With baseball's spring training approaching, last year's attendance numbers for Connecticut's minor league teams are worth review. The Connecticut Tigers - playing in Norwich - ranked fourth in all of minor league baseball in improved attendance for the 2011 season, according to a website that tracked professional baseball attendance. Ballpark Digest reports the Tigers’ attendance for 2011 improved by 20 percent, from an average of 1,485 in the Class A minor league team’s first year in 2010 to 1,780 fans per game last year. The team's 35 games were played at Thomas J. Dodd Memorial Stadium. Although the attendance average ranked 11th of 14 teams in the New York-Penn League, the 20 percent increase was by far the league's best. Among 350 affiliated, independent and summer-collegiate teams at all professional levels - attracting a total of 51 million fans during the 2011 baseball season - the New Britain Rock Cats came in strong at number 32, with 363,759 fans attending 62 games during the season. That's an average of 5,867, up slightly from 5,500 the previous year.
The Bridgeport Bluefish were #158 among all of professional baseball's teams with average attendance of 2,274 (down slightly from 2,471 in 2010); the Connecticut Tigers were #188 and the Danbury Westerners ranked #299.