Selig optimistic about outlook on attendance

Interleague turnout strong after inclement weather plays role in first month

Attendance at Major League games has been resilient despite unseasonable cold, rain and snow throughout the first month of the season, especially in the Midwest.

"Our attendance has held up very well despite the unusually bad weather and the extraordinary number of rainouts, which has already eclipsed the total for all of last season," Commissioner Bud Selig said.

Baseball is the only professional sport whose attendance has risen each of the past three seasons. Attendance was down 632,309 in April from the same point in 2012, but the weather played a factor.

The Cubs were down 11.5 percent at Wrigley Field this year, for example, but the average temperature was two degrees colder and there were 5.3 inches more of rain.

Similar trends were in evidence elsewhere. Twins attendance at Target Field was down 12.6 percent with temperatures down 6.5 percent and four more inches of rain. At Kauffman Stadium, the Royals were off 5.9 percent with a drop of five degrees. The Cardinals had a decline of 3.4 percent with temperatures down two degrees and rain up 1.98 inches. And the Brewers experienced an average of 2.1 degrees colder with 3.82 inches more rain, resulting in 10 percent fewer tickets being sold at Miller Park.

Those five franchises, plus the Marlins, account for nearly all the drop in the first month.

"The rivalry week of Interleague Play has given us a good lift, and now that we have passed Memorial Day, I'm very optimistic that we will have great months ahead," Selig said.

The four days of Interleague rivalry week produced average crowds of 31,446 on Monday, 29,233 on Tuesday, 30,882 on Wednesday and 31,688 on Thursday. If the total surpasses 73,022,969 this season, the last 10 years will have been the 10 most-attended seasons in baseball history.

Paul Hagenis a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.