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Rivercats Number One For Minor League Attendance

File / Capital Public Radio

The view from the outfield hill at Raley Field during a game in the 2014 season.

File / Capital Public Radio

The new affiliation with the San Francisco Giants helped the Rivercats attract 672,354 people to Raley Field this year.

For their first 15 years, the Rivercats had been an affiliate of the Oakland Athletics.

Jeff Savage is the President of the Rivercats.

"I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that there are more Giants fans in this region and they want to come out and see the up-and-coming stars, future stars of the Giants and then also the current stars. We were fortunate enough to have Hunter Pence play here for a little bit, Matt Cain (too.)"

Savage says attendance increased by about 10 percent (64,515) compared to last year.

"We partnered with the Giants on our giveaway nights. So, on our five giveaways, those were the same exact giveaways as the Giants did in AT&T Park. And so, I think that had a nice attraction to the Giants fans in the area."

Savage says improvements to Raley Field including special seating for season ticket holders also helped increase attendance.

The Rivercats had 12 sellouts this season despite the team finishing with a losing record of 71-73.

After years of success, the Oakland AAA team, now the Nashville Sounds, finished 66-78. But, the team drew 241,587 more fans compared to last year -a 75-percent increase.

Fresno lost the Giants AAA team, but gained the Houston Astros AAA team. For the first time in several years, Fresno made the Pacific Coast League playoffs this year, but attendance levels fell by 9,431 fans.

This is the fourth year in a row Rivercats attendance has increased, but is about 230-thousand people fewer than the franchise's 2001 mark of 901,214 people.


Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob reports on all things northern California and Nevada. His coverage of police technology, local athletes, and the environment has won a regional Associated Press and several Edward R. Murrow awards.   Read Full Bio 

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