Minor League Attendance Up About Five Percent In April Over 2016

Attendance at minor league games in April rose 5.3 percent year over year, Minor League Baseball said Monday, despite two dozen more rainouts last month.

The 11 full-season leagues and 136 clubs that began play in April averaged 3,986 fans a game for a total of nearly 6.1 million. April attendance in 2017 was 432,004 more than the total for April 2016 (5,658,364), despite 102 rainouts last month as opposed to 74 in April 2016.

“Minor League Baseball clubs have put a great deal of effort into creating some great promotions to draw fans to the ballpark early in the season, and the six million fans who visited our ballparks last month are a testament to that,” Minor League Baseball president and CEO Pat O’Conner said in a news release.

Two clubs in particular saw sharp increases last month. The Jumbo Shrimp—the rechristened Jacksonville Suns, the Marlins’ Double-A affiliate—saw a 73-percent rise, going from an average of 4,349 in April 2016 to 7,534 last month. And the Columbia Fireflies, who employ Tim Tebow, saw attendance rise 36 percent to 5,209 from 3,839 in April 2016.

Tebow Contract Extended

Speaking of Tebow, ESPN said Monday it had reached a multiyear extension with Tebow to continue as a college football analyst. No financial terms were announced, but it seems signing a multiyear TV contract would conflict with continuing his career as a pro baseball player.

Tebow is hitting .242/.330/.363 at low Class A in his longshot bid to play big league baseball.

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