Major League Baseball Spring Training continues to be a fan favorite at Florida’s 14 locations during the month of March as average per game attendance increased four percent from 2013 for an average of 6,882 per game. The average per game total narrowly missed the alltime record of 6,965 per game in 2012, when two games between the Miami Marlins and New York Yankees were played in the inaugural games in Marlins Park. In 211 total games, 1,452,114 fans passed through the turnstiles.
The total attendance figure was compiled by the Florida Sports Foundation, a division of Enterprise Florida, Inc., from daily box scores and confirmed by each of the 15 teams in the Florida Grapefruit League. Only games played in Florida between Major League teams were included in the total. Exhibition games against college teams are not included in the final totals.
Florida Grapefruit League 2014 Highlights:
• The largest crowd of the season was on Friday, March 21 when the Philadelphia Phillies hosted the Boston Red Sox, before 11,210 fans at Bright House Field in Clearwater.
• Four teams, the Boston Red Sox (Jet Blue Park, Fort Myers), Detroit Tigers (Joker Marchant Stadium, Lakeland), Pittsburgh Pirates (McKechnie Field, Bradenton) and Washington Nationals (Space Coast Stadium) set new average per game attendance records.
• The Pittsburgh Pirates experienced an increase of 21.8% in average per game attendance jumping from 6,229 per game in 2013 to 7,587 per game in 2014. This increase is primarily due to renovations to McKechnie Field in Bradenton which added outfield bleacher seating and an outfield boardwalk. The Pirates established a new attendance record with a crowd of 8,566 against the Philadelphia Phillies, on Saturday, March 22.
• Also experiencing an increase in attendance due to renovations that added seating was the Minnesota Twins at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers. With the completion of outfield bleachers and boardwalk, the Twins had crowds of more than 9,000 on two occasions. The 9,298 in attendance on March 22 to see the Twins and New York Yankees established a new game record at Hammond Stadium.
• On Sunday, March 23, a total of 69,097 fans attended eight games statewide for an average attendance of 8,637 per game. It was the highest daily total for an eight-game schedule of games.
• The Tampa Bay Rays drew a total of 7,852 to their March 16 game against the Boston Red Sox, the highest attendance since the Rays moved to Charlotte County Stadium in 2009. The March 16 total surpassed the previous high of 7,834, against the New York Yankees in 2010.
The 2014 season celebrated the 100th Anniversary of Spring Training Baseball in Pinellas County, the birthplace of Florida Spring Training as we know it today. It was 1914 when Al Lang brought the St. Louis Browns to St. Petersburg, for pre-season workouts, opening the door for more teams to follow.
Since that time, the “off season” workouts have become an economic benefit to the state as Florida Spring Training Baseball provides the State of Florida a $753 million economic impact each year. The total was determined by an economic impact survey, compiled during the 2009 season, by Bonn Marketing Research Group of Tallahassee.
Since the 2000 season a total of 23,464,074 fans have attended Spring Training Baseball games in the State of Florida.
