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MLB's 2012 regular season attendance ranks as fifth highest ever

More than 74.8 million fans attended games this year, the most since 2008; 2012 marks second straight season of increase

Major League Baseball announced today that the 30 Clubs drew 74,859,268 fans in the 2012 regular season, representing the game’s highest attendance since 2008 and the fifth best single-season attendance in Baseball history.  The increase of 2.0 percent – a total of 1,443,909 more fans in 2012 than 2011 – marks the largest year-to-year growth since the 2007 season total rose 4.6 percent over 2006.  In addition, this is the second consecutive season that total attendance increased over the previous year.

MLB’s 2,423 dates this season garnered an average of 30,895 fans per game, up from 30,362 per game in 2011.  The 2012 attendance total ranks behind only the 2007 (1st), 2008 (2nd), 2006 (3rd) and 2005 (4th) seasons.  Overall, the last nine years are now the nine best-attended seasons in the history of Major League Baseball, including the four successive record-breaking seasons from 2004-2007.

Nine Clubs drew more than three million fans this season, while 13 Clubs eclipsed the 2.5 million mark.  For the second straight year, the Philadelphia Phillies led all of Major League Baseball in overall attendance (3,565,718) and average attendance (44,021).  The New York Yankees led the American League with 3,542,406 in attendance, followed by the Texas Rangers, who set a franchise record with 3,460,280, including 38 sell-outs.  The other Clubs topping the three million mark were the San Francisco Giants, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the St. Louis Cardinals, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Boston Red Sox and the Detroit Tigers, who drew their third highest total in their 112 years.

The Washington Nationals finished with their best attendance since 2005, the franchise’s inaugural season in the nation’s capital.  The Baltimore Orioles saw their highest attendance total since 2007.  The Red Sox have now had 793 straight sell-outs at Fenway Park dating back to May 15, 2003, the longest regular-season sellout streak in the history of professional sports.  The Cincinnati Reds drew their best attendance since the debut season of Great American Ball Park in 2003, and the Pittsburgh Pirates topped the two million milestone for the first time since the opening season of PNC Park in 2001.

“This was a year of great races down to the wire, outstanding competitive balance, compelling success stories, Miguel Cabrera’s historic Triple Crown, exciting rookies, and record numbers of perfect games and no-hitters,” said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “Our remarkable attendance numbers prove how much baseball fans embraced an extraordinary 2012 regular season.  The enthusiasm for our sport has never been higher, and all of us at Major League Baseball are looking forward to a magnificent Postseason.”