As first reported by beat writer Marc Carig of Newsday, Mets third baseman David Wright will make his Grapefruit League debut this Friday in Port St. Lucie, Florida against the visiting Cardinals.
Wright has been eased into action this spring to minimize injury risk. He missed nearly two months of the 2013 regular season because of a Grade 3 right hamstring strain and finished with his lowest RBI total (58) since he became a full-time major leaguer. The Mets ended 2013 with a record of 74-88.
Baseball American reports today that total attendance at minor league baseball games reached a 14-year low in 2018. Total attendance was 40,450,337. That’s a drop of 1,382,027 fans compared to last season.
Around a third of that drop is attributable to fewer scheduled games but, as Baseball America notes, even when you go to average attendance per game, there was a sharp drop off this season. BA suggests that this represents a leveling off after over a decade’s worth of large increases in minor league attendance. Which sound pretty plausible. Overall, attendance numbers are still massively above where they were 15-20 years ago, so this seems more like a correction than a real problem. The BA article goes into some good analysis of the decline.
All of that said, revenues are up for the minors, in large part because of merchandise sales and because minor league ballparks have a lot more amenities and better concessions than they used to have and fans are willing to pay for them.