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See 2018 Minor League Baseball Attendance Numbers For Every Team



For the first time since 2004, Minor League Baseball's attendance dipped below 41 million. There are a number of possible factors at play here, including the reduction of scheduled games across Double-A and Triple-A and increasingly unseasonable extreme weather across large swaths of the country, which J.J. Cooper has covered in this story. 

Even with the dipping numbers, there were a few clear winners this year.

First and foremost were the Charlotte Knights, who won the races for most overall fans (619,639) and best average attendance (8,980). The Knights bested the IL-rival Indianapolis Indians in both categories despite losing one more opening date. Predictably, the top seven best-drawing domestic teams are all from Triple-A: Charlotte, Indianapolis, Round Rock, Nashville, Columbus, Lehigh Valley and Albuquerque. 

In fact, nine of the top 10 domestic attendance leaders can be found in either the International or Pacific Coast League. The one exception? The Dayton Dragons of the low Class A Midwest League. The Dragons, who consistently pack Fifth Third Field, drew 550,725 and averaged 7,868 fans per opening. This isn't new, either. In 2017 Dayton was also the only non-Triple-A club in the Top 10. 

The big winners in Double-A were the Frisco RoughRiders, who drew 468,259 fans to Dr. Pepper Ballpark this season. Winston-Salem came out on top in high Class A, with 292,774 fans at BB&T Ballpark, meaning that White Sox affiliates topped two levels of the minor leagues.

The short-season crown went to the Northwest League's Vancouver Canadians, who brought 239,086 to ScotiaBank Field, while the Rookie-level champions were the Ogden Raptors with 129,285 fans over the course of their seasons. 

The Augusta GreenJackets also saw a huge boost in attendance, due almost certainly to the opening of SRP Park this season. The new park gave the GreenJackets 76,886 more fans overall, and a whopping 1,304 more fans per game. The season also marked the first time since 2011 that the GreenJackets finished a year having drawn more than 200,000 fans. Their average increase was far and away the best in the minors, topping the Greenville Reds by 897 fans. 

Speaking of which, they're the first of three consecutive Rookie-level teams to finish in the top five of largest average increase this season. Greenville (which changed affiliations) was followed by Pulaski and Idaho Falls. Also in the Pioneer League, nostalgia for Helena's final season as an affiliated club seemed to cancel out any unhappiness over the upcoming departure. Helena stayed relatively steady by drawing 51 fewer fans per game than in 2017.

The steadiest clubs overall, however, were the Rookie-level Danville Braves and the Double-A Montgomery Biscuits. Danville drew an average of one more fan per game than in 2017, and Montgomery drew one fewer fan per game. 

And then there's the Tebow Effect. After the quarterback-turned-outfielder spent 2017 blessing Columbia and St. Lucie with his presence, it was Binghamton's turn in 2018. The effect took a little while to kick in because of the early frigid weather in the northeast, but once it did the results were obvious. The Rumble Ponies drew a total of 220,279 fans to NYSEG Stadium, and an average of 3,553 fans per opening. 

The total marked the eighth time in 25 years that the franchise had topped 220,000 fans, and the average was the highest in the club's history. The team also set a single-game attendance record on July 20, when 7,488 fans came out for the Ponies' game against the Trenton Thunder. Those figures might have been even larger had Tebow's season not been cut short in mid-July with a broken hand that ended his season.  

On the other side of that coin, both Columbia and St. Lucie felt the Tebow Aftereffect. Columbia, in its third year after relocating from Savannah, felt one of the biggest stings of the year at the box office. Their average attendance dropped by 1,018 fans per game, the second-largest drop in the minors. St. Lucie's downturn wasn't quite as stark, but they still lost an average of 485 fans per game, the sixth-largest dip in the minor leagues. 

The biggest drop, however, belonged to the New Orleans Baby Cakes, who lost 97,269 overall and dropped their average attendance by 1,727 fans per game. This was despite losing four fewer games in 2018 than they did in 2017. Using their average attendance of 3,827 from this year, those four rainouts cost New Orleans 15,308 fans, which still leaves a drop of roughly 82,000 fans for the season. Part of this is certainly attributable to the sheen wearing off of the Baby Cakes name, which is in its second year. 

