SBD/September 13, 2012/Research and Ratings

MiLB Avg. Attendance Down From '11; Blue Wahoos Draw Well After Move To Pensacola

The 160 teams affiliated with Minor League Baseball (excluding the Mexican League) averaged 3,921 fans per game during the ’12 regular season, down 1.8% from a year ago. The top-drawing Triple-A level Int’l and Pacific Coast Leagues both saw average attendance drop this year. Only seven Triple-A clubs saw an attendance increase this season. Only three leagues -- the Single-A Carolina, Rookie Level Pioneer and Appalachian Leagues -- saw average attendance increase. The Short Season Single-A New York-Penn League saw the sharpest drop in average attendance, down 6.2%.

The Int’l League Lehigh Valley IronPigs led all of MiLB in attendance for the third straight year with 9,153 fans per game. That figure is down 1% from the club’s figure last season. The Single-A Midwest League Dayton Dragons continued their U.S.-record sellout streak this season, extending the mark to 913 games. The Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos, who relocated after last season from Zebulon, N.C., after playing as the Single-A Carolina Mudcats, led all Southern League teams this season with 4,826 fans per game. The Blue Wahoos figure was a big  increase over the city’s predecessor -- the Pensacola Pelicans -- who played in several independent leagues from ‘02-10, averaging about 1,500 per game at Pelican Park on the campus of the Univ. of West Florida. The Short-Season Single-A Northwest League Yakima Bears finished with an average of 1,629 fans this season. The club will move from Washington state to Hillsboro, Ore., next season (THE DAILY).

'12 MILB REGULAR-SEASON ATTENDANCE
LEAGUE
LEVEL
TMS
GMS
TOTAL
AVG.
PREV.
% +/-
'11 GMS
'11 TMS
Int'l
AAA
14
971
6,504,586
6,699
6,956
-3.7%
958
14
Pacific Coast
AAA
16
1,123
6,796,157
6,052
6,156
-1.7%
1,125
16
Texas
AA
8
549
2,834,864
5,164
5,207
-0.8%
542
8
Eastern
AA
12
812
3,791,241
4,669
4,868
-4.1%
806
12
Midwest
Low-A
16
1,095
4,084,343
3,730
3,754
-0.6%
1,061
16
Carolina
High-A
8
533
1,876,081
3,520
3,448
2.1%
519
8
New York-
Penn
Short-Season A
14
517
1,701,001
3,290
3,507
-6.2%
499
14
South Atlantic
Low-A
14
932
3,056,097
3,279
3,358
-2.3%
931
14
Southern
AA
10
665
2,152,852
3,237
3,242
-0.1%
671
10
Northwest
Short-Season A
8
301
896,781
2,979
3,007
-0.9%
304
8
California
High-A
10
690
1,582,174
2,293
2,303
-0.4%
692
10
Pioneer
Rookie
8
300
695,052
2,317
2,228
4.0%
289
8
Florida State
High-A
12
763
1,215,020
1,592
1,642
-3.0%
790
12
Appalachian
Rookie
10
305
278,785
914
882
3.6%
335
10
MiLB TOTALS
160
9,556
37,465,034
3,921
3,992
-1.8%
9,522
160
                   
'12 TOP-DRAWING MILB CLUBS EXCLUDES MEXICAN LEAGUE)
CLUB
LEVEL
LEAGUE
TOTAL
GMS
AVG.
Lehigh Valley IronPigs
AAA
Int'l
622,421
68
9,153
Columbus Clippers
AAA
Int'l
611,223
70
8,732
Dayton Dragons
Low-A
Midwest
588,689
69
8,532
Indianapolis Indians
AAA
Int'l
595,043
70
8,501
Round Rock Express
AAA
PCL
595,584
71
8,389
Louisville Bats
AAA
Int'l
570,003
70
8,143
Sacramento River Cats
AAA
PCL
586,090
72
8,140
Albuquerque Isotopes
AAA
PCL
568,417
70
8,120
Toledo Mud Hens
AAA
Int'l
550,900
70
7,870
Pawtucket Red Sox
AAA
Int'l
521,023
69
7,551
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