ARIZONA NEWS

Spring training attendance in Arizona rose in 2024 with help from World Series teams, Shohei Ohtani

Apr 15, 2024, 4:35 AM

Wyatt Langford #82 of the Texas Rangers signs autographs before the Spring Training Game against th...

Wyatt Langford #82 of the Texas Rangers signs autographs before the Spring Training Game against the Cincinnati Reds at Surprise Stadium on March 14, 2024 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)

(Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Spring training attendance in Arizona increased for the third straight year with help due to both World Series teams playing in the Cactus League and Shohei Ohtani’s movement in Los Angeles.

The Cactus League averaged 7,548 fans per game in 2024, a 4% increase over 2023, according to a press release. The 1,630,436 fans who witnessed 216 games was the most cumulative since 2019.

“Cactus League attendance is climbing steadily after three seasons disrupted by the pandemic and a labor stoppage,” Bridget Binsbacher, Cactus League executive director, said in the release. “Because six out of 10 Cactus League fans come from out of state, attendance is a reliable barometer of spring training’s strong impact on Arizona tourism.

“We thank the visitors and residents who came out in droves this spring — and we look forward to welcoming them back next year for baseball in the desert sunshine.”

Why was spring training attendance up in Arizona in 2024?

A variety of factors contributed to the Cactus League attendance rise this past year.

The 2023 World Series featured the Texas Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks, a pair of teams that play spring training in metro Phoenix.

The Rangers saw the largest attendance jump at 42% (7,511 fans per game) coming off their World Series title. The hometown D-backs had attendance increase 16% to 11,099 fans per game.

Superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move from the Los Angeles Angels to the Los Angeles Dodgers saw a 16.6% spike for Dodgers games year-over-year.

What are the other notable Arizona spring training numbers for 2024?

The Chicago Cubs are the darlings for spring training attendance in Arizona and 2024 was no different.

The Cubs led attendance for the 11th straight season, averaging 13,401 fans per game. The D-backs and Dodgers (11,058 fans per game) rounded out the top three.

The largest crowd was the Rangers-Cubs game at Sloan Park, with 16,142 fans in attendance on March 17. The total was 10 short of the Cactus League record.

There were 10 rainouts, the most in more than a decade.

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Spring training attendance in Arizona rose in 2024 with help from World Series teams, Shohei Ohtani