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 Reading Fightin Phils

R-Phils Have One of Best Seasons at the Gates

August 28, 2003 - Eastern League (EL1)
Reading Fightin Phils News Release


FirstEnergy Stadium – The Reading Phillies completed the 2003 home portion of their Eastern League schedule with the second highest attendance total in franchise history, which also leads the league. The RPhils drew 465,717 fans during 68 home dates. Reading's average crowd in the 9,000 seat ballpark was 6,849 fans per game, also 2nd all-time in franchise history and tops in the league. The overall and average per game attendance numbers trailed only those set in 2002 when Reading drew 486,570 in 69 dates for an average of 7,052 per game, both franchise records.

It was not an easy accomplishment.

"We were mired at a 36,000 attendance deficit in early June and it is a tribute to our great staff and fans that we were able to accomplish our second best season ever and finish our home schedule at the top of the league in total and average attendance," said General Manager Chuck Domino. "Before the season started, I knew it was going to be an uphill battle with our schedule if we were going to challenge the 2002 attendance record. Then came all of the weather problems and that intensified the challenge."

Reading's April schedule was inordinately unbalanced with weekday home games outnumbering weekend home games 11 to three. The R-Phils also had one less weekend overall compared to the 2002 season.

If the schedule was a curveball then the weather that came with it was a nasty slider.

According to data from the National Weather Service, precipitation was measurable in 21 of 30 days during April. During Reading's 11 scheduled home dates for the month, the average daily temperature was below normal nine times. The toughest stretch was April 7-9 when three home games were postponed because of snow. The temperature during those three days averaged 13 degrees below normal.

For May, the average daily temperature was 3.5 degrees below normal and precipitation was measurable during 26 of 31 days. During the R-Phils 16 home dates in May the daily temperature was, on average, 3.1 degrees below normal. The coldest stretch came during a seven-game homestand from May 15-22 when the daily average was 8.3 degrees below normal.

When May concluded the R-Phils total attendance was 143,633 with an average crowd of 5,320 in 27 home dates. Both the total and average ranked 3rd in the Eastern League.

From June 1 through the end of the home season the R-Phils drew 322,084 fans in 41 openings for an average of 7,856 per date. With a crowd of 7,474 on Sunday, July 20 vs. Bowie, the R-Phils took the league lead in attendance and have been in the top spot since.

The Akron Aeros are currently second in the E.L. in overall and average attendance (429,331/6,605) with four home dates remaining over Labor Day Weekend, August 29-September 1. Akron would need to average 9,097 fans per game to pass Reading in total attendance. According to the E.L. Media Guide, the capacity at Akron's Canal Park is 9,097.


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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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