Major League Baseball yesterday announced that overall attendance this season set a record for the fourth consecutive year.
The league reported total attendance of 76,215,082 through Sunday’s games, up from 76,042,787 for all of last season.
Average per-game attendance through Sunday is 32,710, an increase of about 4 percent over 2006 and 7.5 percent since 2004. That average would surpass the record of 31,423 in 1994 before a strike interrupted the season.
Baseball executives cited a number of factors for the rise in attendance, including the addition of the wild card and interleague play, construction of new ballparks and increased competitive balance.
“I am extremely pleased that our great national pastime continues to be so popular with our fans,” commissioner Bud Selig said. “This is validation of the resiliency of our game, the drama of our pennant races and the enormous talent and popularity of our players.”
MLB reported that 23 of its 30 teams saw increased attendance this year. The biggest jumps were experienced by the Milwaukee Brewers (22 percent), the Detroit Tigers (18 percent) and the Philadelphia Phillies (11 percent).
The Washington Nationals experienced the largest attendance decline, a drop of 2,365 a game, or nearly 10 percent. The New York Yankees led all clubs with a total attendance of 4,271,867, or 52,739 a game, through yesterday.