2012 Minor League Baseball Attendance Rankings

On Monday, the website Ballpark Business released their annual “mega-rankings” for per-game attendance for minor league baseball.  This list incorporates not only affiliated minor league teams, but also Independent Leagues and summer Collegiate Leagues.

In the rankings, 258 teams are listed and ranked.  A 259th team, the Sonoma County Grapes in the North American Independent league is a road-only team.

Here’s how the Pirates affiliates ranked overall:

  • AAA Indianapolis Indians were 4th overall with 8,501 fans/game.
  • AA Altoona Curve were 69th overall with 4,295 fans/game.
  • The erstwhile Short Season State College Spikes were 91st overall with 3,502 fans/game.
  • Low A West Virginia Power were 142nd overall with 2,356 fans/game.
  • High A Bradenton Marauders were 194th with 1,515 fans/game.

Some other interesting items gleaned from the report were that the Pirates new short-season affiliate, the Jamestown Jammers, were ranked 236th with 1,031 fans/game.

Most of the teams at the top end of the chart were AAA level franchises, with a few AA franchises mixed in, too.  However, the 3rd highest overall franchise was the Dayton Dragons in the Low A Midwest League with 8,532 fans/game.  It seems as if this market could be on track in the future for a Double or Triple A affiliation.

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David DeLeo

Dayton has had this sort of attendance for years. They are at something like 913 straight sell outs. And there has never been a whisper of them moving up to AA or AAA. The website Ballpark Digest lists their “Affiliation Dance” this time of the year, every two years as teams resign with their parent club or change affiliates. Most franchises are listed as being signed with their parent clubs until 2014 or 2016. Dayton is listed as being signed with the Reds “In Perpetuity.” Their words, not mine. I too don’t see them moving from the Reds or changing leagues in the foreseeable future.


This would be better broken down by level since obviously higher level teams have bigger parks and are in bigger cities. Still, we already knew Indy was a top AAA affiliate.


I think Dayton will always remain a single A franchise. I can’t imagine the Reds allowing a higher level of play in Dayton, which is about 60 minutes north of Cincy on I-75 if traffic is normal. But, maybe I’m wrong.

Also, the Midwest league is not a low A league.

F Lang

If they end affiliation it could change but they have a good thing going. Have been down there a few times and it is a nice park.


Yes, Midwest is Low A. It is the same designation as South Atlantic where the Power plays. If you are thinking the NYPL is “low A”, it is not commonly referred to as such. That is called short-season.
Why would Cincy care about the level of play of Dayton? Baltimore has the closest proximity of its minor league teams for any franchise in MLB and they don’t care.
There’s also no guarantee Dayton stays with the Reds forever.


Kevin – my mistake on the classification. You are 100% correct and I am 100% wrong.

David answered the other part above. I don’t believe the Reds and Dragons will part and I don’t believe Dayton will ever move up.

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