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MiLB game crowd size jumps05/05/2011 7:07 PM ET
Minor League Baseball
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Minor League Baseball clubs averaged 3,817 fans a game through April, the second highest figure in the last dozen years through the industry's first full month. The average gathering of fans for the 1,508 openings is just one less than last year. Overall, MiLB attracted 5,756,547 fans through April.
The Florida State (13 percent), Pacific Coast (4.7 percent) and California (1.7 percent) Leagues all attracted more patrons this April than last.
Weather affected many of the 134 clubs in the 11 full-season leagues. There were 56 fewer openings this year compared to 2010. The Midwest League lost 34 games to weather in April, compared to six last year.
Six other circuits also lost more games to Mother Nature than they did last year.
"Minor League Baseball attendance for April is encouraging, given the adversities with bad weather faced throughout most of the country," Minor League Baseball president, Pat O'Conner, said. "While we celebrate the start of a new season, our hearts go out to the fans and communities suffering from the devastation of the recent storm outbreak.
"As is our tradition, Minor League Baseball will continue to provide affordable family entertainment to our millions of fans, and look after our extended family of fans facing difficult times in the aftermath of the recent natural disasters."
The following clubs led their league in average attendance through April:
Fewer openings, and the fact that this year's attendance figures involve two fewer clubs, played roles in the overall attendance number being down by a little more than 200,000 fans compared to 2010. Two clubs in the Mexican League are currently dormant until suitable playing facilities can be found for them.