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MiLB sees over 10 million fans in July08/13/2009 10:00 AM ET
Minor League Baseball
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Minor League Baseball clubs attracted over 10 million fans last month, raising the season total to more than 30.5 million. A majority of the leagues experienced increases in their average crowds through July, compared to 2008.
The Florida State League, with a 12.5% hike, leads eight of the 15 circuits that are witnessing larger crowds. The others are the California (4.9%); International (2.2%); New York-Penn (1.7%); Eastern (1.2%); Appalachian (1.0%); Pioneer (0.3%); and South Atlantic (0.1%).
The overall average crowd of 4,045 is 2.9%, or 120 fans, less than 2008 when Minor League Baseball set its attendance record.
"Our clubs are feeling the affects of challenging weather and the economy, but continue to report impressive attendance numbers," stated Minor League Baseball President Pat O'Conner. "To be less than 3% behind last year's record-setting pace is encouraging. Our fans continue to turn out and our clubs continue to treat them to affordable, family entertainment in first rate venues throughout the country."
The 30,544,428 total fans were achieved in 7,552 openings, 470 less than the number of openings in 2008 when the regular season started a week earlier. MiLB clubs also experienced 70 more rainouts through the end of July, compared to last year.