Big Fun, Big Impact
Say "Spring training" and many images come to mind. Grabbing a hot dog. Relaxing under the sun on a patch of nice grass. Watching as Major Leaguers walk a few feet away or stop to sign an autograph. The crack of the bat, the smell of sunscreen. Spring training is all of those things and more. But spring training also means visitors spending a weekend, a week or even a month in the state, and usually spending hundreds of dollars each day on everything from rental cars and hotels to gas, meals and entertainment.
And the numbers for spring training in Arizona are climbing.
- In 2010, the Cubs led the entire Cactus League in average home attendance drawing 10,892 per game at Hohokam Stadium.
- An incredible 152,493 fans attended 14 Cubs home games in 2010. The Cubs finished second in Cactus League attendance, just 3,326 behind the San Francisco Giants who played one additional home game.
- The Cubs have led the Cactus League in attendance in 13 of the past 15 years.
- Once again, the Cubs were the No. 1 draw in the Cactus League and have played in 15 of the 20 record-setting attendance games.
- The Cubs set two attendance records in one weekend when they attracted 13,462 for their home game versus the San Diego Padres on March 27, 2010 and 13,629 on March 28, 2010 in Peoria against the Seattle Mariners.
- 1.47 million fans attended 219 Cactus League games in 2010, a 5 percent increase in per-game attendance over last year.
Review of Chicago Cubs Attendance in Recent Years
For the fifth consecutive season, the Chicago Cubs had the highest average attendance per game (10,892 in 2010) in the Cactus League. From 2006 to 2009, the Cubs had the highest overall attendance at their home games. From 2007 to 2010, the Cubs drew an incredible 712,769 fans to Hohokam Stadium, averaging a league-leading 11,137 fans per game.
- Consider the Cubs' home attendance at Hohokam Stadium in the last five years:
- 2010 - 152,493 (14 home games, one rained out – 2nd)
- 2009 - 203,105 (MLB spring season record – 19 home games – 1st)
- 2008 - 181,285 (15 home games - 1st)
- 2007 - 175,891 (16 home games – 1st)
- 2006 - 154,878 (14 home games – 1st)
The Cubs attendance grew from around 155,000 in 2006 to over 203,000 in 2009, an increase of over 30%.
The Cubs have played in 15 of the 20 highest attended Cactus League games in the League's history, including four games in 2010 and six games in 2009.
Impact of the Cubs on Cactus League Attendance
Almost two-thirds more people attended the typical Cubs home game as the average Cactus League game in 2010. The average Cubs home game drew a league-leading 10,892 spectators; the average for all other League teams was 6,716 during the 2010 season.
Average Cubs Home Game Attendance: 10,892
Average Non-Cubs Home Game Attendance: 6,716
If the Cubs were replaced by a team with "average" game attendance (6,716 in 2010), the 2010 season total attendance would have dropped by over 112,752 fans.
Put another way, if all Cactus League games had the same average attendance as the Cubs home games, the League's total attendance in 2010 would have been over 2.4 million people, or two-thirds greater than that actual 2010 attendance.
- 49% of fans stayed in the southeast Valley for the duration of their stay; 31% stayed in Mesa.
- The typical fan from out-of-town spent 5.7 nights in metropolitan Phoenix during their visit; for those who stayed in Mesa the figure was 7.3 nights.
- The typical out-of-town fan's party spent $305 per day during their visit with 33% of the parties surveyed spending over $400 per day.
- Cactus League fans spent an estimated $359.5 million, a 7% increase over last year
- The Chicago Cubs set a Spring Training single season attendance record with 203,105 fans
- The Chicago Cubs played in four of the seven Cactus League record-setting attendance games.
- Tourism associated with the Spring Training and the Cactus League contributed an estimated $300 million to the Arizona economy.