SBD/September 15, 2011/Research and Ratings

MiLB Attendance Up 1% In '11; Lehigh Valley IronPigs On Top For Second Straight Year

Teams affiliated with Minor League Baseball (MiLB) averaged 4,032 fans per game this season, up 1% from a year ago. The Triple-A Int'l League led all levels of MiLB with 6,956 fans per game among its 14 teams, down 1.3% from '10. Helping raise overall attendance from last season was the High-A Florida State League, which set an all-time record with 1,642 fans per game, up 9.5% from last season. The Mexican League also saw a big jump in average attendance, aided by the league dropping two low-drawing teams from last season -- Chihuaha and Laredo -- who did not play in '11 due to lack of suitable facilities. The Double-A Texas League had a 4.6% drop in average attendance, the sharpest decline of any level (THE DAILY).

'11 MiLB REGULAR-SEASON ATTENDANCE
LEAGUE
LEVEL
TMS
GMS
TOTAL
AVG.
PREV.
% +/-
'10 GMS
'10 TMS
Int'l
AAA
14
958
6,664,206
6,956
7,048
-1.3%
985
14
Pacific Coast
AAA
16
1,125
6,925,290
6,156
6,324
-2.7%
1,112
16
Texas
AA
8
542
2,822,109
5,207
5,460
-4.6%
539
8
Eastern
AA
12
806
3,923,381
4,868
4,792
1.6%
827
12
Mexican
AAA
14
704
3,325,138
4,723
3,445
37.1%
788
16
Midwest
Low-A
16
1,061
3,983,282
3,754
3,904
-3.8%
1,072
16
New York-
Penn
Short-Season A
14
499
1,749,891
3,507
3,579
-2.0%
510
14
Carolina
High-A
8
519
1,789,631
3,448
3,391
1.7%
534
8
South Atlantic
Low-A
14
931
3,125,934
3,358
3,415
-1.7%
944
14
Southern
AA
10
671
2,175,505
3,242
3,333
-2.7%
663
10
Northwest
Short-Season A
8
304
913,986
3,007
2,940
2.3%
301
8
California
High-A
10
692
1,593,398
2,303
2,267
1.6%
691
10
Pioneer
Rookie
8
289
643,753
2,228
2,187
1.9%
297
8
Florida State
High-A
12
790
1,296,962
1,642
1,499
9.5%
789
12
Appalachian
Rookie
10
335
295,563
882
895
-1.4%
324
10
MiLB TOTALS
174
10,226
41,228,029
4,032
3,992
1.0%
10,376
176
 

DOWN ON THE FARM: Sixteen MiLB clubs set attendance records in '11, including the Int'l League Lehigh Valley IronPigs, who led all clubs for the second straight season. Average attendance for the club was flat compared to '10. The top clubs in average attendance were all at the Triple-A level this season. The Low-A Midwest League Dayton Dragons ranked sixth overall while setting a U.S. record for consecutive sellouts. The Round Rock Express, who ranked fourth overall in attendance, led the Pacific Coast League for the first time since the club joined the PCL in '05. In percentage gains from '10, the Florida State League Bradenton Marauders saw the biggest jump at the gate, up 83% in the club's second season. Other FSL teams seeing healthy gains were the Jupiter Hammerheads (+21.3%) and Tampa Yankees (+15.7%), while the St. Lucie Mets set a new team attendance record. The High-A California League Bakersfield Blaze saw the sharpest drop at the gate, down 38.6%, and also had the lowest average attendance of any team in MiLB.

TOP FIVE MiLB TEAMS BY AVG. ATTENDANCE
TEAM LEAGUE
GMS
TOTAL
AVG.
Lehigh Valley IronPigs Int'l
68
628,925
9,248
Louisville Bats Int'l
69
601,372
8,715
Columbus Clippers Int'l
68
591,884
8,704
Round Rock Express Pacific Coast
72
618,261
8,586
Sacramento River Cats Pacific Coast
71
600,306
8,455
   
BOTTOM FIVE MiLB TEAMS BY AVG. ATTENDANCE
TEAM LEAGUE
GMS
TOTAL
AVG.
Bakersfield Blaze California
70
40,056
572
Dunedin Blue Jays Florida State
66
43,148
653
Bristol White Sox Appalachian
32
22,433
701
Johnson City Cardinals Appalachian
34
25,961
763
Bluefield Blue Jays Appalachian
33
26,395
799
   
TOP FIVE MiLB TEAMS BY % GAIN IN AVG. ATTENDANCE
TEAM LEAGUE
GMS
TOTAL
AVG.
PREV.
% +/-
Bradenton Marauders Florida State
69
103,978
1,506
823
83.0%
Orem Owlz Pioneer
35
97,137
2,775
2,195
26.4%
Jupiter Hammerheads Florida State
68
82,071
1,206
994
21.3%
Connecticut Tigers New York-Penn
35
62,317
1,780
1,485
19.9%
Tampa Yankees Florida State
66
117,162
1,775
1,534
15.7%
   
BOTTOM FIVE MiLB TEAMS BY % DECLINE IN AVG. ATTENDANCE
TEAM LEAGUE
GMS
TOTAL
AVG.
PREV.
% +/-
Bakersfield Blaze California
70
40,056
572
932
-38.6%
Lake County Captains Midwest
66
235,897
3,574
4,234
-15.6%
Lowell Spinners New York-Penn
36
167,222
4,645
5,446
-14.7%
Casper Ghosts Pioneer
35
44,923
1,283
1,503
-14.6%
Jacksonville Suns Southern
70
309,310
4,418
5,140
-14.0%

 

 

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