Allentown’s Lehigh Valley IronPigs were ranked third on Forbes magazine’s list of the highest-valued minor league baseball teams nationwide.
The IronPigs were valued at $33 million with annual revenue of $10 million and an operating income of $3 million, Forbes said.
“It’s been a very good year once again,” Jon Schaeffer, director of new media for the IronPigs, said this morning about the 2013 season.
According to Forbes, the IronPigs’ of the International League have led the minor leagues in attendance for the last three years and are the only team in the league to have annual attendance above 600,000 in each of the last five seasons. The Triple-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, the IronPigs are in their sixth year playing at Coca-Cola Park in east Allentown.
“We’re currently at the pace of 600,000 again and it would be the sixth consecutive year with only 11 home games remaining,” Schaeffer said. “It’s been a really spectacular year out here.”
The 9,153-per-game average for the club’s official 72 home games in 2012 was tops among all minor-league franchises and marked the fourth straight season the IronPigs have averaged more than 9,000 fans per game. That average is better than 1,000 more than the fixed-seat capacity of 8,089, according to the IronPigs website.
Since opening in 2008, Coca-Cola Park has been named Ballpark Digest’s “Ballpark of the Year” and given the “Best Game Operations and Presentation” award by gameops.com.
The park is scheduled to host the 2013 Gildan Triple-A national championship Sept. 17 in a one-game, winner-take-all contest featuring the champions of the International League and the Pacific Coast League.
“Certainly we’re hoping to make the postseason because we’d love to play in the national championship that is to be played here in mid-September,” Schaeffer said. “We have such great fans.”
The IronPigs are tied for third place in the International League’s North Division.
For more information on the team, visit www.ironpigsbaseball.com.