Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/534

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which has enabled owners to venture upon $50,000 and $100,000 plants for their patrons.

Without the National Agreement, there was no minor league owner who was sanguine that he would hold his players over night. Confident now in the stability of his organization, and able to realize something for his team by development of his resources, the minor league owner is willing to risk.

Becoming thus enterprising, he provides better Base Ball for his patrons, and the result is that the attendance has steadily increased in every minor league circuit in the United States, with perhaps a half dozen exceptions, for the last five years.

Roughly estimating, probably 10,000,000 spectators see the games in the ten largest minor league circuits of the country. That is a very conservative estimate and is established more on the paid spectators than on the actual total attendance.

At other minor league games there may be another 10,000,000 during the season. Suppose that we credit the minor organizations in general with 20,000,000 for the year. Even if a little too large it will not be too large in another year or two, and the figures are conservative enough for immediate data.

The minor and the major leagues together, therefore, would have an estimated attendance of 26,000,000 for the season. Until one realizes that 26,000,000 are six times the population of New York City, one scarcely begins to comprehend what Base Ball attendance amounts to in the course of a season.