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  • MiLB Attendance Rises 2%; Indianapolis Indians Overtake Lehigh Valley IronPigs For Club Lead

    The 160 teams affiliated with Minor League Baseball (excluding the Mexican League) averaged 3,999 fans per game during the ’13 regular season, up 2% from a year ago and up slightly from 3,992 two seasons ago. As has been the case with MLB, minor league clubs had weather challenges this season, with 119 less games than in ’12. The Triple-A Int’l League once again led all leagues, averaging 7,041 fans per game, which was up 5% from a year ago. The Single-A Northwest League led all affiliated leagues with a 10.5% jump in attendance. The Single-A Carolina League averaged 3,657 fans per game, setting a league record for the second straight season as six of eight clubs showed year-over-year gains. Also seeing a strong gain was the Double-A Southern League, whose average of 3,515 was its best since ’08.

    '13 MiLB AFFILIATED LEAGUE ATTENDANCE (EXCLUDES MEXICAN LEAGUE)
    LEAGUE
    LEVEL
    TEAMS
    GMS
    TOTAL
    AVG.
    PREV.
    % +/-
    '12 GMS
    '12 TEAMS
    Int'l
    AAA
    14
    961
    6,766,442
    7,041
    6,699
    5.1%
    971
    14
    Pacific Coast
    AAA
    16
    1,119
    6,763,683
    6,044
    6,052
    -0.1%
    1,123
    16
    Texas
    AA
    8
    541
    2,815,133
    5,204
    5,164
    0.8%
    549
    8
    Eastern
    AA
    12
    811
    3,743,582
    4,616
    4,669
    -1.1%
    812
    12
    Midwest
    Low-A
    16
    1,054
    4,118,049
    3,907
    3,730
    4.7%
    1,095
    16
    Carolina
    High-A
    8
    529
    1,934,740
    3,657
    3,520
    3.9%
    533
    8
    Southern
    AA
    10
    659
    2,316,591
    3,515
    3,237
    8.6%
    665
    10
    Northwest
    Short-Season A
    8
    299
    984,432
    3,292
    2,979
    10.5%
    301
    8
    South Atlantic
    Low-A
    14
    905
    2,951,813
    3,262
    3,279
    -0.5%
    932
    14
    New York-Penn
    Short-Season A
    14
    505
    1,602,725
    3,174
    3,290
    -3.5%
    517
    14
    Pioneer
    Rookie
    8
    295
    673,124
    2,282
    2,317
    -1.5%
    300
    8
    California
    High-A
    10
    696
    1,583,488
    2,275
    2,293
    -0.8%
    690
    10
    Florida State
    High-A
    12
    755
    1,212,184
    1,606
    1,592
    0.9%
    763
    12
    Appalachian
    Rookie
    10
    308
    275,419
    894
    914
    -2.2%
    305
    10
    MiLB TOTALS
    160
    9,437
    37,741,405
    3,999
    3,921
    2.0%
    9,556
    160
     

    FARM-VILLES: The Indianapolis Indians topped all clubs this season, dethroning the Lehigh Valley IronPigs after that team held the attendance title for the past three seasons. The IronPigs still ranked second in ’13, and had a run of 22 straight sellouts to end the season. Several MiLB clubs had new or renovated parks in ’13. The Birmingham Barons opened a new downtown ballpark this season, and topped the Southern League in attendance, with the average up 89% from the final season in the suburb of Hoover, Ala., last year. The Single-A Northwest League Hillsboro Hops averaged 3,557 fans per game during their first season in the suburb of Portland, Ore., up 118% from the club’s final season as the Yakima (Wash.) Bears in ’12. The Single-A Florida State League Bradenton Marauders were the beneficiary of $10M in renovations to McKechnie Field this season, and the club set a new record with 1,772 fans per game, up 17% from the record set last season. Meanwhile, two clubs set for new ballparks next season finished last in their respective leagues. The Charlotte Knights were in the cellar of the Int’l League, but will open a new downtown ballpark next season after playing in Fort Mill, S.C., since ’90. The Tucson Padres also ranked last in PCL attendance, but the club will move to a new ballpark in El Paso, Texas, next season.

    TOP TEAMS IN MiLB ATTENDANCE
    TEAM LEAGUE
    TOTAL
    GAMES
    AVERAGE
    Columbus Clippers Triple-A Int'l
    635,613
    69
    9,212
    Lehigh Valley IronPigs Triple-A Int'l
    613,075
    68
    9,016
    Indianapolis Indians Triple-A Int'l
    637,579
    71
    8,980
    Sacramento River Cats Triple-A PCL
    607,329
    72
    8,435
    Dayton Dragons Single-A Midwest
    579,946
    69
    8,405
    Buffalo Bisons Triple-A Int'l
    537,747
    65
    8,273
    Louisville Bats Triple-A Int'l
    581,114
    71
    8,185
    Round Rock Express Triple-A PCL
    589,042
    72
    8,181
    Albuquerque Isotopes Triple-A PCL
    567,568
    71
    7,994
    Pawtucket Red Sox Triple-A Int'l
    540,034
    69
    7,827
    Toledo Mud Hens Triple-A Int'l
    560,080
    72
    7,779
    Salt Lake Bees Triple-A PCL
    531,221
    71
    7,482
    Memphis Redbirds Triple-A PCL
    498,362
    69
    7,223
    Durham Bulls Triple-A Int'l
    498,735
    70
    7,125
    Frisco RoughRiders Double-A Texas
    479,873
    68
    7,057

     

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