The St. Lucie Mets (High A; Florida State League) reached a milestone on Friday, when they set a new single-season attendance record.
For Friday’s contest against the Tampa Yankees, the Mets drew 3,399 fans through the gates of First Data Field. That mark put the Mets’ single-season attendance total for 2017 at 108,057, allowing them to surpass their previous single-season record of 105,379 that was set in 2011.
“It has certainly been an exciting year for the St. Lucie Mets at First Data Field,” Mets general manager Traer Van Allen said in a statement. “We want to thank all of our great fans for coming to the ballpark to support our team. We still have a month left in the season so we encourage the community to visit us and enjoy all First Data Field has to offer.”
This season has brought more attention to the Mets, particularly since outfielder Tim Tebow joined the team after being promoted from the Columbia Fireflies (Low A; Sally League) in late June. Just as he did in the South Atlantic League, the former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL quarterback has helped attract fans to the ballpark during his time in the Florida State League. The AP put the numbers into perspective, both for the Mets and the FSL as a whole:
St. Lucie is seeing nearly a 50 percent jump in average attendance per game over last season, and the interest in Tebow is clearly a major factor – one that overrides the Mets having the worst record this year in the FSL’s South Division.
And for the first time in four years, the FSL is going to see a rise in attendance.
The league drew 1,056,800 fans last season, and is on pace to significantly top that this season. That would snap a three-year run of FSL attendance dropping from the previous year; the league was down 11 percent in 2016.
As of this writing, the Mets have drawn a total of 111,474 fans through 55 openings, with a per-game average of 2,027. The average attendance mark is good for fourth in the 12-team FSL, behind only Clearwater (2,832), Daytona (2,082), and Fort Myers (2,080).
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