Bravehearts Ranked 7th in Country for Attendance During 2017 Season
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
The most recent Ballpark Digest Report ranks the Bravehearts 7th in the country out of a group of 153 summer collegiate franchises.
Worcester’s total attendance of 65,957 also ranked eighth in the nation. The Bravehearts are ranked #1 in attendance among New England teams.
“This is the culmination of a process that began in October of 2016 and really took flight in the first week of January this year. With guidance from some of the best people in the sports industry, our organization invested in additional front office staff members and trained them in the middle of winter. We attracted more schools, religious centers, and youth sports organizations for fun field trips to the ballpark this summer. Combined with the incredible support from our amazing season ticket holders and individual buyers, the people of Worcester County really made this an exceptional year to be a Braveheart,” said General Manager Dave Peterson.
Bravehearts’ Attendance Through the Years
Following their inaugural season attendance of 1,749 fans per game, the Bravehearts subsequently averaged 2,107 (2015), 2,230 (2016) and now 2,356 (2017) fans per game while setting individual game attendance records along the way.
“As important as the quality of baseball is for the Bravehearts organization, we also focus immensely on the fan experience and filling the stadium. We are very proud to have experienced year-over-year growth since our inception. None of this is possible without the fabulous families of Central Massachusetts and our outstanding supporters embracing the Worcester Bravehearts as their hometown team. Every single day we strive to make the Bravehearts organization the team that the community of Worcester deserves,” said team owner John Creedon, Jr.
This year’s highlights included the team’s single-best opening day crowd in history— 4,035 fans on Friday, June 2; a Military Appreciation Night on July 28 which drew 4,034 fans; and two morning field trip days for local schools on June 7 and June 8 that collectively brought in over 5,800 students to the ballpark.
In all, the team had eight sellouts during the summer and only canceled one game due to rain.
Attendance Around the Futures League
Other Futures League teams of note in the national attendance rankings include the Pittsfield Suns (#23) with 1,559 fans nightly; the 2017 League Champion Nashua Silver Knights, who’s attendance rose 9% in 2017 to 1,460 per game— good for 27th in the country; and the Brockton Rox averaging 1,432 per game in the 28th spot nationally.
Related Slideshow: The History of Baseball in Central Massachusetts
Baseball and Central Mass. go way back - to the 1860s. The local historical landmarks range from Mudville to Hotel Vernon to Fitton Field. A version of these highlights is posted on the site of the new, yet-to-be-formally-named Worcester Baseballteam of the three-year-old Futures Collegiate Baseball League.
First Perfect Game
The first perfect game in the history of Major League Baseball was pitched in Worcester, on June 12, 1880, by J. Lee Richmond for the Worcester Worcesters – also known at various times as the Brown Stockings and the Ruby Legs - versus the Cleveland Blues at the Worcester Driving Park Grounds, located in the Worcester Agricultural Fairgrounds near Elm Park. Worcester joined the National League in 1880, replacing the failed Syracuse Stars.
NE Collegiate Baseball
A New England Collegiate Baseball League team played in Leominster from 1995 to 1999. Called the Central Mass. Collegians, they won the NECBL Championship in both 1995 and 1996, and During the 1995 season, they played a game against the Cuban National Youth Team in Worcester.
Wachusett Dirt Dawgs
The Wachusett Dirt Dawgs, who play at historic, and newly renovated, Doyle Field in Leominster, are a 2012 expansion franchise in the now-three-year-old Futures Collegiate Baseball League.The Dirt Dawgs’ 2013 season swung into action on June 5 with big expectations, but ended on August 8 with those hopes being dashed. They finished in the basement, with a record of 20-31 - 14 games behind first-place the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks (38-18). The team is owned by prominent Leominster businessman John Morrison, who also founded, owns and operates Fosta-Tek Optics in Leominster.
Last month, the Futures Collegiate Baseball League announced the formation of the Worcester Baseball franchise, which will play its first season next summer. The team is owned by the family that owns and operates Creedon and Co. The prominent Worcester catering service will be the food-and-beverage vendor at home games at Fitton Field, at the College of the Holy Cross. Through Octobert 25, Worcester Baseball is conducting a name-the-team competition.
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