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Minnesota Twins' Minor League Affiliates Attendance Figures

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Originally published at The Tenth Inning Stretch

With the Minnesota Twins about to announce another 2-year extension of their Player Development Contract with the Rochester Red Winds of the AAA International League and only their A-level relationship with the Beloit Snappers of the Midwest League being an unfinished business, I thought that it might be interesting to look at the average draw of the Twins' affiliates in all levels.

I am listing ticket sold averages for each Minnesota Twins' affiliate from AAA to Rookie Leagues and also indicate the best and the worse sellers in their leagues (as well as their affiliations.) This does not include yesterday's games. In GCL and DSL games are free, but those teams are included for completeness. The cities (if not included in the name) and the states of the affiliates are also listed.

Looks like the Philadelphia Philly affiliates (including the team closest to me Lehigh Valley IronPigs) are leading in ticket sales in every league they are with the Twins. Other than the Miracle and the E-Twins, that perennially are pretty high in sales for their leagues, all other affiliates are close to the middle. Beloit being the only exception and this is part of the reason the Twins are looking to change affiliation.

Here are the numbers:

Rochester (NY) Red Wings, AAA, International League

Average Attendance: 5,710
Rank in League: 9th out of 14
League High: 9,083 Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Phillies)
League Low: 3,613 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees

New Britain (CT) Rock Cats, AA, Eastern League

Average Attendance: 4,933
Rank in League: 6th out of 12
League High: 6,265 Reading Phillies
League Low: 2,864 Binghamton Mets

Fort Myers (FL) Miracle, high A, Florida State League

Average Attendance: 1,792
Rank in League: 5th out of 12
League High: 2,558 Clearwater Threshers (Phillies)
League Low: 844 Dunedin Blue Jays

Beloit (WI) Snappers, A, Midwest League

Average Attendance: 989
Rank in League: 15 out of 16
League high: 8,512 Dayton Dragons (Reds)
League low: 862 Burlington Bees (Athletics)

Elizabethton (TN) Twins, Rookie, Appalachian League.

Average Attendance: 948
Rank in League: 4th out of 10.
League High: 1,322 Greeneville Astros
League Low: 781 Pulaski Mariners

Gulf Coast League (Fort Myers, FL) Twins, Rookie, Gulf Coast League.

Average Attendance: no formal attendance/ free games
Rank in League: N/A

Dominical Summer League (Boca Chica Baseball City, DR) Twins, Rookie, Dominical Summer League.

Average Attendance: no formal attendance/ free games
Rank in League: N/A

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  1. glunn's Avatar
    This is interesting. Thanks for posting it.
  2. Jim Crikket's Avatar
    Of course, if this had been a "normal" year, the Red Wings would have been 10th of 14 teams in the IL. S/W-B played all of their "home" games in other stadiums (most at Rochester) while their stadium gets renovated. If they'd been playing in their own stadium, they'd have been well above the Red Wings' attendance.

    I find the Florida State League figures interesting. The Clearwater (Phillies) league high attendance levels would barely be a respectable average crowd for Midwest League Western Division (the Eastern Division of the MWL does far better on average). It's just another indication that there's not a huge market for baseball in Florida. Could turn out that the new Marlins stadium was money down the drain and that it would be foolish to build a new ballpark for the Rays.
  3. Thrylos's Avatar
    Actually Clearwater is drawing about as much as your local CR Kernels who are also towards the bottom of the Midwest League. Same with the South Atlantic (also just an "A" and not a high A league.) Teams there draw better than the FSL. I think that part of it is the demographics in FL. I also think that another part is the darn high temperatures in the summer over there. A few times I was there in July and the heat and humidity make sitting outside for 3 hours for a ball game not a pleasant experience...

    Spring Training is a different story. The Twins' franchise called Florida home since the late 30s (Orlando until the 90s) and for a good reason... Interesting story. Before that, the Senators' spring training was the ball fields of the University of VA at Charlottesville. Late Feb can be pretty nasty there, so there are interesting pictures of the ballplayers in hand knit wool sweaters with big Ws on them. Good stuff.
    Updated 08-17-2012 at 06:12 PM by Thrylos
  4. Jim Crikket's Avatar
    Yeah CR draws about 2500-2800 per game on average, so that's comparable to what Clearwater is pulling. They shoot for 200,000 tiotal attendance for the season (70 games) and generally come in around 180-190,000, which pretty much allows them to break even anyway (the team is community owned, so there's no "profit" incentive). Tonight there was 4,000 for the CR game, which was a very good crowd. Like I said, the Eastern Division of MWL (where most of the newer stadiums have been built as the league has gradually migrated east in to the higher population areas of Ohio and Michigan) generally has much higher attendance figures than the Western Division.

    A few years ago I went to a Miracle game played against the Yankees Class A team in Tampa and I was shocked... there couldnt have been 500 people at the Yankees stadium. Yeah it was warm but still... unbelievable.
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