July 20, 2024

Independent Baseball Crowds Back Above Eight Million

September 23, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Strengthened by the addition of two more teams in the Northern League and with gains reported in three other leagues, Independent Baseball attendance climbed back above eight million fans for the 2010 regular season.  It is the third time in four years the non-affiliated clubs have drawn above that level, this time finishing at 8,130,646.  Last year’s count was 7,965,235.

The Atlantic League, which plays a much longer schedule and had three of the top six clubs luring the most fans on a per-game basis, continued to set the pace in attendance, this season drawing 2,151,416 spectators to go over 23 million for its 13 seasons.  The 12-team Frontier League (1,498,061) was at the top for the other seven leagues which play, at most, 100 games per team.  The Northern League (1,478,694) was right behind with the addition of Lake County (Zion, IL) and Rockford, IL, both of whom topped 125,000.

Long Island, NY, which perennially has the best overall attendance, also drew the best average turnout this season.  The Atlantic League team had total attendance of 410,619 with an above capacity average of 6,038 for 68 home openings.  Winnipeg, CA (Northern) slipped to second in average at 5,654, followed by Kansas City, KS (Northern) at 5,507, Somerset, NJ (Atlantic) at 5,354, St. Paul, MN (American Association) 5,063 and Lancaster, PA (Atlantic) 4,887.

The league-by-league attendance, as reported by new Independent statistical house Pointstreak and compiled by the Independent Baseball Insider:

League, No. of Teams ’09 Attendance ’10 Attendance Inc./Dec.
American Association (10) 1,482,214 1,227,518 -254,696
Atlantic League (8) 2,160,734 2,151,416 -9,577
Can-Am League (6)

Continental (4)







Frontier League (12) 1,444,226 1,498,061 +53,835
Golden League (10) 631,109 742,394 +111,285
Northern League (8) 1,220,300 1,478,694 +258,394
United League (6) *398,526 483,069 +84,543
Totals 7,965,235 8,130,646 +165,411

*Attendance collected from multiple sources

18 Indy Teams in Top 100 in All of Minors

The next time someone from major or minor league baseball offices lashes out against the Independent leagues, they can be politely reminded that 18 of the top 100 minor league teams in average attendance per opening in 2010 came from the non-affiliated ranks, according to a list compiled by BallparkBiz.com. Long Island, NY, the top Indy draw, came in at No. 28, with no less than a dozen Class AAA teams trailing the Ducks.

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www.AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com ADDED TO www.IndyBaseballChatter.com


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Can-Am League Likely to Add Two More Teams

It is beginning to look like the Can-Am League could get back to eight teams for the first time since 2008, possibly as early as the first week of October when owners huddle near Pittsfield, MA.

“Right now I can’t say 100 percent exactly that is going to happen, but that’s what we’re working toward”, Commissioner Miles Wolff told The Berkshire Eagle this week.  Wolff and Pittsfield Owner Buddy Lewis both told the paper teams from the New York-New Jersey area and from Canada are under consideration.  Ramapo, NY, little more than a stone’s throw from NJ, already has selected a name, the Rockland Boulders, and plans to have a new stadium by next summer.

Wolff has left little doubt he would like to place a new team in Ottawa, CA, which was in the league in 2008.  “I still say a Can-Am League team in Ottawa can average 3,000 a game”, he told The Ottawa Citizen earlier this summer, although finding an ownership team has been a challenge.

(This is an excerpt from the column Bob Wirz writes year round on Independent Baseball.  Fans may subscribe at www.WirzandAssociates.com, enjoy his blogs, www.AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com and www.IndyBaseballChatter.com, or comment to RWirz@aol.com.  The author has 16 years of major league baseball public relations experience with Kansas City and as spokesman for two Commissioners and lives in Stratford, CT.)

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