Attempting to show the importance of a Major League Baseball spring training presence in Florida, Gov. Rick Scott announced on Monday that seven teams set total attendance records and Florida Spring Training Baseball drew more than 1.6 million fans for the second consecutive season.
Some 1,638,457 fans attended the 247 games of the 2013 season.
In the 37 days of Florida Grapefruit League games played in 14 locations statewide, only two games were rained out, the governor said. On average, 6,633 fans attended the 247 games played between Feb. 22 and March 30.
Scott claimed in a written release, Todays news that seven teams set all-time attendance records at spring training facilities in Florida demonstrates our success in attracting visitors to the state. Spring training is critical to jobs for families throughout Florida. Thats why this session, Ive worked to keep teams in the Sunshine State and keep our economy growing.
The information below was provided by the governor's office.
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 and World Baseball Classic teams are not included in the final totals.
The seven teams setting attendance marks were the Baltimore Orioles (Ed Smith Stadium, Sarasota), Boston Red Sox (Jet Blue Park, Fort Myers), Detroit Tigers (Joker Marchant Stadium, Lakeland), Pittsburgh Pirates (McKechnie Field, Bradenton), Tampa Bay Rays (Charlotte Sports Complex, Port Charlotte), Toronto Blue Jays (Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, Dunedin) and Washington Nationals (Space Coast Stadium, Viera).
Eight teams topped the 100,000 mark in total attendance for the second consecutive year as the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees led the way with over 164,000 fans at games in Fort Myers and Tampa, respectively. The Red Sox edged the Yankees by 44 fans with a total attendance of 164,840 at Jet Blue Park while the Yankees drew 164,796 to Steinbrenner Field.
The 2013 season celebrated the 125th Anniversary of Spring Training Baseball in the Sunshine State. The tradition began in 1888 when the Washington Statesmen traveled to Jacksonville to work out in the off season. 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 22,011,962 fans have attended Spring Training Baseball games in the state of Florida.
2013 Team-by-Team Florida Spring Training Attendance
Atlanta Braves - Disney's Wide World of Sports, Lake Buena Vista
18 Games: 134,811 total attendance; 7,490 average per game
Largest Crowd: 10,298 vs. New York Yankees, Saturday, March 16
Baltimore Orioles - Ed Smith Stadium, Sarasota
17 Games; 120,455 total attendance; 7,086 average per game
Largest Crowd: 8,797 vs. Tampa Bay Rays, Thursday, March 14
Boston Red Sox - JetBlue Park, Fort Myers
17 Games; 164,840 total attendance; 9,696 average per game
Largest Crowd: 9,987 vs. Tampa Bay Rays, Saturday, Feb. 23
Detroit Tigers - Joker Marchant Stadium, Lakeland
17 Games; 136,858 total attendance; 8,050 average per game
Largest Crowd: 10,451 vs. Tampa Bay Rays, Friday, March 29
Houston Astros - Osceola County Stadium, Kissimmee
16 Games; 53,602 total attendance; 3,350 average per game
Largest Crowd: 5,013 vs. Philadelphia Phillies, Sunday, March 10
Miami Marlins - Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter
15 Games; 65,496 total attendance; 4,366 average per game
Largest Crowd: 6,934 vs. New York Yankees, Friday, March 8
Minnesota Twins - Hammond Stadium, Fort Myers
17 Games (one cancellation); 113,845 total attendance; 6,697 average per game
Largest Crowd: 8,366 vs. New York Yankees, Friday, March 22
New York Mets Tradition Field, Port St. Lucie
17 Games; 83,412 total attendance; 4,907 average per game
Largest Crowd: 6,761 vs. Atlanta Braves, Sunday, March 17
New York Yankees - Steinbrenner Field, Tampa
16 Games; 164,796 total attendance; 10,300 average per game
Largest Crowd: 11,028 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, Thursday, March 28
Philadelphia Phillies - Bright House Field, Clearwater
16 Games; 138,313 total attendance; 8,645 average per game
Largest Crowd: 11,100 vs. Baltimore Orioles, Sunday, March 17
Pittsburgh Pirates - McKechnie Field, Bradenton
15 Games (one cancellation); 93,433 total attendance; 6,229 average per game
Largest Crowd: 8,541 vs. New York Yankees, Sunday, March 17
St. Louis Cardinals - Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter
16 Games; 98,715 total attendance; 6,170 average per game
Largest Crowd: 7,629 vs. Detroit Tigers, Saturday, March 16
Tampa Bay Rays - Charlotte Sports Park, Port Charlotte
17 Games at Charlotte Sports Park, 1 at Tropicana Field; 106,102 total attendance; 5,895 average per game
Largest Crowd: 15,167 vs. Detroit Tigers,,Saturday, March 30 at Tropicana Field
Toronto Blue Jays Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, Dunedin
16 Games; 78,509 total attendance; 4,907 per game average
Largest Crowd: 5,561 vs. Detroit Tigers, Saturday, March 9
Washington Nationals - Space Coast Stadium, Viera
16 Games; 85,270 total attendance; 5,329 per game average
Largest Crowd: 7,415 vs. Atlanta Braves, Wednesday, March 27
Florida Spring Training Total Attendance
247 Games (two cancellations); 1,638,457 total attendance; 6,6,33 per game.