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RubberDucks, Other Indians Minor League Affiliates See Increase in Attendance

Canal Park, home of the Akron Rubber Ducks
Canal Park, home of the Akron Rubber Ducks

While the Cleveland Indians are still in the final weeks of the regular season, the team's minor league affiliates have all wrapped up their seasons, and it was a good year for them attendance-wise. All five teams saw an increase in attendance, as much as 13.9 percent over the year before.

Scott Tainsky is an Associate Professor of Sport Management at Wayne State University in Michigan. He says there are a number factors, but success on the field is not necessarily one of them.

“In the case of a lot of the Cleveland minor league teams, some of the franchises have had good years as of late. But that doesn’t necessarily explain all of the increasing attendance that’s happening incrementally from year to year.”

Tainsky says attendance is also affected by new ballparks, the team’s stability and the number of potential fans they can reach.

Minor league games have a heavy focus on promotions and entertainment, and Tainsky says he expects attendance to continue to rise across the country due to that.

Average attendance figures for 2017:

Triple-A Columbus: 9,060, up 2.3 percent 

Double-A Akron: 5,205, up 2.5 percent

Class-A Lynchburg: 2,084, up 11.9 percent

Class-A Lake County: 3,223, up 2.5 percent

Class-A Mahoning Valley: 2,997, up 13.9 percent

Source:  Minor League Baseball

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