Florida Grapefruit League Baseball Draws over 1.5 million during 37-day season
For the 15th time in 18 years, Florida Spring Training Baseball total attendance surpassed the 1.5 million mark. Over the course of those 18 years, since 2000, over 28 million fans have attended Major League Baseball Spring Training Games in the State of Florida.
Over the course of 37 days between February 24 and April 1, a total of 249 games were played between Major League teams in Florida with 1,577,914 fans in attendance for an average of 6,337 per game. The attendances figures are compiled annually by the Florida Sports Foundation from daily box scores and verified by each of the 15 teams in the Florida Grapefruit League.
During the 37 day span from late February to April, no games were cancelled due to rain. It is the first time since records have been kept by the Florida Sports Foundation, dating back to the mid-1990s, that no rain outs were recorded.
Nine of the 15 teams playing in Florida surpassed the 100,000 total attendance mark and the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Mets had a record number of fans attend games at LECOM Park in Bradenton and First Data Field in Port St. Lucie.
The largest crowd of the 2017 season came on Friday, March 17 when the Philadelphia Phillies hosted the Toronto Blue Jays at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, with 11,137 fans in attendance celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.
More Florida Spring Training Fun Facts
*** Palm Beach County, now the host of four Florida Grapefruit League teams playing in two facilities, had a total attendance of 292,911. Between the new Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, in West Palm Beach, home of the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals, and Roger Dean Stadium, in Jupiter, home of the Miami Marlins and Washington Nationals, 65 games were played in Palm Beach County between February 25 and April 1.
*** Saturday, March 25 was the most attended day of the 2017 Florida Grapefruit League season with 60,024 fans gathering at seven games around the state for an average of 8,575 per game. Two games had crowds of over 10,000 as the Philadelphia Phillies/Boston Red Sox game at Jet Blue Park in Fort Myers drew 10,083 fans and the New York Yankees hosted the Toronto Blue Jays in front of 10,320 at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. Two games saw a team season high attendance when the Minnesota Twins and Baltimore Orioles met at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota before a crowd of 8,171 and the Detroit Tigers/Pittsburgh Pirates game at Bradenton’s LECOM Park drew 7,989.
*** Since 2000, a total of 28,154,675 fans have attended Major League Baseball Spring Training games in Florida.
Follow the Florida Grapefruit League at www.floridagrapefruitleague.com.
2017 Team-by-Team Florida Spring Training Attendance Figures
Atlanta Braves – ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Lake Buena Vista
18 Games: 120,812 total attendance; 6,712 average per game
Largest Crowd: 9,440 vs. St. Louis Cardinals, Sunday, March 19
Baltimore Orioles – Ed Smith Stadium, Sarasota
16 Games: 115,571 total attendance; 7,223 average per game
Largest Crowd: 8,171, vs. Minnesota Twins, Saturday, March 25
Boston Red Sox – JetBlue Park, Fort Myers
17 Games: 167,799 total attendance; 9,871 average per game
Largest Crowd: 10,157 vs. Baltimore Orioles, Monday, March 20
Detroit Tigers – Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium, Lakeland
17 Games: 127,348 total attendance; 7,491 average per game
Largest Crowd: 9,704 vs. New York Yankees, Friday, March 17
Houston Astros – Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, West Palm Beach
15 Games: 55,881 total attendance; 3,725 average per game
Largest Crowd: 7,721 vs. New York Yankees, Sunday, March 19
Miami Marlins – Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter
18 Games: 61,901 total attendance; 3,439 average per game
Largest Crowd: 5,084 vs. St. Louis Cardinals, Sunday, March 12
Minnesota Twins – Hammond Stadium at CENTURYLINK Sports Complex, Fort Myers
15 Games: 108,365 total attendance; 7,224 average per game
Largest Crowd: 9,538 vs. St. Louis Cardinals, Wednesday, March 15
New York Mets – First Data Field, Port St. Lucie
18 Games: 103,351 total attendance; 5,742 average per game
Largest Crowd: 7,462 vs. St. Louis Cardinals, Friday, March 17
New York Yankees – George M. Steinbrenner Field, Tampa
16 Games: 149,757 total attendance; 9,360 average per game
Largest Crowd: 10,872 vs. Boston Red Sox, Tuesday, March 21
Philadelphia Phillies – Spectrum Field, Clearwater
18 Games: 128,236 total attendance; 7,124 average per game
Largest Crowd: 11,173 vs. Toronto Blue Jays, Friday, March 17
Pittsburgh Pirates – LECOM Park, Bradenton
17 Games: 106,291 total attendance; 6,252 average per game
Largest Crowd: 7,989 vs. Detroit Tigers, Saturday, March 25
St. Louis Cardinals – Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter
16 Games: 90,325 total attendance; 5,645 average per game
Largest Crowd: 7,373 vs. New York Mets, Saturday, March 18
Tampa Bay Rays – Charlotte Sports Park, Port Charlotte
17 Games: 78.734 total attendance; 4,631 average per game
Largest Crowd: 6,513 vs. Detroit Tigers, Friday, March 3
Toronto Blue Jays – Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, Dunedin
16 Games: 78,739 total attendance; 4,921 average per game
Largest Crowd: 5,487 vs. Detroit Tigers, Wednesday, March 22
Washington Nationals – Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, West Palm Beach
16 Games: 84,804 total attendance; 5,300 average per game
Largest Crowd: 7,675 vs. New York Yankees, Monday, March 20
Florida Spring Training Total Attendance
249 Games: 1,577,914 total attendance; 6,337 average per game
Largest Crowd: 11,173 vs. Toronto Blue Jays vs. Philadelphia Phillies, Friday, March 17, Spectrum Field, Clearwater
Please keep MLB spring training in Florida!