With a crowd of 3,276 Monday night, the Columbia Fireflies baseball team broke its single-season attendance record of 261,276 fans.
After Monday, the current attendance number stands at 261,691 despite losing four games to inclement weather. Columbia still has 13 more home games this season.
“The atmosphere at Spirit Communications Park this season has been absolutely electric,” said Fireflies president John Katz. “We have seen some of the best crowds in this ballpark’s history, and it’s a testament to the passionate Fireflies fans across the Midlands. We have the greatest fans in the South Atlantic League, and we’re truly privileged to share this park with everyone who attends a ballgame.”
Columbia has averaged 4,938 fans per game thus far in 2017, up from an average of 3,785 fans per game in 2016. The 4,938 fans per game puts Columbia in the top three in average attendance in the South Atlantic League.
A major factor in growing attendance was the addition of former Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Tim Tebow to the Fireflies roster. Columbia’s opening four-game homestand saw more than 26,000 fans, 3,000 more than 2016. Before Tebow’s promotion to the New York Met’s farm team in Port St. Lucie, Fla., Columbia averaged 5,230 fans per home game.
There have been 23 crowds this season of 5,000 or more, 14 of 6,000 or more and seven of 7,000 or more. The Fireflies have also sold out six games thus far in 2017. The largest crowd of the season (8,412) was on hand for Opening Night on April 6.