Nice day when you can set two attendance marks in a doubleheader, as the Tennessee Smokies (Class AA; Southern League) set marks for single-game and single-day attendance at Smokies Park.
The marks were set yesterday during a day-night doubleheader. An announced crowd of 7,787 at Smokies Park witnessed the first contest as part of a Smokies Safety Day, with that number the largest recorded attendance at the ballpark since the club began play there on April 20, 2000. The previous single-game high was 7,728, which was set on July 4, 2010 against the Huntsville Stars. In the evening, 2,731 fans arrived for the nightcap, during which the Smokies officially crossed the 10,000 fan mark as part of the club’s successful “March For 10K” effort.
As part of the doubleheader, the team honored the late Cubs legend Ernie Banks in many ways, showing highlights and photos from his Hall of Fame career, while also giving out t-shirts with “Mr. Cub”’s name on the back to the first 1,000 fans in attendance for the nightcap. The date was also significant in Banks’ playing career, with the infielder blasting his 500th Major League home run 45 years ago to the day.
For the record, the Smokies beat the Montgomery Biscuits 7-6 in game one, while the Biscuits trounced the Smokies 14-0 in the nightcap.