Friday, October 5, 2012

Major League Baseball close to the 75 million mark in attendance in 2012

Major League Baseball enjoyed one of its most successful years in 2012 as it drew close to 75 million fans to its ballparks during the regular season. Officially, MLB announced on Oct. 4 that a total of 74,859,268 fans walked through the turnstiles to see the 30 ball teams in action. It was the highest attendance figure since the 2008 season and the fifth-best in league history.

The attendance figures showed that 1,443,909 more fans went to games this year for an increase of two per cent over the 2011 season.  It represents the biggest season-to season increase since 2007 when attendance went up 4.6 per cent over the year before. This was also the second straight year that MLB attendance has risen over the year before.

Bud Selig, MLB’s commissioner of baseball, said it was an exceptional year as the playoff races came down to the wire and the league was very competitive. He said there were also several wonderful personal success stories this season such as rookie Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Detroit Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera, who won the American League Triple Crown for leading the league in batting average, home runs, and RBIs. There were also a record number of no-hitters and perfect games this season to keep the fans on the edge of their seats.

Selig stated that the fantastic attendance figures prove that baseball fans took the 2012 regular season to heart and enjoyed what they saw. He added that the fans’ support and enthusiasm has never been at a higher level and everybody’s looking forward to a remarkable postseason, which gets underway on Fri. Oct. 5. The AL and NL League wild card showdowns take place that day and the Division Series will begin the following day.

In total, there were 2,423 MLB games played this season and the average attendance was30,895 which was up from last year’s total of 30,362. The league reported that the past nine seasons have been the best ever in MLB history when it comes to attendance. A total of nine teams drew over the million spectators to their ballparks this season and another 13 teams drew more than 2.5 million. The Philadelphia Phillies led the baseball in attendance for the second year in a row with 3,565,718 fans attending their games. They also led in average attendance at 44,021 per game.

The top-drawing team in the American League was the New York Yankees as they drew 3,542,406 fans. The Texas Rangers were next at 3,460,280, which represents a franchise record. Texas also had 38 sellouts this season. The other teams that drew over three million fans were the Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels, St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Francisco Giants. The Red Sox have now sold out 793 straight games at historic Fenway Park, a streak which began in May of 2003. It’s believed to be the longest sellout streak in all professional sports.

Ian Palmer
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