Entering Thursday night's game, the Pirates are drawing more than 24,000 fans per game at PNC Park — more than 1.3 million in all — and rank in the top 20 in attendance in the major leagues for the first time in a decade.â†µ
The team is just shy of the pace to hit 2 million spectators, something that's only happened three times in franchise history (1990, '91 and 2001).â†µ
It will be interesting to see what happens down the stretch if the Pirates continue to play badly. Traffic at my Bucs Dugout blog has been off the past few days as the Pirates have dropped seven straight. That might have something to do with hardcore fans feeling a little bit of deflation, and maybe more casual fans aren't affected in the same way.â†µ
Either way, though, it's been a successful season for the Bucs, and interest in the team has easily been higher than in any season since 2001, when PNC Park opened.â†µ
The Trib reports that "sellout crowds are likely" Friday and Saturday against the Padres.