2014 Team-by-Team Florida Spring Training Attendance
Atlanta Braves - Disney's Wide World of Sports, Lake Buena Vista
17 Games: 124,493 total attendance; 7,323 average per game
Largest Crowd: 10,445 vs. St. Louis Cardinals, Saturday, March 15
Baltimore Orioles - Ed Smith Stadium, Sarasota
12 Games (3 rain outs); 89,448 total attendance; 7,454 average per game
Largest Crowd: 8,602 vs. New York Yankees, Saturday, March 15
Boston Red Sox - JetBlue Park, Fort Myers
15 Games; 147,669 total attendance; 9,845 average per game
Largest Crowd: 10,147, vs. Baltimore Orioles, Wednesday, March 26
Detroit Tigers - Joker Marchant Stadium, Lakeland
15 Games (2 Rainouts); 116,226 total attendance; 8,302 average per game
Largest Crowd: 9,246 vs. Toronto Blue Jays, Tuesday, March 11
Houston Astros - Osceola County Stadium, Kissimmee
12 Games (1 Rainout); 44,715 total attendance; 3,726 average per game
Largest Crowd: 5,115, vs. St. Louis Cardinals, Saturday, March 22
Miami Marlins - Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter
14 Games; 60,260 total attendance; 4,304 average per game
Largest Crowd: 6,850 vs. St. Louis Cardinals, Thursday, March 20
Minnesota Twins - Hammond Stadium, Fort Myers
14 Games (2 Rainouts); 107,806 total attendance; 7,700 average per game
Largest Crowd: 9,298 vs. New York Yankees, Saturday, March 22
New York Mets – Tradition Field, Port St. Lucie
14 Games; 76,091 total attendance; 5,435 average per game
Largest Crowd: 7,678 vs. Atlanta Braves, Sunday, March 9
New York Yankees - Steinbrenner Field, Tampa
15 Games (1 Rainout); 151,564 total attendance; 10,104 average per game
Largest Crowd: 11,032, vs. Boston Red Sox, Tuesday, March 18
Philadelphia Phillies - Bright House Field, Clearwater
15 Games (1 Rainout); 121,915 total attendance; 8,128 average per game
Largest Crowd: 11,210, vs. Boston Red Sox, Friday, March 21
Pittsburgh Pirates - McKechnie Field, Bradenton
12 Games (3 Rainouts); 91,046 total attendance; 7,587 average per game
Largest Crowd: 8,566, vs. Philadelphia Phillies, Saturday, March 22
St. Louis Cardinals - Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter
14 Games; 96,791 total attendance; 6,914 average per game
Largest Crowd: 7,844, vs. Boston Red Sox, Wednesday, March 5
Tampa Bay Rays - Charlotte Sports Park, Port Charlotte
14 Games; 78,624 total attendance; 5,616 average per game
Largest Crowd: 7,852 vs. Boston Red Sox, Sunday, March 16
Toronto Blue Jays – Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, Dunedin
14 Games; 67,900 total attendance; 4,850 average per game
Largest Crowd: 5,553, vs. New York Yankees, Sunday, March 2
Washington Nationals - Space Coast Stadium, Viera
14 Games; 77,564 total attendance; 5,540 per game average
Largest Crowd: 7,623 vs. St. Louis Cardinals, Sunday, March 9
Florida Spring Training Total Attendance
211 Games; 1,452,112 total attendance; 6,882 per game
Orioles invite public to extended Spring Training games in Sarasota
The public is invited to watch Orioles minor league players in action in Sarasota during Extended Spring Training during the months of April, May and June. There is no charge to attend the games, which will be held on Field 4 at the Ed Smith Stadium complex beginning today. Gates open 30 minutes before game time. Free parking is available in the East Lot. Please note that game times and locations are subject to change without notice due to weather and field conditions.
Orioles 2014 Extended Spring Training Home Games
April 9, 1:00 p.m., Red Sox
April 11, 1:00 p.m., Rays
April 14, 1:00 p.m., Red Sox
April 17, 1:00 p.m., Twins
April 19, 10:00 a.m., Rays
April 22, 1:00 p.m., Twins
April 24, 1:00 p.m., Red Sox
April 25, 1:00 p.m., Rays
April 29, 1:00 p.m., Red Sox
April 30, 1:00 p.m., Twins
May 3, 10:00 a.m., Rays
May 6, 1:00 p.m., Twins
May 7, 1:00 p.m., Red Sox
May 9, 1:00 p.m., Rays
May 12, 1:00 p.m., Red Sox
May 15, 1:00 p.m., Twins
May 17, 10:00 a.m., Rays
May 20, 1:00 p.m., Twins
May 22, 1:00 p.m., Red Sox
May 23, 1:00 p.m., Rays
May 27, 1:00 p.m., Red Sox
May 28, 1:00 p.m., Twins
May 31, 10:00 a.m., Rays
June 2, 1:00 p.m., Twins
June 4, 1:00 p.m., Red Sox
June 6, 1:00 p.m., Rays