December 9, 2019

Sports Business

Spring training games in Florida reached record high per-game attendance

New York Yankees at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa had highest season attendance

| 4/20/2016

Gov. Rick Scott announced that Florida’s Spring Training Baseball reached a record high per game attendance this season. The average per game attendance of the 2016 Major League Baseball Spring Training Games was 7,096, marking the first time the number has topped 7,000 in over 100 years of Florida Grapefruit League games.

Gov. Scott said, “I am proud to announce that Florida’s Spring Training reached a 100-year record high per game attendance this season. Spring Training and Major League Baseball are a major attraction for families and visitors, and have an incredible economic impact on the local communities that host these fifteen Florida Grapefruit League teams. Last year we welcomed 105 million visitors to our state, and we will keep working to support the tourism industry so we can reach another record year in Florida.”

The total attendance for the 215 games played between Major League teams in the state of Florida was 1,525,570. The 2016 season, played between March 1 and April 2, marked the 14th time in the last 17 years that Florida Spring Training attendance has surpassed 1.5 million. Since 2000, a total of 26,576,761 fans have attended Spring Training games in Florida. Attendance figures are compiled by the Florida Sports Foundation from daily box scores of games, between Major League teams played in the State of Florida, and verified by each of the 15 teams in the Florida Grapefruit League.

The Houston Astros, playing in Kissimmee’s Osceola County Stadium, showed a 15.3 percent per game attendance increase. The 2015 National League Champions, the New York Mets, playing at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie, had a 13.2 percent increase. The St. Louis Cardinals, playing at Jupiter’s Roger Dean Stadium, had a 6.4 percent average per game attendance increase, and the Toronto Blue Jays, playing at Dunedin’s Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, saw a 5.1 percent per game attendance increase.

Renovations to the Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota (Baltimore Orioles), McKechnie Field in Bradenton (Pittsburgh Pirates), Hammond Stadium at the CENTURYLINK Sports Complex in Fort Myers (Minnesota Twins), and construction of Jet Blue Park in Fort Myers (Boston Red Sox) have helped increased seating capacities. By the 2017 season, Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland will receive renovations and the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach is expected to open. The Detroit Tigers will also complete a $48 million renovation and the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals will debut in the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.

2016 Team-by-Team Florida Spring Training Attendance

  • Atlanta Braves - Disney's Wide World of Sports, Lake Buena Vista
    16 Games (2 rained out): 103,574 total attendance; 6,473 average per game
    Largest Crowd: 9,029 vs. Washington Nationals, Saturday, March 12
  • Baltimore Orioles - Ed Smith Stadium, Sarasota
    16 Games119,029 total attendance; 7,439 average per game
    Largest Crowd: 8,518 vs. Boston Red Sox, Saturday, March 28
  • Boston Red Sox - JetBlue Park, Fort Myers
    15 Games: 149,397 total attendance; 9,960 average per game
    Largest Crowd: 10,103, vs. Minnesota Twins, Thursday, March 10
  • Detroit Tigers - Joker Marchant Stadium, Lakeland
    15 Games (2 rained out): 116,061 total attendance; 7,737 average per game
    Largest Crowd: 9,074 vs. Toronto Blue Jays, Tuesday, March 22
  • Houston Astros - Osceola County Stadium, Kissimmee
    12 Games (1 rain out): 50,870 total attendance; 4,239 average per game
    Largest Crowd: 5,191, vs. Toronto Blue Jays, Thursday, March 17
  • Miami Marlins - Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter
    14 Games (2 at Marlins Park, 2 rained out): 88,375 total attendance; 6,313 average
    per game
    Largest Crowd: 7,489 vs. Boston Red Sox, Tuesday, March 22
  • Minnesota Twins - Hammond Stadium, Fort Myers
    15 Games: 121,005 total attendance; 8,067 average per game
    Largest Crowd: 9,109 vs. New York Yankees, Sunday, March 20
  • New York Mets – Tradition Field, Port St. Lucie
    14 Games: 96,552 total attendance; 6,897 average per game
    Largest Crowd: 7,710 vs. Boston Red Sox, Sunday, March 20
  • New York Yankees - Steinbrenner Field, Tampa
    16 Games: 160,849 total attendance; 10,053 average per game
    Largest Crowd: 11,159, vs. Tampa Bay Rays, Thursday, March 24
  • Philadelphia Phillies - Bright House Field, Clearwater
    15 Games (1 rain out): 112,781 total attendance; 7,519 average per game
    Largest Crowd: 11,122, vs. Tampa Bay Rays, Thursday, March 17
  • Pittsburgh Pirates - McKechnie Field, Bradenton
    15 Games (1 rain out): 103,762 total attendance; 6,917 average per game
    Largest Crowd: 7,791, vs. Boston Red Sox, Wednesday, March 9
  • St. Louis Cardinals - Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter
    13 Games (1 rain out): 90,985 total attendance; 6,999 average per game
    Largest Crowd: 7,671, vs. Boston Red Sox, Monday, March 21
  • Tampa Bay Rays - Charlotte Sports Park, Port Charlotte
    13 Games (1 rain out): 68,584 total attendance; 5,276 average per game
    Largest Crowd: 6,876 vs. Boston Red Sox, Friday, March 18
  • Toronto Blue Jays – Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, Dunedin
    14 Games (1 rain out): 72,661 total attendance; 5,190 average per game
    Largest Crowd: 5,549 vs. Boston Red Sox, Friday, March 11
  • Washington Nationals - Space Coast Stadium, Viera
    12 Games (2 rain outs): 71,085 total attendance; 5,924 per game average
    Largest Crowd: 7,718 vs. New York Yankees, Wednesday, March 23
  • Florida Spring Training Total Attendance
    215 Games (15 rain outs): 1,525,570 total attendance; 7,096 per game

Follow the Florida Grapefruit League at www.floridagrapefruitleague.com.

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Tags: Sports Business

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