The Hartford Yard Goats, however, got a boost in their second season at Dunkin' Donuts Park (after their inaugural campaign was spent entirely on the road). The Goats drew 405,403 fans this season, making them the first minor league team in Connecticut to draw more than 400,000 in a season. In fact, they joined Dayton as one of just two teams (and one of just 21 overall) to eclipse the 400,000 mark. 

The Florida Fire Frogs once again were the unluckiest team in terms of weather. After losing 17 openings in 2017, the team had 14 washouts in 2018, giving them a total of a whopping 31 rain dates over two seasons. To put that in perspective, that's 22 percent of their home dates lost to weather over two seasons. Similarly, the Hagerstown Suns have lost 17 percent of their home games to weather over the last two seasons. SIx teams in each of the last two years have lost double-digit games to weather. Thirty-two teams in 2018 went the entire season without losing a home opening. 
 

Team Openings Openings Lost Total Average Average Change  Total Change 
Charlotte Knights 69 1 619,639 8980 -129 -8,887
Indianapolis Indians 70 0 619,122 8845 -314 -22,019
Round Rock Express 70 0 616,636 8809 85 5,955
Nashville Sounds 69 1 603,135 8741 -120 9,456
Columbus Clippers 68 2 587,067 8633 -427 -28,992
Lehigh Valley IronPigs 66 4 561,745 8511 -30 6,599
Albuquerque Isotopes 70 0 556,330 7948 -30 13,828
Dayton Dragons 70 0 550,725 7868 -170 -3,913
El Paso Chihuahuas 69 1 539,520 7819 -75 -5,148
Sacramento River Cats 69 1 538,785 7808 -224 -23,452
Durham Bulls 70 0 536,304 7661 -55 -11,537
Buffalo Bisons 64 6 527,988 8250 149 1,414
Toledo Mud Hens 69 1 507,965 7362 -252 -25,049
Salt Lake Bees 69 1 477,528 6921 18 -5,674
Frisco RoughRiders 68 2 468,259 6886 74 -1,744
Louisville Bats 70 0 466,026 6658 -210 -998
Iowa Cubs 63 7 463,399 7356 -407 -7,2261
Oklahoma City Dodgers 69 1 463,195 6713 180 18,971
Rochester Red Wings 67 3 437,974 6537 -16 -7,607
Hartford Yard Goats 68 2 408,942 6014 202 13,746
Fresno Grizzlies 67 1 405,403 6051 -157 -22,938
Richmond Flying Squirrels 64 6 396,686 6198 164 10,501
Pawtucket Red Sox 66 4 394811 5982 -424 -15,149
Birmingham Barons 68 2 391,061 5751 -184 -664
Reading Fightin Phils 68 2 388,510 5713 -341 -23,188
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders 63 7 386,819 6140 -322 -52,593
West Michigan Whitecaps 67 3 386,609 5770 205 2,626
Fort Wayne TinCaps 66 4 376,422 5703 -228 -32,831
Tacoma Rainiers 69 1 372,780 5403 -31 -2,171
Reno Aces 70 0 351,298 5019 125 3,796
Trenton Thunder 70 0 351,297 5019 -114 2,284
Tulsa Drillers 67 4 350,396 5230 -367 -24,580
Kane County Cougars 64 6 350,028 5469 -420 -44,539
Portland Sea Dogs 61 9 346,341 5678 25 -9,812
Omaha Storm Chasers 65 5 345,830 5320 -35 -12,947
Akron RubberDucks 69 1 344,754 4996 -206 1,403
South Bend Cubs 70 0 343,763 4911 -374 -10,307
Norfolk Tides 64 6 341,369 5334 -109 -17,894
Corpus Christi Hooks 70 0 340,607 4866 -78 9,365
