Estimating crowd size at a ballgame is an inexact science.
Tallying tickets afterward is the best way to do it.
But just seeing the folks pour into McKechnie Field Wednesday, you knew the last Grapefruit League home game for the Pittsburgh Pirates was going to be good.
Turned out to be great.
More than 7,000 fans turned out and it was no surprise.
Twins-Pirates was hardly a marquee matchup, but it was a sunny day, albeit chilly and breezy, and what better way to spend it than at the ol' ballyard in Ninth Street West.
That it enabled the Pirates to set an attendance record at McKechnie was no surprise, either.
That $10 million renovation expanded its capacity by approximately 2,000 and has turned the charming ballpark into a destination more than ever.
Even with one rainout, the Pirates set new marks for total attendance, average attendance, and single game attendance during the 2013 spring training season.
The Pirates drew 93,433 people to 15 home games at McKechnie.
The total attendance mark surpassed the previous record of 88,003 from 2011.
The average attendance was 6,229 per game, shattering the prior high 5,500, also from 2011.
The extra seating, the boardwalk and standing room option meant record-setting sellouts like the new single-game record 8,541 fans on March 17 when the Yankees visited McKechnie.
Trevor Gooby must've had a good feeling seeing the size of the early arriving crowd Wednesday. the
“These records are the culmination of a lot of hard work by our organization, the City of Bradenton, and Manatee County to make McKechnie Field such a comfortable place for our fans while keeping the classic ballpark feel,” the Pirates senior director of Florida operations said.
Now lets see what kind of crowd numbers the Bradenton Marauders generate.
First home game is April 5th.