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Spring Training Baseball Continues To Thrive In Arizona

Published: Wednesday, April 4, 2018 - 3:46pm

Baseball is now officially upon us with the start of the regular season. But it’s already been in full swing here in Arizona, where new numbers show spring training is more popular and lucrative for the state than ever before.

According to Arizona Office of Tourism, total attendance numbers dropped about 170,000 fans from last year’s record amount of 1.94 million.

But that’s because there were 24 fewer games than 2017, meaning average attendance was actually higher in 2018.

Cactus League officials say every ballpark drew its smallest crowd before March 1 and the five largest crowds in the league’s history were recorded this year, including a new single-game record of 15,849 who showed up to see the Cubs and Giants at Mesa's Sloan Park on March 13.

Recent studies show more than half of Cactus League fans come from out of town with most attendees saying spring training was a major reason for visiting Arizona. Those visitors are estimated to generate more than $540 billion dollars in economic impact to the state.