Memphis Redbirds 68 2 340,476 5007 -66 -9,531
Las Vegas 51s 70 0 332,224 4746 -311 -26,835
San Antonio Missions 67 3 327,276 4885 328 21,925
Springfield Cardinals 67 3 326,362 4871 70 -4,897
Greensboro Grasshoppers 66 4 322,156 4881 -354 -28,587
New Hampshire Fisher Cats 63 7 319,099 5065 330 34,991
Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 63 6 317,335 5037 -134 -8,408
Lansing Lugnuts 68 2 313,592 4612 144 9,749
Greenville Drive 65 5 313,507 4823 -76 -14,715
Tennessee Smokies 66 4 308,069 4668 -313 -5,727
Charleston RiverDogs 68 2 305,040 4486 -8 -582
Northwest Arkansas Naturals 68 2 304,526 4478 7 500
Pensacola Blue Wahoos 69 1 300,002 4348 28 1,894
Altoona Curve 65 5 297,118 4571 176 2,632
Arkansas Travelers 66 4 296,847 4498 -477 -31,500
Lakewood BlueClaws 63 7 293,413 4657 -551 -45,131
Winston-Salem Dash 66 4 292,774 4436 21 -11,833
Lexington Legends 63 7 281,134 4462 136 -76
Syracuse Chiefs 66 4 277,332 4202 -434 -14,722
Frederick Keys 64 6 275,001 4297 -527 -28,929
Midland RockHounds 68 1 263,024 3868 -343 -19,122
Colorado Springs Sky Sox 64 6 262,657 4104 -104 -2,438
Harrisburg Senators 65 5 259,243 3988 5 -3,629
Augusta GreenJackets 63 7 255,155 4050 1,307 76,886
New Orleans Baby Cakes 66 4 252,614 3827 -1,727 -97,269
Columbia Fireflies 67 3 251,586 3755 -1,018 -63,448
Wilmington Blue Rocks 65 5 249,746 3842 -3 19,069
Vancouver Canadians 38 0 239,086 6292 -11 -441
Montgomery Biscuits 70 0 238,538 3408 -1 10,162
Potomac Nationals 63 7 237,244 3766 -103 1,234
Bowie Baysox 67 3 230,347 3438 -15 -4,442
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 65 5 225,897 3475 37 -4,429
Binghamton Rumble Ponies 62 8 220,279 3553 264 29,514
Myrtle Beach Pelicans 66 4 219,589 3327 -260 -13,537
Quad Cities River Bandits 68 2 215,061 3163 -123 -14,945
Lake Elsinore Storm 70 0 214,955 3071 177 15,294
Chattanooga Lookouts 67 3 214,811 3206 25 4,863
Peoria Chiefs 66 4 208,275 3156 -18 -4,384
Erie SeaWolves 64 6 205,055 3204 -146 -9,339
Brooklyn Cyclones 38 0 202,495 5329 139 15,642
Lake County Captains 66 4 202,124 3062 -161 -10,623
Delmarva Shorebirds 65 5 201,329 3097 -139 -5,802
Spokane Indians 38 0 198,423 5222 -93 1,770
Gwinnett Stripers 64 6 195,955 3062 -73 -14,120
Inland Empire 66ers 70 0 193,992 2771 -120 -8,344
Salem Red Sox 66 4 192,621 2919 -392 -22,623
Stockton Ports 69 1 187,966 2724 55 3,802
Great Lakes Loons 65 5 187,220 2880 -141 -15,213
Clearwater Threshers 68 2 181,686 2672 -316 -18,515
Carolina Mudcats 66 4 181,122 2744 -56 -9,298
Bowling Green Hot Rods 66 4 178,329 2702 -153 -1,510
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 70 0 171,767 2454 2 145
Asheville Tourists 60 10 170,389 2840 134 -13,630
Biloxi Shuckers 66 4 160,364 2430 -142 -6,787
Cedar Rapids Kernels 68 2 160,165 2355 -23 -6,262
Lancaster JetHawks 70 0 155,573 2222 -196 -13,664
Mississippi Braves 67 3 151,352 2259 -630 -39,293
Hudson Valley Renegades 37 1 148,156 4004 6 220
San Jose Giants 70 0 147,668 2110 -258 -15,705
