Lakewood BlueClaws Lead South Atlantic League Attendance
The BlueClaws completed their regular season on Monday officially leading the South Atlantic League in attendance, as they have now done in each of their 16 seasons at the Jersey Shore. In 2016, the BlueClaws drew 353,080 fans to FirstEnergy Park, an average of 5,350 in 66 home dates (four games were postponed).
All told, in 16 years the BlueClaws have now drawn 6,771,386 fans in their 16 seasons. They have led the South Atlantic League and New Jersey in attendance each year of their existence.
This year, there were three crowds of at least 9,000, 12 crowds of at least 7,000 fans, and 24 crowds of at least 6,000 fans.
The July 3rd crowd of 10,011 fans was the fourth largest in BlueClaws history and first time the BlueClaws had reached the 10,000 mark since August 20, 2010 when Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard was in Lakewood on a rehab assignment and the team retired his #29 in a pre-game ceremony.
"The BlueClaws are always proud of winning an attendance title because it shows the sensational support that we receive from our Jersey Shore family and community," said BlueClaws General Manager Chris Tafrow. "While 70 games are complete, and that's often the end, we're pleased to offer playoff baseball this year and look forward to a great night on Wednesday."
The BlueClaws host Game One of the South Atlantic League Northern Division Championship Series on Wednesday night at 7:05 pm against Hagerstown. (Tickets at 732-901-7000 option 2 or online here)
BlueClaws fans enjoyed another year of exciting promotions and ballpark fun. On May 15th, the BlueClaws and West Virginia Power combined on a Batman/Superman promotion with the BlueClaws wearing Superman jerseys and the Power wearing Batman jerseys. On May 22nd, the BlueClaws hosted Harry Potter Night, a night recognized by Minor League Baseball as their May "Promotion of the Month." The BlueClaws hosted their first BlueClaws Luau on July 2nd and became the BruceClaws for Springsteen Appreciation Night on July 23rd. On August 31st, the team hosted Augtoberfest, Oktoberfest in August. Labor Day weekend included the second BlueClaws Extravaganza, a full day of family fun including inflatable rides, games, and much more.
Popular giveaway items included the Pork Roll, Egg & Cheese Bobble-Waist Series, with all three pieces coming together to form home plate. The team also gave out a Travis d'ArGnome, celebrating former BlueClaws catcher Travis d'Arnaud, a BlueClaws Beer Stein on Augtoberfest Night, a Golden Snitch Baseball on Harry Potter Night, and BlueClaws Activitiy Book at their Kids Expo, among other giveaways.
On the field, the BlueClaws made the post-season for the first time since 2010 in winning the South Atlantic League Northern Division Second-Half title. The BlueClaws have made the playoffs three times, winning league titles in 2006, 2009, and 2010. Three BlueClaws - 2B Josh Tobias, RHP Luke Leftwich, and OF Jose Pujols - played in the South Atlantic League All-Star Game. Pujols hit 24 home runs, a new BlueClaws franchise record, and became the first BlueClaws player to lead the league in home runs.
Meanwhile, the BlueClaws have released their 2017 schedule (here), with next year's home opener on April 13th.
The BlueClaws are the Jersey Shore's top stop for affordable, family entertainment. They have led the South Atlantic League and New Jersey in attendance in all 16 years of existence.