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 35th season of play in the Silver State at El Paso, Texas against the defending PCL champion Chihuahuas, Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres, on Thursday, April 6. The 2017 "Home Opener" will be against the Fresno Grizzlies, Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros, on Tuesday, April 11 at Cashman Field. The initial homestand will consist of seven games against Fresno and Sacramento from Tuesday-Monday, April 11-17.
The 51s, which will begin their fifth season as the top farm club of the Mets, compiled an overall record of 70-74 (.486) in 2016 under manager Wally Backman. Las Vegas has compiled a four-year record of 309-267 (.536) as a Mets affiliate which has included two playoff appearances (2013 & 14). The 51s recorded back-to-back 80-win seasons for the first time in franchise history from 2013-14 (81-63, .563, records in both campaigns).
The 142-game schedule (71 home, 71 road) will once again feature many promotional nights that will include 51s jersey giveaways, Budweiser Dollar Beer Nights and highlighted by the traditional "Fireworks Extravaganza" on Tuesday, July 4th against El Paso at Cashman Field.
The Las Vegas franchise reached the 300,000 plateau in "home" attendance at Cashman Field for the 34th consecutive season (1983-2016). In 68 dates, Las Vegas' total was 331,999 for an average of 4,882 which included five sellouts. The season-high crowd was 11,726 vs. Tacoma on April 28 for Fireworks/Star Wars Night and the all-time attendance total now stands at 11,309,728.
In 2016, Minor League Baseball remained an attractive form of affordable family entertainment. The regular season attendance surpassed 41 million fans for the 12th consecutive year. The total of 41,377,202 marked the ninth-largest attendance total in Minor League Baseball history, which currently consists of 176 teams in 15 leagues. Since 2000, Minor League Baseball clubs have opened 62 new ballparks.
The 51s will host the Southern Division of the Pacific Conference opponents: Albuquerque Isotopes (Colorado Rockies), El Paso Chihuahuas (San Diego Padres) and Salt Lake Bees (Los Angeles Angels) for eight games each. The 51s will also host the Northern Division (Pacific Conference) opponents for eight games each: Fresno Grizzlies (Houston Astros), intrastate rival Reno Aces (Arizona Diamondbacks), Sacramento River Cats (San Francisco Giants) and Tacoma Rainiers (Seattle Mariners).
The Northern Division opponents of the American Conference comprised of the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Milwaukee Brewers), Iowa Cubs (Chicago Cubs), Oklahoma City Dodgers (Los Angeles Dodgers) and Omaha Storm Chasers (Kansas City Royals) will visit Cashman Field for four games each.
The 51s will travel to the Southern Division opponents of the American Conference comprised of the Memphis Redbirds (St. Louis Cardinals), Nashville Sounds (Oakland A's), New Orleans Zephyrs (Miami Marlins) and Round Rock Express (Texas Rangers) for four games each.
2017 season tickets and mini-plan packages (11, 22, 36-game plans) are available by calling the 51s office at (702) 943-7200. Individual game tickets for the 71-game home schedule will go on sale in March.
The complete schedule is available on the "Schedule link" on the website and all standard home night games during the 2017 season will begin at 7:05 p.m. and Sunday games at 12:05 p.m. in April, May, June and 7:05 p.m. in July, August and September.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.