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MiLB crowds up nearly 700,000 over '09
06/08/2010 4:00 PM ET
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Minor League Baseball attracted more than 13.5 million fans through last month, 685,805 more than last season's total. The 136 full-season clubs drew 7,590,721 patrons in May for a season total of 13,561,860.

"Despite weather issues in many parts of the country, we are encouraged by the increase in attendance through the month of May," said Minor League Baseball president, Pat O'Conner. "As our communities continue to deal with the economic challenges of the day, our fans continue to enjoy Minor League Baseball. Our teams continue to provide affordable family entertainment and a wholesome option for fans of all ages to see a game in an enjoyable environment."

The Carolina League, with a 15.8 precent increase, leads the six circuits that are averaging bigger crowds than they did through May 2009. The Texas (4.2 percent), Eastern (3.9), Mexican (2.2), Southern (2.1) and Midwest (1.7) leagues also experienced more fans passing through the turnstiles per game compared to last year.

The six domestic-based Short Season and Rookie leagues -- the New York-Penn, Northwest, Appalachian, Pioneer, Gulf Coast and Arizona -- start play in the middle of June. The Gulf Coast and Arizona circuits do not charge admission for their games.