Baseball Leagues 1st and 3rd Most Attended Sports Leagues in the World Report Says
“The worldwide growth and continued strong consumer interest in baseball are validated in these exceptional numbers,” said Riccardo Fraccari.
LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Professional baseball leagues attracted collectively amongst the highest number of spectators of all professional sports worldwide in 2012, according to a report published by the authoritative website sportingintelligence.com.
Major League Baseball (MLB) in the United States repeats as the most attended sports league in operation, reporting attendance of 74,859,268 fans for its 30 teams during the 2012 season, over 50 million more than any other league.
Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball League (NPB), whose 12 teams drew in a reported 21,370,226 fans (as indicated in NPB’s report to the International Baseball Federation), was the third most attended sports league in in the world in 2012, finishing behind the National Hockey League (NHL) of 21,470,155 (2011-2012).
The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) had its fourth consecutive record year since Korea captured the gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. KBO exceeded seven million fans (as reported to the IBAF) for the first time ever, placing the league in the top 20 most successfully attended sports leagues of 2012.
Baseball’s global fan attendance maintained its trend of surpassing the 100 million benchmark.
“The worldwide growth and continued strong consumer interest in baseball are validated in these exceptional numbers,” said Riccardo Fraccari, co-President of the World Baseball Softball Confederation. “We congratulate all our partners in the pro leagues for these outstanding results and for their continual efforts to build and develop the global interest and appeal of baseball.”
“Behind these impressive figures are passionate, motivated fans of all ages, backgrounds and cultures, said Don Porter, co-President of the World Baseball Softball Confederation. “Combined with the worldwide interest in and gender opportunity of softball, our collective fanbase makes for a very strong case for added value to the Olympic Programme and the Olympic Movement overall.”
“With the strong support we have received from the professional leagues and our recent merger with softball, we are more confident than ever that we can add significant appeal, value and visibility to the Olympic Games in key markets where professional baseball leagues are extremely well-positioned and have enormous reach,” said Fraccari.
(From IBAF Website)