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Tim Tebow's presence boosts minor league baseball attendance

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Helped by New York Mets outfielder Tim Tebow, attendance increased by 12.4 percent this year in the Florida State League and by 2.1 percent in the South Atlantic League.

The National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues said Monday that the presence of the former NFL quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner led to an increase of over 225,000 fans in the two Class A leagues.

Minor league baseball attendance rose by about 500,000 this year, still below 2015's level and its fifth-highest total.

The 176 teams in 15 leagues combined to draw 41.83 million, up from 41.38 million last year but down from 42.56 million in 2015. The average of 4,095 per game was up 2.4 percent from last year's 3,998.

Indianapolis led Triple-A at 641,141; Frisco, Texas, topped Double-A at 470,003; Dayton was first in Class A at 554,638; and Vancouver led short-season Class A and Rookie levels at 239,527.

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