April 9, 2002 Over 1.5 million baseball fans flock to Florida Spring Training Baseball TALLAHASSEE -- Governor Jeb Bush announced today that total Florida Spring Training Baseball total attendance topped 1.5 million fans for the fourth consecutive year as 1,538,444 baseball fans passed through the turnstiles in 2002. The total represents the combined attendances of the 20 teams holding spring training in 19 sites throughout the state of Florida.
In 306 total games played during the month of March, average attendance for the 20 teams surpassed the 5,000 mark for the fourth consecutive year with an average of 5,028 fans per game. The figures were gathered by the Florida Sports Foundation, the official sports promotion and development organization of the State of Florida, in conjunction with officials from the 19 spring training sites around the state.
Four teams broke the 100,000 total attendance mark in 2002 as the New York Yankees led the Grapefruit League with a total of 172,544 for 17 home games. The Yankees also drew the highest per game average to Tampa's Legends Field with 10,149 fans per game. The Atlanta Braves drew a total of 124,158 over 16 games to Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando for an average of 7,760 per game. The Boston Red Sox had a total attendance of 109,476 and a record per game attendance of 7,298 to 16 games at Fort Myers' City of Palms Park. The Minnesota Twins topped the 100,000 mark for the first time with 102,238 for an average of 6,014 per game to Hammond Stadium at the Lee County Sports Complex in Fort Myers.
The Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies recorded increases in attendance of more than 20%. The Astros showed an increase from 34,992 fans in 2001 to a total of 46,948 fans at Kissimmee's Osceola County Stadium in 2002, a 24% jump. The Phillies went from 60,019 total attendance in 2001 at Clearwater's Jack Russell Stadium to a total of 77,647 in 2002, a 23% increase.
“The impressive spring training attendance totals for 2002 touts Florida's ongoing status as both the Sports Capitol of the World and the nation’s premier travel destination,” said Governor Jeb Bush. “Baseball fans continue to show loyalty to their teams and enjoy the time they spend in Florida during the month of March. We welcome the multitude of visitors who come to Florida for this annual baseball tradition -- and are thrilled that they can take home with them such fond memories of the Sunshine State.”
In a survey commissioned by the Florida Sports Foundation and conducted by Van Horn Associates during the 2000 Grapefruit League season, results showed that Major League Baseball’s annual pre-season journey to Florida for Spring Training results in a $490 million economic impact to the state and 5,600 full-time jobs.
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Included in the analysis were estimates of expenditures made by fans attending the games, the 20 Major League Baseball teams’ spring training operating expenditures, operating expenditures for the 19 stadiums utilized for the Grapefruit League, concessionaire spring training operating expenditures and media expenditures.
For more information about the 2001 Florida Grapefruit League season, please contact Nick Gandy at the Florida Sports Foundation (850) 488-8347.
Total Per Game
Team Attendance Average Atlanta Braves 124,158 7,760