Ballpark renovations do make a difference: the Durham Bulls (Class AAA; International League) set a new single-season attendance record at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, with one game left in the regular season.
Yesterday saw an announced crowd of 11,104, giving the Bulls a total of 525,199 fans this season, surpassing the previous mark of 520,952 set in 2007. The Bulls wrap up the regular season today, which will pad that total. Making the new record even more impressive is the fact it was achieved despite two rainouts. The paid attendance total also does not count sell-out crowds for this year’s Triple-A All-Star Game and Home Run Derby exhibitions.
After the DBAP underwent a $20 million facelift in the offseason, the Bulls began defense of their 2013 Governors’ Cup title on Thursday, April 3 in front of a near-capacity crowd of 9,483 on Opening Day. In May, the team’s highly anticipated Star Wars Night drew a paid crowd of 11,507, the fourth best single-game attendance in park history. Energized by the overwhelming success of Triple-A All-Star Week festivities in mid-July, Bulls fans continued to flock to downtown Durham over the final two months of the season. Including today’s game, the DBAP has hosted 25 crowds over 9,000 this summer. The team’s current average attendance of 7,612 is also a new single-season high, showing an increase of more than 450 fans per game over last season.
“This record is first and foremost a testament to the most amazing fans in Minor League Baseball,” said General Manager Mike Birling. “To be able to continue to grow the Durham Bulls brand over a century into our existence says so much about our fans. We are also incredibly proud of our staff, sponsors and community partners, for helping to make 2014 a historic season that none of us will forget.”
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