4/1/2014 3:01 P.M. ET
MLB enjoys record-setting spring in attendance
By Joey Nowak / MLB.com
It was a record-setting Spring Training for teams in both the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues, with average game attendance this spring reaching a record high over the 447 games played.
An average of 8,078 fans came out to the ballpark each day -- a 7.3 percent increase over last year, when MLB teams drew an average of 7,527 fans per game. The previous record was set in 2008, when an average of 7,793 fans came through the turnstiles. The 3,610,738 fans represented the fifth-highest total ever.
Among the Spring Training attendance highlights:
• In their first year at Cubs Park in Mesa, the Cubs drew 213,815 fans, for an average of 14,254 per game. It was the team's largest Spring Training total and per-game attendance in history.
The franchise now owns the top 11 single-game crowds in Cactus or Grapefruit League history.
• Fresh off a historic playoff berth, the Pirates set new records for average attendance (7,587 fans per game, surpassing last year's 6,229) and single-game attendance (8,556 fans on March 22) by bringing 91,046 people to 12 games at McKechnie Field.
• Camelback Ranch -- home to the Dodgers and White Sox -- saw a new per-game attendance record with a spike of 1,081 more fans per game than last season. Both the Dodgers (21 percent) and White Sox (11.6 percent) saw per-game increases.
• The Orioles set a new per-game average attendance record (7,454 fans) this spring, and the Reds drew a club-record 69,748 fans to Goodyear Ballpark. The Rays set a single-game record with 7,852 fans on March 16, while the Nationals averaged 5,542 fans per game, the most since their first season after moving from Montreal to Washington in 2005.
• Salt River Fields at Talking Stick -- home to the D-backs and Rockies -- has now seen at least 300,000 fans in all four of its seasons. No Spring Training facility had previously seen that total attendance once.