Attendance in '14 seventh highest in history

Attendance in '14 seventh highest in history

After a big finish that amounted to the most-attended final weekend of a season since 2008, Major League Baseball wound up with a total of 73,739,622 fans in the 2014 regular season, marking the seventh-highest total in the history of the sport.

Competitive balance throughout the game and exciting late-season pennant races have led to the last decade producing all 10 of the best-attended seasons in MLB history.

MLB announced its attendance numbers on Monday, after the final weekend of the season drew 1,648,624 fans to ballparks across the country. It was the second-highest weekend attendance of the season, and the largest final weekend of a season since 2008, when 1,683,763 fans attended games. The final weekend featured not only postseason positioning, but also the farewells for legends Derek Jeter and Paul Konerko, plus Jordan Zimmermann's no-hitter for Washington.

"During the last week, all of us who love the game witnessed a wonderful culmination to the 2014 regular season with thrilling postseason races down to the final day, an emotional farewell to an icon of this generation and a milestone in our nation's capital," Commissioner Bud Selig said.

"Once again, I'd like to thank our great fans for their continued enthusiasm and support over the last decade and beyond. I join our fans in looking forward to another magnificent postseason and all the best of our national pastime."

Overall, the 2014 season posted 17 weekends with at least 1.5 million in attendance, also marking the largest since 2008, when there were 19 such weekends.

The 2014 total finished just 0.4 percent lower than 2013, despite playing five fewer dates (2,421) than last year (2,426). In addition, the 2014 average attendance of 30,458 per game was just 0.2 percent lower than the 2013 average of 30,515.

There were 12 clubs that surpassed the 2.5 million mark, including five that topped the 3 million mark. Those five have each reached 3 million in consecutive seasons, including the Yankees (16 in a row), Angels (12), Cardinals (11), Giants (five) and Dodgers (three).

The Dodgers led the Majors for a second consecutive season with 3,782,337 fans. They surpassed the 3.7 million mark for the sixth time in club history, and it was their second-highest total overall, behind 2007 (3,857,036).

The Pirates established a single-season attendance record of 2,442,564 in 2014, breaking the previous mark of 2,436,139 set during the first season at PNC Park in 2001. The Pirates also posted 23 sellouts during the season, tying the club record set in 2013.

The Nationals drew 2,579,389 on the season, topping the 2.5 million mark for the second consecutive season and for only the third time in club history (also their debut season of 2005). The Nationals recorded eight sellouts, tied with 2012 for the most in a single season.

The Giants, who sold out every game this season, ended the 2014 season with 327 consecutive sellouts, dating back to Oct. 1, 2010, for the longest active streak in the Majors.

In St. Louis, the Redbirds drew 3,540,649, the second-largest attendance in the Majors this season, and the second-highest attendance in franchise history behind 2007 (3,552,180). Led by 52 sellouts and an average of 43,712 per game, the 2014 season marked the second time in franchise history with 40,000 or more fans at every game (also 2007).

The Tigers, who recorded 27 sellouts during the 2014 season, posted the fifth-largest total attendance (2,917,209) in the 114-year history of the franchise -- and then rewarded their fans with a clinching celebration scene on the final Sunday at Comerica Park.

Topping the AL again were the Yankees, with 3,401,624 fans. It marked the 12th year in a row they have drawn the most in the Junior Circuit.

Baltimore reached the 2.4 million mark for the first time since the 2005 season.

In Kansas City, where excitement is high over the Royals' first postseason appearance since 1985, the home team posted its highest attendance (1,956,482) since '91.

The Angels logged nine sellouts in 2014, and their attendance of 44,561 on Aug. 7 against the Dodgers established the largest regular-season crowd at Angel Stadium since 1998.

In Milwaukee, where the Brewers led the National League Central for much of the season, the attendance was 2,797,384. That's an increase of 10.5 percent from 2013, marking the largest increase in the NL and the fourth largest in the Majors.

Seattle just missed the playoffs but drew 2,063,622, eclipsing the 2 million mark for the first time since 2010. The club's attendance represented a Major League-best 17 percent increase over 2013.

Oakland had an attendance of 2,003,628 in 2014, surpassing the 2 million mark for the first time since 2005 (2,109,118). Will the A's have another home game or more? That remains to be seen, as they open the postseason with the AL Wild Card Game presented by Budweiser on Tuesday night in Kansas City, airing at 8 ET on TBS.

The Mets attracted 2,148,808 fans in 2014, marking the club's first increase over the previous season in Citi Field history (since 2009).

Major League batting champ Jose Altuve and the Astros drew 1,751,829 fans, representing an attendance increase for the second time in as many seasons.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of Read and join other baseball fans on his community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.