Thursday, September 25, 2014

T-Bones rank fifth in independent baseball in ‘14 attendance

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – For the seventh straight year, the Kansas City T-Bones were in the top five for average attendance in independent baseball, according to Ballpark Digest’s annual ranking, released earlier this week.

Ballpark Digest’s list lumps together 353 teams from the affiliated minor leagues, independent leagues and summer-collegiate leagues.

Kansas City finished 44th overall and fifth among independent teams on Ballpark Digest’s 2014 list with an average of 5,187 fans per game. Only two teams from the American Association — Winnipeg and St. Paul — and two from the Atlantic League — Sugar Land and Somerset — finished ahead of the T-Bones.

By comparison to the T-Bones’ overall ranking of 44, the Omaha Storm Chasers (triple-A affiliate for the Kansas City Royals) were 31st (5,628) and the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (the Royals’ double-A affiliate) were 60th (4,625). The Springfield Cardinals, St. Louis’ double-A affiliate, were three places behind the T-Bones at 47th with 5,134 fans per game.

After welcoming 248,989 fans to CommunityAmerica Ballpark in 2014, the T-Bones have totaled more than 200,000 fans during each of their 12 seasons in Kansas City. In late July, the club eclipsed the 3-million mark for total attendance in the club’s history.

“I’m proud again to be in the top five in independent team attendance, and especially appreciative of Kansas City baseball fans for their support,” said T-Bones president Adam Ehlert. “It’s really fun to see that in our brief 12-year history, we hit the 3-million fan milestone by averaging a quarter-million fans a year.”

The American Association and the T-Bones are expected to release their 2015 schedule in October.

“Our staff works awfully hard year to year and on a nightly basis, on and off the field, to keep the ‘Fun…Well Done’ atmosphere going, and the support from our fans shows,” said T-Bones vice president and general manager Chris Browne. “I can’t wait for 2015 to start.”