SBD/April 1, 2014/Research and Ratings

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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