SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — At the end of the Cactus League season, I reported that the Cubs had set a new spring-training (for all 30 teams) attendance record of 226,933. That and the per-game average of 15,129 both set records. (Those numbers do not include the two games vs. WBC teams.)
Due to Cubs games at Sloan Park selling out quickly, Cubs fans spread out and took over other parks in the Cactus League. Four all-time records were set in other teams’ parks in games involving the Cubs.
The Cubs and Diamondbacks set an all-time record for Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on Thursday, March 23 (14,002). Two days later, at the same ballpark, an all-time record for a Rockies game there was set when they faced the Cubs, 13,565. Those numbers were for a ballpark that has an official listed capacity of 11,000.
On Wednesday, March 21, the Cubs and Reds set an all-time record for Goodyear Ballpark, 11,553. Five days later, Monday, March 26, a game between the Cubs and Indians broke that record: 11,624. Goodyear Ballpark’s official listed capacity is 10,311.
So that’s four all-time spring records in other teams’ parks.
The Cubs also had the biggest crowd of 2017 spring training at four other parks. The Cubs and Brewers drew 10,134 at Maryvale Baseball park on March 18. The next-largest crowd at Maryvale this year was 7,181. The same happened at the Cubs’ former spring home, HoHoKam Stadium. The Cubs and A’s drew 10,606 on March 12; the next-biggest crowd there was 8,210. At Camelback Ranch, the Cubs/Dodgers crowd of 13,108 on March 16 edged out a St. Patrick’s Day crowd of 13,094 vs. the Mariners for the biggest one there this year. And the Cubs/Padres crowd at Peoria Stadium on March 13, 11,194, was the largest there for a Padres home game by more than 4,000 (next biggest: 6,930 against the Indians on March 12).
None of this should surprise you. After winning the World Series, the popularity of the Cubs is at a peak that none of us has seen. I would expect huge throngs of Cubs fans at away games all year, particularly in Milwaukee, where tickets are both cheaper and more plentiful than at Wrigley Field.