Entering Friday night's series opener, the Pirates had drawn 2,326,913 -- 109,226 shy of the 127-year-old franchise's record of 2,436,139, in PNC Park's maiden 2001 season.
The approach of the gate record is surprising in one sense, with numerous other sources listing the record as 2,464,870, which would have been out of range. The team's own media guide, however, lists the correct figure.
In another sense, the record merely fulfills club president Frank Coonelly's vow to MLB.com in February.
"I have publicly said that we need to break the franchise's all-time attendance record, and we're well on our way to doing that," Coonelly had said in the dawn of Spring Training.
The Bucs also began the weekend with a home record of 49-29, tied with St. Louis for the NL's best.
Another record within reach: 50 home wins, set by last year's team.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.