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Fewer fans attend games during first half of season

The SportsXchange

Major League Baseball attendance declined 3 percent during the first half the 2013 season in comparison to last year, according to Sports Business Daily.

MLB games averaged 29,220 fans before the All-Star break. Eight teams experienced a double-digit drop-off.

Among the teams with smaller crowds during the season's first half this year were the Texas Rangers, whose average was off 10 percent from a year ago despite being in the American League wild-card race and coming off two World Series berths.

The Yankees had the highest American League average attendance at 39.669 per game, which is still a 7 percent reduction from 2012.

The Houston Astros had the largest decline, plummeting 17 percent at the gate over last year after its move to the American League from the National League.

But the news was not all bad for MLB teams. The Toronto Blue Jays are up 18 percent, the Oakland A's showed an 11 percent increase and the Baltimore Orioles' attendance rose 9 percent.

Commissioner Bud Selig is optimistic that more fans will turn out during the second half of the season and that the weather will cooperate, noting that there were 34 rainouts to date compared with 21 during the entire 2012 season.

"The weather has really hurt us this year," Selig said, according to the Daily.
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