The Bulls Record Setting Ticket Sellers: (l to r) Mary Beth Warfford, Jerry Wilson, Jason Neville, Jerry Mach, Clark Williams, Tim Seaton, Vince Logan, Dusty Hickman, Chris Overby
The Durham Bulls, the International League and Minor League Baseball as a whole pulled big numbers for the 2005 season. All are now reporting record setting attendance for the year.
The Durham Bulls led the list of eleven International League clubs who increased their annual attendance in 2005. With 520,371 in paid attendance, the Bulls passed their all-time Triple-A attendance mark, set in 2002 (519,122).
“We finished a rain-soaked April with our worst attendance since moving up to Triple-A in ’98,” said Durham Bulls General Manager Mike Birling. “Yet we ended August with an all-time paid attendance number (520,371), which includes beating the 2002 season where we had two playoff games and an exhibition game. We hit our ticket and concessions budgets and shattered all revenue records for retail operations. All this with being extremely short staffed all season long. Our managers really stepped up this year.”
According to the IL, another big factor in the success at the gates across the league this year was the cooperation of Mother Nature. Two clubs, Durham and Pawtucket, were able to complete the season without a single weather-related postponement.
- The International League reached its third highest attendance total in the 122-year history of the League in the 2005 season with a final official attendance of 6,747,392. The IL also increased fans from one year ago by 240,000.
- The all-time IL record was set in 2002 with 6,815,633 fans. The League fell less than 10,000 shy of surpassing the second highest mark in history, which was set in 2001 with 6,757,150 fans.
The IL’s attendance figures helped set new marks for Triple-A Baseball and Minor League Baseball during the historic 2005 season. Along with the Pacific Coast League, which set an all-time attendance mark of nearly 7.35 million fans, Triple-A Baseball exceeded the mark of 14 million fans for the first time ever.
Minor League Baseball broke its all-time regular season attendance record for the second year running. The league passed the 40-million mark over Labor Day weekend. The combined 15 affiliated leagues had over 40 million in paid attendance for the first time in the 104-year history of Minor League Baseball. The previous record set in the 2004 season was 39,887,755, breaking a record that had stood since 1949.
Thanks to CS’s George Habel for this capcom photo.