Originally created 04/02/02

Spring training total attendance up, but average down



NEW YORK -- Total attendance at spring training rose 1 percent this year, but the average dropped 3.4 percent.

The 30 teams drew 3,115,651 for 476 exhibition games, the commissioner's office said Monday, an average of 6,545. Last year, the teams drew 3,083,969 for 455 games, an average of 6,778.

In 1994, the season before the last strike, spring games averaged 7,709, 15.1 percent above the current level. The spring average dropped to 5,049 the following year, when exhibition games were played in April following the end of the 232-day work stoppage.

San Francisco, which trains in Scottsdale, Ariz., was first with an average of 14,632. The World Series champion Arizona Diamondbacks, who train in Tucson, were second at 12,655, up from 9,853 last year, and the New York Yankees, who train in Tampa, Fla., were third at 10,150.

Kansas City, which trained in Haines City, Fla., was last with an average of 3,204. The Royals plan to move their camp to Surprise, Ariz., next season.

Toronto, in Dunedin, Fla., was 29th at 3,253. Montreal, in Jupiter, Fla., was 28th at 3,474 in what might be its final season, and Tampa Bay, playing near their home stadium in St. Petersburg, Fla., was 27th at 3,630.