With the end of the spring season yesterday, we have the numbers for Cactus League, Grapefruit League and exhibition games in our compilation of 2023 spring training attendance listings.
This compilation of 2023 spring training attendance includes everything: Cactus League games, Grapefruit League games, exhibitions outside Florida and Arizona (including Las Vegas games, other exhibition games and California exhibition games, which boosts the attendance for the Angels, Dodgers and Giants). Almost every team was up from 2022 to 2023. Teams enjoying the biggest boost: Texas Rangers (up 75 percent), San Diego Padres (up 73 percent), Tampa Bay Rays (up 72 percent), Arizona Diamondbacks (up 66 percent) and Washington Nationals (up 60 percent). You may be see some different rankings out there: both the Cactus League and Grapefruit League issue attendance figures limited to games in Arizona and Florida, respectively.
Still, the 37 percent boost in game average is what was expected in the first real post-COVID spring training season, as fans are finally coming back to the ballparks. We took a huge step toward normalcy in 2022, particularly by the end of both the MLB and MiLB seasons. We’re not all the way back yet — in 2019, the last full season pre-COVID, MLB teams drew 3,582,893 fans to spring training games, and in 2018 spring training attendance was 3,666,010, both still exceeding 2022 numbers. Note that In general spring attendance had been in decline; in 2016 MLB teams drew 4,025,874 fans to spring training and 4,024,927 in 2015.) So we still have a ways to go before full normalcy is at hand.
These numbers are drawn from MLB’s statistics system.
|2||Los Angeles Angels||CL||170,920||14||12,209||10,490||0.16|
|3||Los Angeles Dodgers||CL||166,396||14||11,885||12,134||-0.02|
|5||San Francisco Giants||CL||146,642||15||9,776||6,687||0.46|
|6||New York Yankees||GL||161,501||17||9,500||6,756||0.41|
|7||Boston Red Sox||GL||134,976||16||8,436||7,330||0.15|
|11||San Diego Padres||CL||105,578||15||7,039||4,077||0.73|
|15||Kansas Ciity Royals||CL||93,716||15||6,248||5,136||0.22|
|16||New York Mets||GL||86,682||14||6,192||5,242||0.18|
|20||St. Louis Cardinals||GL||81,197||14||5,800||4,002||0.45|
|21||Toronto Blue Jays||GL||89,696||16||5,606||3,811||0.47|
|22||Chicago White Sox||CL||75,818||14||5,416||4,039||0.34|
|25||Tampa Bay Rays||GL||68,361||14||4,883||2,831||0.72|