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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Cardinals Minor League Attendance Healthy Overall in 2014

In an earlier article, I wrote about the huge drop in attendance for Memphis Redbirds home games in 2014. The St. Louis Cardinals Triple-A affiliate experienced a decline of 23 percent from 2013, despite the club’s on-field success – moving from six games under .500 last summer to 14 games over and winning its division in 2014.

The attendance story was much better across the Cardinals system, however. The other five of the six highest-level affiliates experienced a greater turnout of fans this season compared to 2013.

Bringing home their third Appalachian League title in the last five years, the Johnson City Cardinals increased their attendance by 58 percent. Next was A-Advanced Palm Beach with 17 percent growth. Springfield, Peoria and State College each saw an increase of between one and five percent on larger bases.

As a point of reference, attendance across Minor League Baseball overall was up 2.1 percent in 2014.

In addition to each of the six Cardinals affiliates remaining in the post-season hunt until the last week, three of them made the playoffs with two becoming champions. (In addition, the Gulf Coast League Cardinals were also division-winners, but attendance is not taken in that rookie-level league.)

Affiliate Lvl HG 2014 att Avg 2013 att +/-
Tm 2014 win % 2013 win % +/-
Johnson City SS-R 32 40,351 1,261 25,612 58% PB 0.547 0.474 15.4%
Palm Beach A+ 68 74,887 1,101 64,121 17% Mem 0.549 0.479 14.6%
Springfield AA 69 354,227 5,134 338,345 5% Spr 0.486 0.464 4.7%
Peoria A 66 217,632 3,297 208,616 4% Peo 0.518 0.496 4.4%
State College SS-A 37 134,927 3,647 133,637 1% JC 0.544 0.537 1.3%
Memphis AAA 67 381,429 5,693 498,362 -23% SC 0.632 0.640 -1.3%

As indicated at the right of the table above, five of the six clubs also logged a higher winning percentage than in 2013. Palm Beach led the way at just over 15 percent improvement.

There should be an asterisk by the decline for State College. Not only are the Spikes again the winningest team in the system, the 2014 drop is because they played one more game this season than last, which they lost. When it mattered most, the 2014 Spikes won one more contest than in 2013, taking the New York-Penn League title after losing in the finals the year before. (Note: Above results are regular-season only.)

In summary, Memphis reminds us that there is no clear correlation between winning and attendance. Other factors play a contributing role. However, in both cases – at the turnstiles and on the field – the Cardinals system had a good 2014 overall.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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16 Responses to “Cardinals Minor League Attendance Healthy Overall in 2014”

  1. blingboy says:

    After years of seeing Batavia’s attendance figures I can’t get used to 3,000+ per game in the NY-Penn. It must have been a downer for the players to have 6 or 7 hundred most of the time.

    • Brian Walton says:

      Nothing has changed. The Muckdogs reported an average of 954 this season, which I assume is tickets sold vs. buns in seats. They were only second-worst in the NYPL. The poorest-attended team, Jamestown, is being relocated to Morgantown, WVa. They drew 758 per game this season. Ironically, that is where the Pirates had to land after their falling out with State College. Ouch!

  2. Bw52 says:

    another punchless game by the feeble cards hitters.Playoffs will be short and not sweet for this Cards team,Too much dead weight on offense.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      Sometimes you have to give due credit to the opposing pitcher. Arrieta has good stuff and was likely to win at home. Zero surprise.
      The pleasant surprise is that the Pirates lost.

      We shall end the season on the road in Arizona. We will go there with a one or two game lead. A photo finish against a good Pirates team.

  3. Bw52 says:

    Arrietta has pitched well against the Cards several times.Still how many times has this offense scored 2 runs or less? 30 times/ 40 times?A poor offense isn`t going to get you very far in any playoffs unless your pitchers throw shutouts every game.That isn`t happening.Changes need to be made this offseason……………..a offensive upgrade needs to be found……..either 1B Adams 218 RISP % or Carpenter at 3B.

  4. Bw52 says:

    Cards have scored 2 runs or less in 53 games. Cards been shutout 11 times.ONE run 25 times won 6 LOST 19. TWO runs 18 times won 5 lost 13.That inept a offense won`t win a WS championship unless Cards pitch like Sandy Koufax and Bob Gibson every game.

  5. JumboShrimp says:

    The playoffs start now. We have the pitching advantage three straight games, but the games are on the road in Phoenix. Pretty good chance to win the division. If we do not, so be it, the Pirates will have earned it.

    No reason to blubber like a baby about a weak offense. Play out the games and see how they turn out. Its all good.

  6. Bw52 says:

    Braves rolling over and bellying up for the Pirates.Pirates 6-0

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