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Midwest League Reference Pages

Attendance

This page has information about Midwest League attendance records, and examines the affects of weather on each team's playing schedule.

There's a related note on the Tidbits page. Yearly team totals are available on the Ballparks Pages.



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New
18feb01
(26sep00)
Changed
31aug10
Major Change
24nov09

MWL Fan's Guide

MWL Attendance Records


A short history of the season attendance record for the Midwest League and its predecessors:

1947 West Frankfort  43,004
1949 Paducah         54,859
1952 Decatur         94,300  Danville also beat the old record
1953 Decatur         96,337
1959 Dubuque         97,220
1964 Quad Cities    108,129
1977 Quad City      108,662
1978 Quad City      124,288
1981 Quad City      134,142
1982 Quad City      157,960
1983 Quad City      185,677
1987 Peoria         195,832
1988 Peoria         207,294
1989 Peoria         225,757
1991 Quad City      242,322  Kane County also beat the old record
1992 Kane County    323,769  Quad City also beat the old record
1993 Kane County    354,327
1994 West Michigan  475,212  Kane County also beat the old record
1995 West Michigan  507,989
1996 West Michigan  547,401  Lansing also beat the old record
2000 Dayton         581,853
2003 Dayton         590,382
2004 Dayton         593,663

The Lugnuts held the record for about a week in 1996, though I'm not sure anyone realized it.


Playing Out the Schedule

Ignoring the occasional scheduled double header, most MWL teams begin the season with 70 home dates on their schedule. Only West Michigan, Fort Wayne, and Dayton have managed to actually play all their scheduled dates in any recent year. Here's a summary of the data since 1992:

Year         1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009   Avg

Appleton       61   58   65  *65   62   67   68   66   63   66   65   61   67   69   65   61   62   68   64.4
Battle Creek                 *63   68   60   65   65   62   60   68   64   67   64   64                  64.2
Beloit         64   64   65   59   64   61   65   67   58   65   65   67   65   69   66   66   67   66   64.6
Burlington     64   56   63   56   64   61   67   64   65   64   67   66   66   68   64   67   68   68   64.3
Cedar Rapids   63   62   65   65   64   64   68   69   67   68  *68   69   69   69   68   64   67   68   66.5
Clinton        61   56   65   55   62   64   64   61   59   65   64   62   64   68   69   67   67   65   63.2
Davenport      67   49   67   63   56   61   64   66   67   65   65   60  *59   67   63   66   60   64   62.7
Dayton                                                *70   69   68   70   70   69   69   68   68   69   69.0
Fort Wayne          68   66   70   68   69   70   68   68   67   67   66   69   65   66   66   69  *70   67.8
Geneva         66   65   67   65   66   66   68   64   64   68   65   65   68   68   68   65   66   65   66.1
Grand Rapids             68   67   69   67   70   69   66   68   70   65   70   68   68   69   66   68   68.1
Kenosha        60                                                                                        60.0
Lansing                            69   67   69   67   64   67   66   61   68   68   67   66   69   66   66.7
Madison        63   59   61                                                                              61.0
Midland                                                                                  *68   68   67   67.7
Peoria         64   64   66   63   63   63   66   65   67   68  *69   68   67   68   69   68   65   65   66.0
Rockford       63   63   64   65   63   61   64   65                                                     63.5
South Bend     66   61   67   60   61   63   66   64   63   62   66   65   66   68   64   64   68   64   64.3
Springfield    65   60   62   63                                                                         62.5
Waterloo       63   51                                                                                   57.0

Average        63.6 59.7 65.1 62.8 64.2 63.9 66.7 65.7 64.5 65.9 66.6 64.9 66.8 67.7 66.4 66.1 66.4 66.6 64.5

*New ballpark opened.

The average MWL team now loses about 4 games to bad weather in a typical season.

Rainouts are relatively rare in Dayton and Grand Rapids; they're pretty common in Burlington, Clinton, and Davenport. I don't expect the counts shown for Waterloo are "normal."

1993 was a real rough year, particularly for QC (John O'Donnell Stadium drowned), while 1998 & 2002 had very good weather. Despite a miserable April, 2000 turned out to be about normal in most towns. Judging by this table, post-2000 stadium improvements have paid off in nearly every town.


Sources

The history was compiled mostly from the Wolff & Johnson Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball.

The Whitecaps used to have most of the dates played information posted on their website, which saved me some work. The 1992 and 1993 figures are from Baseball America's Almanac; recent figures are from BA or Minor League Baseball.


This page originated as the September 25 and December 2, 2000, Midwest League Tidbits on the Midwest League Mailing List.



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The Midwest League plays Single-A, professional baseball in America's agricultural and industrial heartland. 16 teams play a 140 game schedule which begins in early April and ends Labor Day weekend.

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This website is a private project and has no official relation with or sanction from the Midwest League or Minor League Baseball.
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