Rome Braves 64 6 146,276 2286 -88 -15,168
Modesto Nuts 70 0 145,028 2072 -36 -2,534
Tri-City ValleyCats 34 4 140,036 4119 36 -2,886
Hillsboro Hops 38 0 130,286 3429 50 1,870
Ogden Raptors 38 0 129,285 3402 24 937
Boise Hawks 38 0 126,192 3321 125 4,737
Eugene Emeralds 38 0 125,967 3315 18 670
Hickory Crawdads 66 4 125,394 1900 -229 -10,831
Visalia Rawhide 70 0 124,208 1774 -32 -2,211
Fort Myers Miracle 67 3 123,882 1849 -175 2,444
Aberdeen IronBirds 35 3 121,907 3483 -481 -8,916
Clinton LumberKings 67 3 121,678 1816 -22 376
Daytona Tortugas 59 11 120,728 2046 -18 -15,496
State College Spikes 37 1 119,986 3243 -4 -3,415
Lowell Spinners 35 3 118,319 3381 -135 -8,246
Down East Wood Ducks 66 4 116,835 1770 -255 -28,945
West Virginia Power 61 9 112,273 1841 -216 -21,406
Lynchburg Hillcats 63 7 112,228 1781 -303 -25,338
Everett AquaSox 38 0 111,599 2937 38 1,438
Jackson Generals 67 3 110,798 1654 -121 -9,897
Charlotte Stone Crabs 63 8 104,193 1654 -262 -16,492
Idaho Falls Chukars 37 1 101,448 2742 352 10,632
St. Lucie Mets 65 5 98,823 1520 -485 -33,536
Mahoning Valley Scrappers 36 2 97,204 2700 -297 -10,690
Billings Mustangs 35 3 93,466 2670 -233 -16,845
Pulaski Yankees 33 1 91,226 2764 404 13,346
Tri-City Dust Devils 37 1 86,283 2332 57 -178
Grand Junction Rockies 38 0 84,416 2221 71 4,869
Vermont Lake Monsters 38 0 83,956 2209 -153 1,282
Bradenton Marauders 67 3 79,874 1192 -109 543
Connecticut Tigers 37 2 75,810 2049 -176 2,371
Staten Island Yankees 35 2 72,894 2083 43 1,493
Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 38 0 72,094 1897 -235 -8,917
Tampa Tarpons 65 5 71,835 1105 -317 -21,988
Mobile BayBears 62 8 69,504 1121 -377 -23,394
West Virginia Black Bears 38 0 69,430 1827 -202 -5,634
Jupiter Hammerheads 65 5 69,095 1063 17 31
Johnson City Cardinals 31 4 68,881 2222 246 3,679
Williamsport Crosscutters 36 2 68,475 1902 105 7,393
Missoula Osprey 35 3 65,919 1883 -10 -6,017
Hagerstown Suns 56 14 64,957 1160 -220 -19,224
Kannapolis Intimidators 58 12 64,688 1115 35 -4,424
Beloit Snappers 63 7 64,574 1025 66 338
Palm Beach Cardinals 62 8 64,008 1032 98 5,176
Burlington Bees 62 8 53,259 859 -189 -13,785
Orem Owlz 38 0 51,092 1345 -168 -4,889
Lakeland Flying Tigers 59 11 49,551 840 25 -2,640
Greeneville Reds 31 3 48,021 1549 410 12,716
Great Falls Voyagers 34 4 47,625 1401 157 365
Auburn Doubledays 36 2 43,343 1204 -77 -2,789
Burlington Royals 32 1 36,541 1142 97 2,058
Danville Braves 33 1 34,766 1054 1 2,132
Florida Fire Frogs 55 14 33,017 600 -482 -24,307
Helena Brewers 37 1 31,086 840 -51 -2,757
Dunedin Blue Jays 68 2 30,569 450 -123 -8,387
Batavia Muckdogs 37 1 29,005 784 -22 1,616
Kingsport Mets 32 2 28,928 904 3 -814
Princeton Rays 31 3 24,208 781 245 6,518
Buies Creek Astros 67 3 24,068 359 -158 -6,450
Bristol Pirates 31 2 21,941 708 37 1,128
Bluefield Blue Jays 31 3 20,018 646 -51 -1,577
Elizabethton Twins 29 5 15,329 529 -57 -3,417
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