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N.C. Minor League Baseball Economic Impact





MiLB draws over 2.3 million fans and adds $47 million to the State’s economy.

DURHAM, N.C. – (April 11, 2008) North Carolina is home to 10 Minor League Baseball (MiLB) teams from Rookie to Triple-A, representing five different leagues. Collectively, the teams have a significant impact on the State’s economy.

 A new analysis of this economic impact was announced today during a news conference at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, which will host its home opener tonight. The Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau computed the statewide impact using information provided by each of the 10 teams and the IMPLAN input-output model.  

The analysis, which was based on the 2007 season, found:

•    Annually, North Carolina’s 10 MiLB teams draw more than 2.3 million fans, or more than twice the number drawn to NASCAR events.
•    Overall, the fans generate $59.6 million in direct spending, adding $47 million in value (direct, indirect and induced impact) to the State’s economy.
•    The teams pay or induce $9.1 million in wages.
•    The teams collectively generate $5.2 million in state and local sales tax revenue alone.

Some other interesting facts about MiLB:

•    There are 176 teams across the US and Canada.
•    MiLB outdraws the NFL, NBA and NHL in attendance, with nearly as many as the NHL and NBA combined
•    More than 4 in 10 fans are women, nearly 7 in 10 are in the prime 18-44 age group, half have children at home, and nearly 8 in 10 are homeowners.
•    Attendance has swelled from 12.3 million in 1980 to more than 43 million last season.
•    North Carolina’s association with Minor League Baseball can be traced back to its inception in 1901 with membership in the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues.
•    North Carolina was home to the headquarters for MiLB from 1933-1946 when then Durham Bulls owner, Judge William G. Bramham, was president of the league.

The complete economic impact analysis is available at

“North Carolina has always been one of the keys to the success of Minor League Baseball,” said Pat O'Conner, President and CEO of Minor League Baseball. “It’s one of the nation’s prime hotbeds. Minor League Baseball plays a significant role in a community’s quality of life and economic vibrancy. The people, business corporations, and fans of North Carolina understand the role and importance of Minor League Baseball and we value our place in their lives.”

“These 10 entertainment businesses are place-based assets not only for their communities, but for the State,” said Reyn Bowman, President & CEO of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Even as the popularity of Minor League Baseball has soared, these teams have continued to reflect something almost temporal to North Carolina, something genuine and original.”
Signaling the importance of Minor League Baseball to our State, author Mark Cryan entitled his just published book “Cradle of the Game, Baseball & Ballparks in North Carolina.”

North Carolina’s MiLB teams include the Asheville Tourists, Burlington Royals, Carolina Mudcats, Charlotte Knights, Durham Bulls, Greensboro Grasshoppers, Hickory Crawdads, Kannapolis Intimidators, Kinston Indians, and Winston-Salem Warthogs.

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