Cactus League attendance record comes with asterisk

April 04, 2013

Cactus League baseball drew more than 1.7 million fans to local stadiums this spring.

baseball Tempe Diablo Stadium, spring training home of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Tempe. (Photo by Nick Blumberg - KJZZ)

That's about 20,000 more fans than last year, but it’s a record that comes with an asterisk.

Spring Training started early this year to make way for the World Baseball Classic, a tournament that comes along every four years. Cactus League President Mark Coronado said 20 extra games were played, and the games that came early in the spring season were not well attended.

"Unfortunately, we as the Cactus League Association really have no input on how the WBC,  the World Baseball Classic, comes into play," he said. "That being said, we will voice our concerns to Major League Baseball." 

Part of the problem is the marquee players that typically draw crowds at the Cactus League were busy playing in the global tournament. Still, a game between the Chicago White Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers broke a record for single-game attendance, drawing 13,721 fans.

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