ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Minor League Baseball™ announced today that its clubs drew 13,939,583 fans through May, a 6.3 percent increase over 2011. The 136 clubs in 11 full-season leagues attracted 824,448 more fans than they did through May last year.
"I am encouraged by our clubs' attendance figures, not only in terms of raw numbers, but also in regards to their average crowds," Minor League Baseball president Pat O'Conner said. "Millions of fans continue to visit our ballparks to take advantage of the affordable entertainment and family-friendly events that encompass our Minor League Baseball games.
"Hopefully, the favorable weather that a majority of our leagues and clubs have experienced so far will continue throughout the summer." Eight of the 11 leagues didn't lose as many games to weather through May compared to last year, led by the Midwest League, which had 36 fewer postponements. In all, 62 fewer games were lost due to weather than in 2011.
MiLB™ clubs averaged 3,897 fans a game through last month. Five leagues are experiencing bigger crowds on average than in 2011, with three others within one percent of their average 2011 crowds through May.
The following clubs led their leagues in average attendance through May:
International -- Lehigh Valley (8,573)
Pacific Coast -- Round Rock (8,118)
Mexican -- Monterrey (10,913)
Eastern -- Richmond (6,160)
Southern -- Pensacola (4,901)
Texas -- Frisco (7,638)
California -- Lake Elsinore (3,326)
Carolina -- Winston- Salem (4,428)
Florida State -- Daytona (2,730)
Midwest -- Dayton (8,472)
South Atlantic -- Greensboro (5,520).
On June 15, the Northwest League will be the first of the four domestic-based Class A Short-Season™ and Rookie-level® leagues that charge admission to begin regular season play. The New York-Penn and Pioneer Leagues open on June 18, with the Appalachian League starting the following day.
Two other Rookie leagues, the Gulf Coast (June 18) and Arizona (June 20), also begin this month. However, neither league's clubs charge admission for their games.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.