout Saturday.
The team has long held the North American record for consecutive sold-out games, a record set on July 9, 2011 when the Dragons recorded their 815th straight sellout, surpassing the previous record of 814 set by the Portland Trail Blazers (NBA) from 1977-’95.
Sellouts are the norm at Fifth Third Field: every game in the Dragons 15-year history has been a sell-out, beginning with the Dragons inaugural opening night on April 27, 2000. Fifth Third Field has 7,230 stadium-style fixed seats including 29 luxury suites, three party decks, and additional lawn seating.
“This is an amazing milestone for this team, our fantastic fans and our great community,” said Dragons President Robert Murphy. “We want to say thank you and congratulations to the very best sports fans in the country. You made this accomplishment happen and you should be very proud that this community has done something that no one has ever done in the history of sports. One thousand consecutive sell outs: Remarkable.”
The Dragons have drawn more than 8.4 million fans over their 15-year history and have led Single-A Minor League Baseball in attendance in each season. The Dragons set the all-time Single-A record for single-season attendance in 2000 and broke the record in 2003, 2004, and 2010. Their 2010 total of 597,433 is the current Single-A record. The Dragons 14 years of operation have marked the top 14 season attendance totals in Single-A history. The Dragons have also finished in the top-10 in attendance for all levels of Minor League Baseball for each of their 14 previous seasons.
The Dragons averaged 8,405 fans per date in 2013. They are averaging 8,466 per date in 2014.
Among the 1,000 sold out dates at Fifth Third Field have been two Midwest League All-Star Games (2001, 2013), nine playoff games, and 989 regular season games. Fans at Fifth Third Field have seen 65 Dragons players who eventually advanced to the Major Leagues. The list includes former National League Most Valuable Player Joey Votto; Major League all-stars Jay Bruce, Adam Dunn, Edwin Encarnacion, and Travis Wood; professional baseball’s all-time stolen base king, Billy Hamilton; and big league standouts Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey, Todd Frazier, Chris Heisey, Zack Cozart, Devin Mesoraco, and many others.
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