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  • MLB Spring Training Attendance Jumps 9%; Cubs Set Cactus League Records

    MLB teams averaged 7,323 fans per game during Spring Training this year, up 9% from ’13, when the league also held the World Baseball Classic. Much of the increase can be credited to the new Cubs Park in Mesa. The Cubs averaged 14,254 fans per game at the new venue, up 67% from last season at Hohokam Park. Several other Cactus League clubs saw double-digit percentage gains from ’13, including the Rockies, Dodgers, Mariners, White Sox, Royals, Padres and Brewers. Overall, the Cactus League saw a 12% jump in average attendance. Meanwhile, the Grapefruit League saw a 5% jump in average attendance. The Pirates, Twins, Cardinals, Marlins, Mets and Astros each saw double-digit percentage jumps at the gate. Despite continuing to lead the Grapefruit League at the gate, the Yankees’ figure was down 2% (THE DAILY).

    '14 GRAPEFRUIT LEAGUE ATTENDANCE
    HOME TEAM
    GAMES
    TOTAL
    AVG.
    PREV.
    % +/-
    GAMES ('13)
    Yankees
    15
    151,564
    10,104
    10,300
    -1.9%
    16
    Red Sox
    15
    147,669
    9,845
    9,696
    1.5%
    17
    Phillies
    15
    121,915
    8,128
    8,645
    -6.0%
    16
    Tigers
    15
    116,226
    7,748
    8,050
    -3.8%
    17
    Twins
    14
    107,806
    7,700
    6,697
    15.0%
    17
    Pirates
    12
    91,047
    7,587
    6,229
    21.8%
    15
    Orioles
    12
    89,449
    7,454
    7,086
    5.2%
    17
    Braves
    17
    124,104
    7,300
    7,452
    -2.0%
    18
    Cardinals
    14
    96,795
    6,914
    6,168
    12.1%
    16
    Rays
    14
    78,624
    5,616
    5,349
    5.0%
    17
    Nationals
    14
    77,585
    5,542
    5,313
    4.3%
    16
    Marlins
    15
    82,300
    5,487
    4,366
    25.7%
    15
    Mets
    14
    76,091
    5,435
    4,907
    10.8%
    17
    Blue Jays
    14
    67,830
    4,845
    4,908
    -1.3%
    16
    Astros
    12
    44,715
    3,726
    3,350
    11.2%
    16
    GRAPEFRUIT TOTALS
    212
    1,473,720
    6,952
    6,595
    5.4%
    246
    '14 CACTUS LEAGUE ATTENDANCE
    HOME TEAM
    GAMES
    TOTAL
    AVG.
    PREV.
    % +/-
    GAMES ('13)
    Cubs
    15
    213,815
    14,254
    8,552
    66.7%
    17
    Rockies
    16
    169,663
    10,604
    9,517
    11.4%
    14
    D-Backs
    14
    144,434
    10,317
    11,021
    -6.4%
    16
    Giants
    15
    149,969
    9,998
    10,771
    -7.2%
    15
    Dodgers
    12
    114,402
    9,534
    8,176
    16.6%
    17
    Mariners
    15
    116,597
    7,773
    6,743
    15.3%
    16
    Angels
    15
    108,965
    7,264
    7,495
    -3.1%
    16
    Rangers
    14
    95,181
    6,799
    6,572
    3.4%
    17
    White Sox
    13
    87,759
    6,751
    6,140
    9.9%
    14
    Royals
    14
    93,987
    6,713
    5,061
    32.7%
    17
    Padres
    14
    75,916
    5,423
    4,876
    11.2%
    19
    Brewers
    14
    75,041
    5,360
    4,866
    10.1%
    15
    A's
    15
    78,011
    5,201
    5,513
    -5.7%
    16
    Reds
    15
    69,478
    4,632
    4,243
    9.2%
    15
    Indians
    15
    67,445
    4,496
    4,564
    -1.5%
    17
    CACTUS TOTALS
    216
    1,660,663
    7,688
    6,897
    11.5%
    241
    MLB TOTALS
    428
    3,134,383
    7,323
    6,744
    9.4%
    487
                 

    CHART NOTE: Does not include games played against college teams or games played outside of Arizona or Florida Spring Training venues.

    BIGGER IS BETTER: In Phoenix, Jim Walsh noted the Cubs’ total and average attendance figures were “both new records” for the Cactus League. The team had the “best-attendance game” in Cactus League history on March 25 with 15,276 fans for a game against the Angels. The team drew “more than 15,000 at Cubs Park six times” and “recorded the 12 highest-attended Cactus League games of all time” (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/31).

    TEAM NOTES: In California, Jeff Fletcher noted that while the Angels total attendance for Spring Training games at Tempe Diablo Stadium this year “was the ninth time in 11 years they drew more than 100,000, it was their second consecutive spring of decreased attendance” (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 3/25). In Florida, Michael Parsons noted the Nationals set a new “team record” for attendance at Space Coast Stadium in Melbourne. It is the “third straight season that average attendance has grown, and the team has averaged more than 5,000 fans a game for the second straight spring” (FLORIDA TODAY, 3/25).

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