ALLENTOWN, Pa. -- Coca-Cola Park was Minor League Baseball's most visited venue in 2011, with 628,985 fans crossing the turnstiles, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs announced on Tuesday.
The per-game average of 9,249 is a franchise record and represents a slight gain over last season's mark of 9,227 fans per game that also topped Minor League Baseball. The accomplishment is even more significant when considering that the Lehigh Valley is the fourth smallest market in Triple-A Baseball.
"We have said it over and over again, but there is no doubt that we have the most passionate, energetic and enthusiastic fan base in all of Minor League Baseball," exclaimed IronPigs general manager, Kurt Landes. "Despite a record amount of wet weather, our fans once again came out in full support of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Our entire organization is thrilled that they will be rewarded for their loyalty and support by being treated to playoff baseball this September!"
Coca-Cola Park and the Lehigh Valley IronPigs have received numerous honors and distinctions since 2008, including Ballpark Digest's "Ballpark of the Year" award and "Best Game Operations and Presentation" award as chosen by gameops.com. Since 2008, the IronPigs have now drawn 2,518,258 fans to Minor League Baseball's flagship ballpark. Since the franchise's inception, the team has averaged 9,124 fans per game -- a number that drastically exceeds Coca-Cola Park's fixed seating capacity of 8,089. Every seat in the ballpark has been sold for 229 of the 276 all-time regular season games -- including 53 consecutive games and 60 of 68 during the 2011 season -- with 78 all-time capacity crowds of 10,000.
The return of professional baseball to the Lehigh Valley for the first time since 1960 was met with remarkable community support during the club's inaugural season of 2008. By becoming one of just six Minor League franchises to surpass the 600,000 mark for total attendance, the IronPigs emerged as one of the top draws and premier franchises in Minor League Baseball. Coca-Cola Park became an overnight sensation and drew rave reviews for its intimacy, fan-friendly atmosphere and architectural design.
Minor League Baseball consists of 160 affiliated clubs throughout North America. The top three draws in terms of total attendance and average attendance in 2011 are listed below:
1. Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Coca-Cola Park) 628,985
2. Round Rock Express (The Dell Diamond) 618,261
3. Louisville Bats (Louisville Slugger Field) 601,372
1. Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Coca-Cola Park) 9,249
2. Louisville Bats (Louisville Slugger Field) 8,716
3. Round Rock Express (The Dell Diamond) 8,587
Coming up for the IronPigs
Individual playoff tickets and group packages for both the Divisional Round and Governors' Cup are on sale now and can be purchased at ironpigsbaseball.com online, by calling (610) 841-PIGS  or by visiting the Coca-Cola Park ticket office during normal business hours. The IronPigs earned their first-ever playoff berth with a 4-1 victory at Syracuse on the final day of the regular season on Monday. Sept. 5. The IronPigs will host the first two games of the Best-of-5 Divisional Series against the Pawtucket Red Sox beginning on Wed Sept 7 at 7:05 p.m.
The Lehigh Valley IronPigs are dedicated to providing family friendly entertainment, and are the only Minor League team to offer bubbles to fans entering the AT&T Plaza and balloons for all children exiting Coca-Cola Park. -- Oink! --
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.