Do minor league teams care about whether or not they lead their sport in attendance? Absolutely. Being the top-drawing team in minor league baseball provides another way to market yourself to your fanbase, advertisers and sponsors. It also provides a little extra bragging rights.
Do teams follow the attendance standings daily, tracking how they compare with their peers? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t.
Attendance is hardly an exact science and not all teams calculate it the same way—actual fannies in the seats vs. paid (and comp) tickets. One Minor League Baseball official once told me that teams are allowed leeway in how they determine their attendance so long as they follow the same method throughout the season.
No matter how you add it up, this season is particularly exciting. With a little more than a month to go, the Charlotte Knights (International League) and Round Rock Express (Pacific Coast) are in a near deadlock for the top spot in minor league attendance. Through Tuesday’s games, the Knights lead the Express by a mere 50 fans in average attendance. Each team had 49 openings this season, with Charlotte tallying an 8,898 per-game average compared to Round Rock’s 8,848 average . . . I know!!