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Minor League Baseball Attendance Thriving

UNITED STATES – Matthew Curry, a seven-year-old BlueClaws fan from Toms River, became the 4- millionth fan in BlueClaws history when he walked through the FirstEnergy Park gates at 7:29 pm on Monday night.

The BlueClaws have become the fastest team in New Jersey and South Atlantic League history to reach the 4-million mark.

4-million falls in Lakewood’s ninth season, and at their 608th home date.

Curry receives a special 4-million jersey, two season tickets to the 2010 BlueClaws, including VIP parking and Upstairs Club passes, autographed BlueClaws merchandise, and the chance to take on-field batting practice with the BlueClaws next week.

Curry will start second grade in September at Cedar Grove Elementary School in Toms River.

“Our whole family was taken by surprise,” said Brian Curry, Matthew’s father, who added the family comes to about six BlueClaws games per year. “We were going to come last night, but with the rain, we decided to change plans.”

Lou Ameika of Lakewood became the 3-millionth fan on July 16th, 2007. Al Spinney of Manahawkin was the 2-millionth fan on June 22nd, 2005. Lakewood honored Sean Morales of Jackson, the 1-millionth fan, on April 26th, 2003.

The BlueClaws unveiled a new logo on Thursday as a prelude to 2010, which will be the team’s 10th season of providing affordable family entertainment at the Jersey Shore.

The team has led the South Atlantic League in average or overall attendance in each of their first eight seasons, and they currently lead the league in both categories once again.

WISCONSIN TIMBER RATTLERS SHATTER ATTENDANCE MARK

Judy Youngquist entered Time Warner Cable Field for Sunday’s Wisconsin Timber Rattlers game at a little before noon. When she had her ticket scanned, she got a little more than just another day at the ballpark. The Neenah resident was fan number 233,798 for the season.

Youngquist is the fan who officially broke the franchise’s single season attendance record that had stood since 1996. Youngquist received a jersey from the Timber Rattlers, a $200 gift card, threw out a first pitch before the game, a bat signed by the Timber Rattlers team, tickets to a Milwaukee Brewers game, and a VIP Suite to a 2010 Timber Rattlers game.

In the second season of Fox Cities Stadium, 233,797 fans went through the turnstiles. The new mark quickly went past the old mark as 5,459 fans attended the final Sunday home game of the season. Sunday was the tenth game in which the attendance surpassed the 5,000. The 2009 attendance mark is now at 238,852 and there are still three home games remaining in the regular season.

The Timber Rattlers will host Cedar Rapids September 2, 3, and 4. To purchase tickets to any of the three remaining games of the 2009 season, fans may go to www.timberrattlers.com; call 800-WI-TIMBER or (920) 733-4152; or stop by the Time Warner Cable Field Box Office.

ALTOONA CURVE ENJOY RECORD-SETTING HOMESTAND

The Altoona Curve’s recent six-game homesTand against the Portland Sea Dogs and the New Hampshire Fisher Cats turned out to be one of the most successful in franchise history.

During the just-completed homestand, the Altoona Curve drew six consecutive walk-up crowds of over 1,000 fans, believed to be a franchise first. Walk-up crowds are comprised of those who buy tickets on the day of the game.

Four of the six walk-ups were of 1,200 fans or more and including 1,951 on Wednesday and 1,619 on Sunday. The large, day-of-game sales helped push the Curve’s attendance to 32,909 over the homestand –an average of 5,485 per game. Crowds of over 6,000 were counted for three of the six games.

FORT WAYNE TINCAPS SET ATTENDANCE RECORD

The Fort Wayne TinCaps welcomed 7,025 fans to Parkview Field on Sunday, August 16th – the 7th sellout in the last 12 games – bringing the season attendance total to 322,995. With nine home games left to play, the TinCaps have already surpassed the previous season attendance record of 318,506 set in 1993, the first year of Minor League Baseball in Fort Wayne.

Fort Wayne franchise yearly attendance totals:

2009 – 322,995 (through 61 games)
2008 – 256,693
2007 – 230,210
2006 – 253,564
2005 – 278,631
2004 – 278,351
2003 – 262,477
2002 – 260,166
2001 – 254,017
2000 – 252,605
1999 – 201,395
1998 – 214,702
1997 – 230,210
1996 – 226,740
1995 – 253,568
1994 – 266,670
1993 – 318,506

Photo courtesy of Altoona Curve

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