LAS VEGAS: The Las Vegas 51s professional baseball team of the Pacific Coast League (PCL), Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets, will begin their 32nd season of play in the Silver State against the Fresno Grizzlies, Triple-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, on Thursday, April 3 at Cashman Field at 7:05 p.m. Las Vegas will begin the 2014 campaign with an eight-game homestand against Fresno (April 3-6) and the Sacramento River Cats, Triple-A affiliate of the Oakland A's, from April 7-10.
The 51s, which will begin their second season as the top farm club of the Mets, compiled an overall record of 81-63 (.563) in 2013 and were the Pacific Conference Southern Division Champions. Las Vegas, under Manager Wally Backman, returned to the post-season for the first time in 11 seasons (2002) and lost in the Conference Championship Series to Salt Lake, 3-games-to-1. The 51s compiled the second-best record in the 16-team PCL and Oklahoma City had the best record with an 82-62 mark (.569).
The 144-game schedule (72 home, 72 road) will once again feature many promotional nights that will include 51s giveaways, Budweiser Dollar Beer Nights, Kids Carnival and highlighted by the traditional "Fireworks Extravaganza" on Thursday, July 3rd at Cashman Field.
The Las Vegas franchise reached the 300,000 plateau in attendance at Cashman Field for the 31st consecutive season (1983-2013). In 70 dates, Las Vegas' total was 328,266 for an average of 4,690 which included four sellouts. The season-high crowd was 11,776 against Round Rock on May 10th and the Las Vegas franchise welcomed the "The 10-Millionth All-Time Fan" on April 13 and the all-time attendance total now stands at 10,314,780.
In 2013, Minor League Baseball remained an attractive form of affordable family entertainment. The regular season attendance surpassed 41 million fans for the ninth consecutive year. The 41,553,781 fans in 2013 are nearly 275,000 more than the 2012 total. Minor League Baseball set an all-time attendance record for five straight seasons (2004-08).
The PCL, on August 16, 2013, announced realignment of the conferences and divisions for the 16-team league.
The 51s will host the Southern Division of the Pacific Conference opponents: Albuquerque Isotopes (Los Angeles Dodgers), El Paso Chihauhaus (San Diego Padres) and Salt Lake Bees (Los Angeles Angels) for eight games each. The 51s will also host the Northern Division (Pacific Conference) for eight games each: Fresno Grizzlies (San Francisco Giants), intrastate rival Reno Aces (Arizona Diamondbacks), Sacramento River Cats (Oakland A's) and Tacoma Rainiers (Seattle Mariners).
The Southern Division opponents of the American Conference comprised of the Memphis Redbirds (St. Louis Cardinals), Nashville Sounds (Milwaukee Brewers), New Orleans Zephyrs (Miami Marlins) and Round Rock Express (Texas Rangers) will visit Cashman Field for four games each.
The 51s will travel to the Northern Division opponents of the American Conference comprised of the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Colorado Rockies), Iowa Cubs (Chicago Cubs), Oklahoma City RedHawks (Houston Astros) and the defending PCL and Triple-A Champions, the Omaha Storm Chasers (Kansas City Royals) for four games each.
2014 season tickets and mini-plan packages (10 & 10-Games You Pick'em, 20, 33-game plans) are available by calling the 51s office at (702) 798-7825. Individual game tickets for the 72-game home schedule will go on sale in March.
All standard home night games during the 2014 season will begin at 7:05 p.m. and Sunday games at 12:05 p.m. (except Aug. 24, 7:05 p.m., due to travel).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.