September 13, 2012 - Eastern League (EL) - Reading Fightin Phils
(Reading, Pa.)---In a season that featured the Baseballtown All-Star Classic and a thrilling Reading Phillies playoff run, 454,018 fans came through the gates of FirstEnergy Stadium. For a record-breaking fifteenth straight season, at least 400,000 fans supported the R-Phils and Eastern League baseball throughout the 2012 season, snapping the Trenton Thunder's record of most consecutive seasons with 400,000 fans or more for a Double-A franchise.
In regular season games, Reading averaged an Eastern League-leading 6,368 fans over 67 gate openings in 2012. The Reading Phillies are one of just three out of 30 Double-A teams to average at least 6,000 fans, joining Richmond and Frisco.
"Once again, Reading Phillies fans and the residents of Berks County made FirstEnergy Stadium a must-see summer destination," said Reading Phillies General Manager Scott Hunsicker. "Our staff is glad that we could offer an increased variety of events in addition to Reading Phillies baseball. Thank you citizens of Baseballtown for again having us lead the league in average attendance. Over the past 15 seasons, we have increasingly drawn well over 400,000 fans which certainly speaks volumes of the fan support we have consistently received through our 46-year history."
The 2012 season also saw a single-season high of four Reading Phillies events fall among the Top 25 FirstEnergy Stadium Crowds of All-Time as the July 27th game (10. 9,752), June 15th game (11.9,750), May 18th game (12. 9,745), and Baseballtown All-Star Classic Game (T-23. 9,477) all entered the list.
Along with the regular season slate of 67 openings where Baseballtown welcomed 426,623 fans, the Reading Phillies also hosted the Baseballtown All-Star Classic and Home Run Derby, the 222 Showcase between the R-Phils and Lehigh Valley IronPigs, and the first two games of the Eastern League Eastern Division Series. On non-game days, FirstEnergy Stadium played host to nearly 25 extra events.
The Baseballtown All-Star Classic on July 11th drew 9,477 fans; besting the 9,306 fans that came out for the 2006 Eastern League All-Star Game in Altoona for most attended Eastern League All-Star Game ever. Combined with the 9,055 fans that were in attendance for the Baseballtown All-Star Home Run Derby on July 10th, a Double-A record of 18,532 fans witnessed the first all-star game in Reading since 1974. Before 2012, Reading did not host an all-star game since 1974.
Fans also had the opportunity to watch the Reading Phillies in both the preseason and postseason this year. On April 3, 2,592 saw the future stars of the Philadelphia Phillies do battle during the 222 Showcase. A total of 6,271 fans also cheered on the Reading Phillies in their pursuit of an Eastern League title in the Eastern Division playoff series.
Through events such as the Jr. League of Berks County Touch-A-Truck, Baseballtown High School Championship, and Autism Society Walk, 13,525 people from across the region attended non-game day events. A majority of the events held during the season benefitted non-profit organizations like Easter Seals, Relay for Life, PA Breast Cancer Coalition and Baseballtown Charities.
Overall, 467,543 fans visited Baseballtown throughout the history-making 2012 season.
The Reading Phillies and Philadelphia Phillies continue their 47-year affiliation, the longest in minor league baseball, at FirstEnergy Stadium when the team opens up its season on April 12th against the Erie SeaWolves. Season ticket and mini-plans for the 2013 season can be purchased online at RPhils.com, by phone 610-370-BALL, and in-person by visiting the R-Phils Ticket Office at FirstEnergy Stadium.