By Sean Aronson, St. Paul Saints
When all is said and done the St. Paul Saints won’t be just the top drawing team in the American Association, but they will be one of the most watched teams in all of minor league baseball. With 8,419 in attendance on Monday night the Saints have now drawn 299,093 at CHS Field, surpassing their team record, and American Association record, of 297,834 in 2007.
It has been an incredible season at CHS Field as the Saints have set their record attendance in just 37 games. The Saints have averaged 8,084 this season, over 2,800 fans more per game than their next closest pursuer in the American Association, the Winnipeg Goldeyes.
In the 37 games played at CHS Field the Saints have been over the 7,210 person capacity 34 times including a franchise record 9,960 on July 4. More than 8,000 fans have entered the gates 17 times including the last seven home games.
Only 28 teams in all of minor league baseball have drawn more fans than the Saints this season, but only eight have a higher average attendance than the 8,084 of the Saints. All of the teams that have outdrawn the Saints are in affiliated baseball, 16 of those are Triple-A franchises where seating capacity is larger, and have played at least 20 more home games than the Saints.
If the Saints keep on their current pace they will draw more than 400,000 fans for 2015. Only 28 teams in all of minor league baseball, all affiliated teams, drew more than 400,000 in 2014. Only 10 teams averaged more than 8,000 fans per game last season, nine of them were Triple-A teams. The lone non Triple-A team was the Dayton Dragons in the Midwest League.
While the largest attendance in Saints history was in 2007, the highest average attendance per game was 2001 when they averaged 6,423. They drew 282,613 in 44 openings. The Saints have drawn 100% capacity or more in 10 of 22 previous seasons. In their 23 seasons the Saints have drawn 5,794,735.