2930 Kerry Forest Parkway



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2930 Kerry Forest Parkway


Suite 101

Tallahassee, Florida 32309

(850) 488-8347

www.flasports.com


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

CONTACT: Nick Gandy (850) 488-8347
Governor Bush announces 2003 Grapefruit League season posts 5 percent attendance increase

TALLAHASSEE - Governor Jeb Bush today announced that Major League Baseball Spring Training in Florida showed a five percent increase in per game attendance during the 2003 season. During the month of March 2003, in which 265 games were played, the 17 Spring Training sites in Florida averaged a total of 5,272 spectators per game. In contrast, the 2002 Spring Training season averaged 5,028 spectators per game in 306 games.

"No one does Spring Training baseball better than Florida, and these attendance figures exemplify that point," said Governor Bush. "The Grapefruit League season is uniquely Florida, attracting supporters of the 18 teams to our state during the month of March. I am proud of our rich history and thank baseball fans from around the nation for their continued support."

Total attendance this Spring for the annual games reached 1,397,144 according to figures compiled by the Florida Sports Foundation, the official sports promotion and development organization of the state of Florida. The spring training sites statewide supplied the statistics. A total of 11 games were cancelled due to rain.

Four teams topped the 100,000 mark in total attendance as the New York Yankees led the way with 162,890 fans for 16 games at Tampa's Legends Field (an average of 10,180 per game). Also drawing more than 124,000 fans were the Atlanta Braves at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex (8,267 per game), 115,000 fans to Boston Red Sox games in Fort Myers (7,188 per game), and 106,209 fans to Minnesota Twins games at the Lee County Sports Complex (7,081 per game).

Recording a record number of fans were the Red Sox and Twins along with the Houston Astros at Osceola County Stadium (53,851 total, averaging 4,142 per game) and Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton (64,064 total, averaging 4,271 per game).

A total of 18 Major League Baseball teams hold their annual spring training at 17 sites in Florida during the month of March each year.



-- more--

Following an economic impact survey during the 2000 Spring Training season that showed a $450 million economic impact to the state, the Florida Legislature provided $75 million in matching funds for spring training sites in need of renovations. Five municipalities, the City of Lakeland (Detroit Tigers), the City of Clearwater (Philadelphia Phillies), the City of Dunedin (Toronto Blue Jays), Indian River County (Los Angeles Dodgers), and Osceola County (Houston Astros) were awarded funding. Four of the five renovation projects were completed in time for the 2003 Spring Training season. The City of Clearwater is building a new stadium.



2003 Spring Training Attendances -- Team-by-Team
Atlanta Braves -Cracker Jack Stadium - Disney's Wide World of Sports (Capacity: 9,500)

2003 Totals

15 games - 124,002 total attendance - 8,267 per game average

Season high attendance: 10,918 vs. Mets, 3/22


Baltimore Orioles - Fort Lauderdale Stadium (Capacity: 8,340)

2003 Totals

15 games - 71,453 total attendance - 4,764 per game average

Season high attendance: 7,685 vs. Red Sox, 3/5


Boston Red Sox - City of Palms Park, Fort Myers (Capacity: 6,990)

2003 Totals

16 games (one rain out) - 115,001 total attendance - 7,188 per game average

Season high attendance: 8,200 on two occasions


Cincinnati Reds - Ed Smith Stadium, Sarasota (Capacity: 7,618)

2003 Totals

16 games (one rain out) - 68,380 total attendance - 4,274 per game average

Season high attendance: 7,623 vs. Red Sox, 3/24


Cleveland Indians - Chain of Lakes Park, Winter Haven (Capacity: 7,000)

2003 Totals

14 games (one rain out) - 59,131 total attendance - 4,224 per game average

Season high attendance: 6,215 vs. Devil Rays, 3/16


Detroit Tigers - Joker Marchant Stadium, Lakeland (Capacity: 8,500)

2003 Totals

14 games (two rain outs) - 69,609 total attendance - 4,972 per game average

Season high attendance: 8,237 vs. Yankees, 3/18



Florida Marlins - Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter (Capacity: 6,800)

2003 Totals

15 games (One rain out) - 57,638 total attendance - 3,843 per game average

Season high attendance: 7,949 vs. Red Sox, 3/11


Houston Astros - Osceola County Stadium, Kissimmee (Capacity: 5,300)

2003 Totals

13 games - 53,851 total attendance - 4,142 per game average

Season high attendance: 6,904 vs. Mets, 3/9


Los Angeles Dodgers - Holman Stadium - Dodgertown, Vero Beach (Capacity: 6,474)

2003 Totals

14 games - 52,844 total attendance - 3,775 per game average

Season high attendance: 4,892 vs. Braves, 3/26


Minnesota Twins - Hammond Stadium at Lee County Sports Complex, Fort Myers (Capacity: 7,500)

2003 Totals

15 games - 106,209 total attendance - 7,081 per game average

Season high attendance: 7,836 vs. Red Sox, 3/18



Montreal Expos - Space Coast Stadium, Viera (Capacity: 8,100)


2003 Totals

15 games - 59,614 total attendance - 3,974 per game average

Season high attendance: 7,984 vs. Mets, 3/24
New York Mets - Thomas J. White Stadium, Port St. Lucie (Capacity: 7,160)

2003 Totals

14 games (one rain out) - 66,660 total attendance - 4,761 per game average

Season high attendance: 6,402 vs. Braves, 3/23


New York Yankees - Legends Field, Tampa (Capacity: 10,200)

2003 Totals

16 games - 162,890 total attendance - 10,180 per game average

Season high attendance: 10,289 vs. Red Sox, 3/13


Philadelphia Phillies - Jack Russell Memorial Stadium, Clearwater (Capacity: 6,900)

2003 Totals

13 games (two rain outs) - 71,498 total attendance - 5,500 per game average

Season high attendance: 7,224 vs. Yankees, 3/28


Pittsburgh Pirates - McKechnie Field, Bradenton (Capacity: 6,562)

2003 Totals

15 games (one rain out) - 64,064 total attendance - 4,271 per game average

Season high attendance: 6,065 vs. Red Sox, 3/25


St. Louis Cardinals - Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter (Capacity: 6,800)

2003 Totals

16 games (one rain out) - 94,685 total attendance - 5,918 per game average

Season high attendance: 7,920, Braves, 3/9


Tampa Bay Devil Rays - Progress Energy Park, Home of Al Lang Field, St. Petersburg (Capacity: 6,557)

2003 Totals

15 games - 51,324 total attendance - 3,422 per game average

Season high attendance: 6,404 vs. Yankees, 3/26


Toronto Blue Jays - Dunedin Stadium at Grant Field, Dunedin (Capacity: 5,510)

2003 Totals

14 games - 48,291 total attendance - 3,449 per game average

Season high attendance: 5,509 vs. Yankees, 3/15


2003 TOTALS

265 games - 1,397,124 total attendance - 5,272 per game average

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