51s fans boost Minor League Baseball season attendance
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -
A winning Las Vegas 51s team helped Minor League Baseball reach the 41-million mark in season attendance for the ninth straight year in 2013, the league announced on Tuesday.
The minor leagues, which oversee more than 200 clubs across 15 leagues, drew 41,553,781 fans for the season, a 2 percent increase from the previous year.
The Indianapolis Indians, the AAA affiliate of Major League Baseball's Pittsburgh Pirates, led all clubs in attendance with 637,579.
Las Vegas fans did their part, with 328,266 passing through the turnstiles at Cashman Field. It was the 31st straight year the club had drawn more than 300-thousand fans, according to Media Relations Director Jim Gemma.
The 2013 season also marked the first year of the 51s' AAA player development deal with Major League Baseball's New York Mets.
"Being with the Mets definitely helped [attendance]," Gemma said. "You could see all the Mets jerseys, from Ray Knight to Keith Hernandez, to the current guys."
"Coupled with that, we had a good team," he added.
With a roster bolstered by some of the Mets' top prospects, the 51s won the Pacific Coast League's Southern Division and reached the playoffs for the first time since 2002.
The team lost the PCL Conference Championship Series in four games to the Salt Lake Bees.
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