Did move to Triple-A help attendance for San Antonio Missions?

Minor League Baseball sees rise in attendance for 2019 season

By Daniel P. Villanueva - Sports Producer

SAN ANTONIO - The front office for Minor League Baseball has a lot to be happy about this year.

In 2019, more than 1 million more fans attended games, which was a 2.6 percent increase from the previous season across MiLB as a whole, according to the league.

It's the ninth-largest single season total in league history.

So how did the San Antonio Missions help the increase with their inaugural season in Triple-A baseball at Wolff Stadium?

The average attendance across MiLB was 4,044 fans per game, which is a 2.1 percent increase from 2018.

The Missions averaged 4,891 fans per game this season. The total attendance increased by just over 10,000 fans, from 327,276 in 2018 to 337,484 in 2019.

This season marked the highest total attendance since 1998.

When compared to the rest of the Pacific Coast League in Triple-A, the Missions had the third-lowest average fan attendance numbers, just above the New Orleans Baby Cakes – who announced they were moving to Wichita, Kansas after this season – and the Reno Aces.

The Missions were ranked 12th in the Pacific Coast League for total attendance, and San Antonio ranked 44th in total fan attendance across Minor League Baseball, which includes 160 teams.

Last year, San Antonio was ranked 45th.

Those numbers may sound troubling for the Missions but Wolff Stadium, where the team plays, is one of the smallest ballparks in the MiLB when it comes to overall capacity.

Perhaps another reason to push for a new stadium sooner rather than later?

One of the reasons for the fan increase in 2019 was Minor League Baseball's expansion to Copa de la Diversion, which is an initiative for the league to promote and connect to the Latino community.

Baseball fans loved the idea of the Missions switching to the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio for select games.

The club couldn't keep Flying Chanclas merchandise on the shelves leading the MiLB to expand the idea for many of its ball clubs.

This season, teams switched to their Spanish-language alternate team names for a total of 403 games. Those games saw nearly a 20 percent attendance increase.

Many teams adopted some pretty awesome alternate names and logos.

But Flying Chanclas -- that's another level of baseball.

Daniel P. Villanueva has worked with KSAT 12 Sports for over 16 years and is an award-winning sports producer. To submit story ideas, email dvillanueva@ksat.com 

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