Syracuse Chiefs Enjoy Their Day in the Sun with a Sellout Crowd

It has not been all baseball and apple pies for minor league teams in the Northeast. A long, cold and wet winter extended into April, then creeped into May for many teams in the International and Eastern leagues—including the Syracuse Chiefs. So perhaps it’s a sign that spring has finally arrived to see the Chiefs atop the minor league attendance leaderboard yesterday.

Syracuse drew 12,269 fans to NBT Bank Stadium yesterday, easily the biggest crowd in the minors and well above the ballpark’s listed capacity of 11,671. The attraction for the Chiefs? You guessed it, an Education Day promotion. (Hmm, where have we heard that one before?)

The packed house is certainly a welcome site for the Chiefs, a franchise in transition after the New York Mets bought it last fall and are planning much-need ballpark renovations in an effort to reinvigorate the local fanbase. The Chiefs currently rank last in the 14-team International League in average attendance (3,116) and have managed the fewest ballpark openings in the league (19).

Syracuse’s packed house yesterday was second to the Lansing Lugnuts in our ballpark capacity ranking, a new addition to the Attendance Tracker that sorts teams based on how close they came to filling their ballparks to capacity. The Lugnuts drew 8,304 fans yesterday, 110 percent of Cooley Law School Stadium’s listed capacity of 7,500. Like the Chiefs, Lansing hit it big on an education day promotion of their own called Grand Slam School Days, which are geared to mid-Michigan area schools and promise a great end-of-the-year event. It appears they delivered.

Rounding out the top five on the Ballpark Capacity list are the Great Lakes Loons (which packed the Dow Diamond beyond its capacity for a School Kids Day), the Hartford Yard Goats (95 percent capacity) and Trenton Thunder (89 percent).

The Round Rock Express drew the third-largest crowd of the day during a pretty cool cross-promotional event with the Nashville Sounds. The Battle for the Boot kicked off at the Dell Diamond, a nine game, home-and-home series between Round Rock and Nashville in which each team takes on a new identity. Round Rock transformed into the Dance Halls and Nashville took on the Honkey Tonks moniker. The new names, of course, were accompanied by new looks.

Below is a complete breakdown of last night’s minor league attendance.

Overall Attendance Tracker

Overall Minor League Attendance for May 30

Ballpark Capacity Tracker

Minor league attendance based on ballpark capacity for May 30

And, by popular demand, we’re including the complete attendance list of every minor league team from yesterday.

Team Yesterday Total Openings Average
Syracuse Chiefs 12,269 59,209 19 3,116
Lansing Lugnuts 8,304 104,344 29 3,598
Albuquerque Isotopes 7,406 184,075 25 7,363
Round Rock Express 7,078 220,299 25 8,812
Lehigh Valley IronPigs 6,205 180,333 24 7,514
Birmingham Barons 6,028 136,244 21 6,488
Hartford Yard Goats 5,935 151,808 29 5,235
El Paso Chihuahuas 5,880 185,959 25 7,438
Great Lakes Loons 5,731 34,008 20 1,700
Trenton Thunder 5,641 128,196 29 4,421
Buffalo Bisons 5,591 117,009 21 5,572
Indianapolis Indians 5,556 168,777 25 6,751
Durham Bulls 5,237 182,950 28 6,534
Charleston RiverDogs 4,821 96,282 22 4,376
Louisville Bats 4,562 173,416 28 6,193
Oklahoma City Dodgers 4,076 166,316 25 6,653
Norfolk Tides 4,074 104,483 24 4,353
Lakewood BlueClaws 3,743 78,842 19 4,150
Wilmington Blue Rocks 3,632 99,152 26 3,814
Tacoma Rainiers 3,533 98,728 24 4,114
Frisco RoughRiders 3,531 159,260 24 6,636
Tulsa Drillers 3,433 118,191 23 5,139
Greenville Drive 3,416 96,519 20 4,826
Springfield Cardinals 3,322 97,181 22 4,417
New Hampshire Fisher Cats 3,289 100,809 22 4,582
Reno Aces 3,272 114,417 25 4,577
New Orleans Baby Cakes 2,889 102,894 23 4,474
Altoona Curve 2,712 90,686 25 3,627
Midland RockHounds 2,613 100,609 24 4,192
Tennessee Smokies 2,441 80,525 19 4,238
Lancaster JetHawks 2,412 59,759 28 2,134
Stockton Ports 2,406 74,140 26 2,852
Colorado Springs Sky Sox 2,145 61,556 22 2,798
Cedar Rapids Kernels 1,990 42,531 26 1,636
Erie SeaWolves 1,975 52,098 23 2,265
Montgomery Biscuits 1,825 97,528 27 3,612
Biloxi Shuckers 1,753 63,564 26 2,445
Myrtle Beach Pelicans 1,650 59,034 23 2,567
Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 1,600 105,426 20 5,271
Clearwater Threshers 1,356 66,932 25 2,677
Peoria Chiefs 1,310 64,268 25 2,571
Lynchburg Hillcats 1,214 35,775 23 1,555
Rome Braves 1,175 54,666 23 2,377
Palm Beach Cardinals 1,037 15,771 20 789
Down East Wood Ducks 1,025 46,016 26 1,770
Clinton LumberKings 1,003 30,262 26 1,164
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 917 65,532 28 2,340
San Jose Giants 893 45,179 25 1,807
Tampa Tarpons 751 29,153 26 1,121
Hagerstown Suns 726 20,616 23 896
Kannapolis Intimidators 389 22,302 21 1,062
St. Lucie Mets 325 37,157 24 1,548
Beloit Snappers 311 13,062 23 568

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