Major League Baseball recorded the highest-attended pre-Memorial Day weekend in history by drawing 1,652,935 fans for this weekend's 45 games, it was announced today. The total this weekend, which featured the first 42 Interleague games of the season, eclipsed the previous mark of 1,640,976 (May 19th-21st, 2006).
The slate from Friday through Sunday also ranks as the best-attended 45-game weekend since the final weekend of the 2008 regular season, when 1,683,763 fans attended from September 26th-28th. Overall, it was the largest weekend for total attendance since July 24-26, 2009, when 1,684,095 fans attended 46 games.
Saturday's total of 576,209 fans is the highest pre-Memorial Day single-day attendance total of no more than 15 games since 2007 Opening Day (April 2nd), which drew 582,456. Nine Clubs drew more than 40,000 fans in their Interleague games on Saturday, leading to an average of 38,414 per game for the day. Saturday's total marked the best-attended day of 15 games since Saturday, August 14, 2010, when 577,583 fans attended 15 games.
Overall, Major League Baseball has drawn 18,637,924 fans this season through 617 dates (30,207 per game), representing a 6.7 percent increase over the same point in the 2011 season.
"With historic performances by our players and strong competitive balance evident in the standings, Major League Baseball has enjoyed an outstanding start to the 2012 season," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "I thank baseball fans for their remarkable support and I join them in looking forward to a great summer for our game."
Attendance highlights among the Clubs included:
- Six Clubs (DET, LAD, NYY, PHI, SF, WSH) averaged more than 40,000 fans per game and 12 Clubs (previous six plus CHI, COL, HOU, MIL, SD, TOR) drew at least 34,000 per game this weekend.
- Two of the four largest attendance days in Nationals Park history were tallied this weekend for the Washington Nationals' series against the Baltimore Orioles. The Nationals drew 42,331 on Saturday, marking the second-largest single attendance in Nationals Park history. On Sunday, the game drew 41,918, the fourth-best attendance in the ballpark's history. Overall, the Orioles-Nationals series attracted 120,929 fans, the largest crowd in the rivalry's seven-year history (previous: 114,929 in 2008).
- The Houston Astros drew 113,261 for their three-game set with the Texas Rangers, the highest against Texas at Minute Maid Park since 2007 (119,562).
- The Pittsburgh Pirates-Detroit Tigers series at Comerica Park drew 124,585 fans, and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim-San Diego Padres series at PETCO Park attracted 108,791 fans.