Throwing up big numbers in the bottom of the ninth, the Indianapolis Indians established a new single-season attendance record for Victory Field on Saturday in the last home game of the minor-league team’s regular season.
With a standing-room-only crowd of 15,250, the AAA farm club for the Pittsburgh Pirates brought its season-long attendance to 660,289 fans—beating the previous record of 659,237 set in 1998.
Attendance figures have spiked in recent years. The team only drew 549,552 in its 2009 season during the aftermath of the Great Recession. The annual figure edged to 569,969 in 2010, 580,082 in 2011 and 595,043 in 2012. Last year’s mark was 637,579, the highest in Minor League Baseball.
With four games to go this season, attendance stood at 617,598. The key was the four-game home stand that started last Wednesday.
“We intend to finish strong,” General Manager Carl Burleson told IBJ last week. “We have some good promotions lined up this week and we’re going to run hard all the way to the finish.”
Wednesday featured Bark in the Park, where a select number of fans could bring their dogs to the game. Thursday was Value Night where fans could buy a ticket, get a T-shirt, hot dog and unlimited glasses of soda for $20. Friday and Saturday nights featured fireworks after the game.
The Tribe has welcomed nearly 1.9 million fans to 18-year-old Victory Field over the last three seasons, the most of any U.S.-based Minor League Baseball team.