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Raptors lead Pioneer League, Bees attendance up

By Combined staff and wire reports

Published: Monday, Sept. 24 2012 4:15 p.m. MDT

NEW YORK — The average regular season attendance in the minor leagues dropped 1.5 percent this year while the total rose slightly.

The National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues said Monday the average was 3,967, down from 4,029. The total rose to 41.28 million for 10,045 dates, up from 41.25 million for 10,238 dates. There was an increase of two teams this year to 176.

Leading clubs remained the same at all five levels.

The Ogden Raptors led all rookie-level teams again averaging 3,434 fans. That's slightly down from 2011's average of 3,443. The Orem Owlz averaged 437 less fans in 2012, with 2,300.

Triple-A Lehigh Valley (Pa.) led U.S. teams in total attendance (622,421) for the second straight year and in average (9,153) for the third year in a row. The Salt Lake Bees averaged 7,162 — good enough for fifth-best in the Pacific Coast League — up from 2011's 6,438.

Frisco (Texas) topped Double-A at 488,224 and 7,076. Dayton (Ohio) led Class A at 588,689 and 8,532, extending its sellout record to 913 games. Brooklyn (N.Y.) drew the most among Class A short-season at 249,009 and 6,553.

Monterrey of the Mexican League led the minors in attendance (645,302) and average (11,321).

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