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Attendance records fall by wayside Independence Day weekend

Clearwater ThreshersA number of teams set attendance records over the weekend: Greensboro Grasshoppers, Fort Wayne TinCaps, Clearwater Threshers, South Bend Cubs, Reno Aces, Hillsboro Hops and Greeneville Astros.

A crowd of 10,312 jammed into NewBridge Bank Park Saturday night for the Greensboro Grasshoppers (Low A; Sally League), setting a single-game record in the 11-season history of the ballpark.

That broke the old mark of 10,260, set on July 4 of 2006, the stadium’s second year. It also pushed the figure of 10,229, drawn for the North Carolina-NC State game in the ACC Tournament in 2012, into third place in the stadium’s history.

“This is fabulous, exciting,” said Hoppers president Donald Moore. “We must be doing something right after more than 800 games here. This is gratifying, and I hope they keep coming.”


In Florida, the Clearwater Threshers (High A; Florida State League) drew 9,966 fans to Bright House Field Friday night, with a slate that included a game against the Tampa Yankees, fireworks and a video show. The crowd surpassed the previous record of 9,844 set on July 3, 2009, with the help of a 5,500 advance ticket sale.

“Clearwater and its surrounding community have really embraced the team since moving into Bright House Field in 2004. Each year we have seen record growth in attendance and it really is a credit to our great staff and wonderful fans,” said Threshers General Manager John Timberlake. “I believe the community recognizes not only the value and quality of Minor League Baseball in these economic times, but we have proven that Bright House Field is a great place for the entire family to have fun.”

Through 38 games this season, Clearwater has notched an attendance of 109,027 and an average of 2,869.


Parkview Field hosted a record crowd for a Fort Wayne TinCaps (Low A; Midwest League) game on Saturday night as 9,193 fans came to celebrate the Fourth of July. The City of Fort Wayne’s fireworks followed the game.

“It was a tremendous night,” TinCaps President Mike Nutter said. “We can’t thank our fans enough. They’re the best in Minor League Baseball.”

The previous Parkview Field single-game attendance record of 9,182 was set on July 4, 2014.


At Four Winds Field, the South Bend Cubs (Low A; Midwest League) a single-game franchise attendance record of 8,143 Friday night for the matchup with the Bowling Green Hot Rods.

“Again I can’t say it enough. It’s a very humbling experience,” South Bend Cubs President Joe Hart said. “We’re just so grateful for this community and the support that we get. Also a big thanks to the Cubs for having the belief and the trust in bringing their guys here, because we know that’s a big commitment from their standpoint. It’s awesome.”

South Bend broke the previous single-game attendance apex of 8,004, set June 19.

“As great as tonight is, we’re going to continue to work hard,” Hart said. “This is certainly not the end for us. We’re always gonna look for new ways to make things bigger and better and continue to improve on the fan experience.”

Entering the season, South Bend’s single-game franchise attendance record was 7,287, set July 3, 2013. The Cubs cracked that mark April 18 with a crowd of 7,575, and went a step further May 22 with a then-record attendance of 7,786.

Through 39 home dates at Four Winds Field, South Bend’s average attendance is up 27.8 percent compared to last season. In 2014, South Bend set a new single-season total attendance record (258,836).


At Aces Ballpark, the Reno Aces (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) drew 10,441 fans on Saturday night — the largest crowd in team history. It’s been a great turnaround in Reno for the Aces over the past few seasons; watch Ballpark Digest for a longer story on the team and its success.


In Oregon, the Hillsboro Hops (short season A; Northwest League) set a record for attendance at Ron Tonkin Field, with 5,213 at the ballpark Friday night.


Last night was a big night for the Greeneville Astros (rookie; Appalachian League): the team set a Pioneer Park team attendance record of 3,907 while also defeating the Elizabethton Twins, 10-3, to take sole possession of first place in the Appalachian League West The Astros set a season high in hits (16) and tied their season high in runs (10).


Other teams had big gates that weren’t necessarily records, but still noteworthy. The Fresno Grizzlies (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) attracted a sell-out crowd of 12,589 Saturday night at Chukchansi Park to see the home team triumph over the Tacoma Rainiers, 10-3. At Dr Pepper Ballpark, an Independence Day game brought 11,876 fans to the home of the Frisco RoughRiders (Class AA; Texas League), the third-largest attended game in Riders history. The second-largest crowd in BB&T Ballpark, 8,009, saw the Winston-Salem Dash (High A; Carolina League) defeat the Frederick Keys, 6-5. The Round Rock Express (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) drew 13,086 fans to Dell Diamond Saturday night. The total attendance ranks third all-time in Dell Diamond history and is only the third game to exceed 13,000 fans. The total topped last year’s season high 12,951, which also came on July 4. And the Quad Cities River Bandits (Low A; Midwest League) drew a crowd of 7,403 fans to Modern Woodmen Park Friday night – the largest crowd at Modern Woodmen Park in exactly six years.

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