Seven of the 11 full-season leagues showed increases over their 2008 average crowds through May, led by the 15.1% jump of the Florida State League. Other leagues experiencing growth at the gate were the Eastern (6.5), International (6.2), Midwest (3.0), California (1.6), Pacific Coast (1.0) and South Atlantic (0.8).
Minor League Baseball clubs lost 36 more openings in 425 less opportunities through May, compared to last year. The average crowd is still less than one percentage point (0.8%), or 30 fans, below last year's average of 3,954 an opening.
"We experienced an incredible amount of rain throughout the month of May, which accounted for some of the attendance drop year-to-date with last May," said Minor League Baseball President Pat O'Conner. "We are encouraged that the per-opening average has remained strong as we head into the heart of the 2009 schedule. Our clubs continue their commitment to helping our fans enjoy a summer of fun at Minor League Baseball parks throughout the country."
The New York-Penn, Northwest, Appalachian, Pioneer, Gulf Coast (GCL) and Arizona circuits begin play in the middle of this month. The GCL and Arizona Leagues do not charge admission for their games.