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May 13, 2003

5.7 million fans flock to Minor League Stadiums

[St. Petersburg, FL] - Minor League Baseball teams attracted 5.7 million fans in games played through April, the highest total in the 102-year history of the organization.  The total attendance for the 1,700 playing dates was 5,708,057, an average of 3,358 fans per date.

That represents an increase of 5.3 per cent per playing date for the 11 full-season leagues an an increase of 249,255 fans (4.6 per cent) in raw numbers of total fans.  This was the third straight season that Minor League Baseball teams played before more than five million fans in April.

And these numbers were achieved despite one of the worst early-season snow and rain storms in memory for teams located in the Northern tier of states.  The International League lost 31 playing dates, matching its worst month ever; the Eastern League had 35 postponements; and the Midwest League had 34.  But when the weather permitted, fans flocked to the ball parks.

Leagues based in warmer weather areas more than made up for the snowy North.  The Texas League, buoyed by a new team in Frisco (TX), increased attendance by 162,000 to lead the way.  Frisco, a suburb of Dallas, averaged 8,906 fans in its first season of operation.

The South Atlantic League, up 14.8 per cent on average per game; the Pacific Coast League, (9.8%); the Southern League, (8.4%); and the Florida State League (6.2%) all had healthy gains.

The Double-A Texas League led the Minor Leagues with an average of 5,345 fans per game.  The PCL topped Triple-A leagues with 5,300 while the South Atlantic topped the Class A leagues with a mark of 2,475.

The Staten Island Yankees are coming off their second NY-Penn League Championship in three seasons.  They are beginning their third season at the Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George and their fifth in Staten Island.  Season tickets, mini-plans, and individual tickets are still available.  Call 718-720-9200 for more information.


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