Sep. 14—Summer collegiate baseball proved popular among Prospect League fans in 2023.
The league reported Thursday that it set a total attendance record in this year's season, which ended in August. The 17 teams in the league, which includes the Terre Haute-based Rex Baseball club, drew a single-season Prospect League record 575,294 fans, according to a new release from the Mahomet, Illinois, league office. Along with its all-time overall attendance record, the Prospect League also set a high for average attendance of 1,234 fans per game, up from 1,041 in 2022
The Rex ranked 15th in the Prospect League in total attendance, drawing 12,791 fans, down from 15,838 in 2022, according to the league. The Rex ranked 14th in the league in average attendance at 533 fans per game this season.
The Prospect League's total attendance increase of more than 23% this season topped the West Coast (15%), Northwoods (12%), and Appalachian (10%) leagues.
The Prospect League achieved the fourth-highest overall attendance in summer collegiate baseball, finishing ahead of the Cape Cod, Coastal Plains, and Appalachian Leagues.
The Springfield (Illinois) Lucky Horseshoes enjoyed the Prospect League's largest team increase with 10,645 more fans this season.
Ten of Prospect League's 15 returning teams increased their average attendance over the 2022 season.The Alton (Ill.) River Dragons, Burlington (Iowa) Bees, Cape (Cape Girardeau, Mo.) Catfish, Champion City (Springfield, Ohio) Kings, Clinton (Iowa) LumberKings, Danville (Ill.) Dans, Illinois Valley (Peru, Ill.) Pistol Shrimp, Normal (Ill.), CornBelters, O'Fallon (Mo.) Hoots, and Springfield (Ill.) Lucky Horseshoes all achieved higher per game figures this summer. Both Cape and Illinois Valley saw record jumps in total and average attendance during their fourth Prospect League seasons.
"The league, our individual teams, and each of our players are deeply appreciative of the tremendous fan support shown in our markets," Bauer said in the league's news release. "Smashing attendance records with significant growth league-wide illustrates an appetite for our product among avid and casual fans alike. We are confident this momentum will carry forward as the Prospect League continues to give fans more in 2024."