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In the return of our "Body Count," THE DAILY estimates that 204,739,463 people attended professional sporting events in North America during the '96-97 season. That breaks down to seven paid entries to a sporting event for every ten people in North America. THE BIG WINNER: Baseball's 23 leagues had more than 94 million paid spectators in its '96 season, accounting for 46% of "The Body Count." Hockey and basketball came in a distant second and third, respectively. METHODOLOGY: THE DAILY compiled attendance figures for 11 professional sports in North America to come up with "The Body Count." For sports in which the schedules span over one calendar year, the '96-97 seasons were used. These numbers are not meant to be exact; rather, they estimate the total number of people attending sports events over '96-97. EXCLUDED: Figures were not available for the following leagues/sports: AVP, boxing, LPGA, Sr. PGA, IndyCar, thoroughbred racing, U.S. Track & Field Association, figure skating or the rodeo circuit. The '96 Atlanta Olympics were not included in our "Body Count," but the Games announced that 8,400,000 tickets were sold for the events (THE DAILY).
RANK SPORT BODY COUNT1 BASEBALL (MLB, Minors)94,397,7142 HOCKEY (NHL, IHL, AHL, etc.)38,664,6513 BASKETBALL (NBA, CBA, USBA, WNBA, ABL)24,780,8664 FOOTBALL (NFL, AFL, CFL)18,520,6495 AUTO RACING (CART, NASCAR, NHRA, SCCA, IROC)13,846,2676 SOCCER (MLS, CISL, NPSL, USISL)6,424,2387 GOLF (PGA Tour)4,294,0958 TENNIS (ATP Tour, WTA Tour)2,807,1979 BOWLING (PBA Tour)500,00010 LACROSSE (MILL)347,78611 VOLLEYBALL (WPVA Tour, NVA Tour)156,000 THE DAILY'S "BODY COUNT"204,739,463 Population of U.S./Canada294,928,745