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IPFS News Link • Entertainment: Sports

How Tim Tebow became the greatest value in minor league baseball

• espn.com by Darren Rovell

That number is quite appropriate because only one man, Michael Jordan, has done more for minor league baseball crowds than Tebow did this year. And Jordan -- who wore No. 23 for the NBA's Chicago Bulls -- had the benefit of playing Double-A with bigger ballparks to fill.

Thanks to Jordan, the Birmingham Barons' 1994 season attendance of 467,868 fans, with an average of 6,884 fans per game, still stands as a franchise and league record. Although Tebow's popularity didn't fill that many seats, the impact of the former NFL quarterback is undeniable.

Tebow's biggest impact was drawing fans to games. Statwise, it's fair to say he has significant room for improvement, but did provide notable moments.

The Columbia Fireflies, the Class A team Tebow played for through June 28, saw their attendance increase by nearly 54,000 fans, a 21 percent rise from 2016. The second team Tebow played for, the St. Lucie Mets of advanced Class A, saw attendance rise by 35,803 fans, up 37 percent from last year.

And that's just the beginning.

On the road, Tebow's Fireflies drew a crowd, too: to be exact, 2,591 more fans than the home teams averaged against other opponents. Baseball America calculated that Tebow was worth nearly $1.6 million in additional tickets, parking, concessions and other revenue for the rest of the South Atlantic League.


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