The average attendance for 2014 Spring Training games reached a record high of 8,078 fans per game over 447 games played, Major League Baseball announced today.
Spring Training games showed a 7.3 percent increase over last year, when Spring Training drew 7,527 fans per game. The record average surpasses the previous mark of 7,793 per game set in 2008. Overall, 2014 Spring Training attracted 3,610,738 fans, the fifth-highest total ever, throughout 447 dates.
Among the 30 Clubs, highlights include:
- The Pittsburgh Pirates set new records for average attendance and single game attendance, drawing 91,046 people to 12 Spring Training games at McKechnie Field. The average attendance was 7,587 per game, surpassing the prior high mark of 6,229, set in 2013. A new single-game attendance record was also established when the Pirates hosted the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday, March 22nd and drew 8,566 fans to the 91-year-old ballpark.
- The Chicago Cubs drew a total of 213,815 fans and an average of 14,254 fans per game during the inaugural season at Cubs Park in Mesa, marking the Club's largest Spring Training total attendance and per game attendance in history. In addition, Cubs Park now boasts the top 11 single-game crowds in Cactus or Grapefruit League history.
- Camelback Ranch in Glendale, the spring home of the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers, finished Spring Training with the facility's largest per-game attendance after attracting an average of 1,081 more fans per game than a year ago, a 15.4 percent increase. Both the Dodgers (21 percent) and White Sox (11.6 percent) enjoyed per-game increases, and the total attendance of 202,164 marks the fifth time in the six-year history of "The Ranch" that the facility eclipsed 200,000 fans.
- The Baltimore Orioles drew 89,448 fans for their 12 Grapefruit League home games at Ed Smith Stadium, an average of 7,454 fans per home game. The 7,454 average topped the franchise record average of 7,219, which was set in the spring of 2011 following the renovation of Ed Smith Stadium.
- The Colorado Rockies finished second in attendance, both overall and per game average, in the Cactus League, and the Arizona Diamondbacks set a single-game record for Salt River Fields at Talking Stick with 12,871 fans on March 16th against the Milwaukee Brewers. In the history of MLB, no Spring Training facility had ever drawn at least 300,000 in a single Spring Training. In combining the attendance of both Colorado and Arizona, Salt River Fields has now done it in each of the four years it has been open.
- The Cincinnati Reds drew a Club-record 69,748 fans to Goodyear Ballpark.
- The Tampa Bay Rays set a Charlotte Sports Park single-game record with 7,852 fans against the Boston Red Sox on March 16th.
- The Washington Nationals averaged 5,542 fans per game over 15 dates, their largest per game Spring Training average since their inaugural season as the Nationals in 2005.