The Reds' move to Goodyear in 2010 evened up the amount of teams training in Arizona and Florida at 15 apiece.
For the first time in spring training history, 2010 saw as many teams training in Arizona as in Florida. The Cincinnati Reds became the 15th member of the Cactus League when they moved from Sarasota, FL to Goodyear, AZ, where they played their first game on March 5. The Reds' departure from the Grapefruit League left just 15 teams conducting spring training in Florida, the fewest amount of teams to train in the Sunshine State since 1965, when "only" 15 of 20 teams prepared for the regular season there.
With parity between the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues finally achieved, the two spring training circuits will now generally host an equal number of exhibition games. In 2010, there were a collective 432 games played in 25 ballparks, which combined to draw 2,873,880 fans.
In the Cactus League, 219 games were played by 15 teams in 11 ballparks. Total attendance was 1,470,722, an average of 6,716 per game. Seven games were rained out, one of which was made up (Giants at Royals). The league's single-game attendance record, which had stood at 13,366 for six years, was broken six times in ten days. Just as before, the record still belongs to the Peoria Sports Complex for a Cubs-Mariners game but the mark is now 13,629, which was reached on March 28.
In the Grapefruit League, 213 games were played by 15 teams in 14 ballparks. Total attendance was 1,403,158, an average of 6,588 per game. Nineteen games were rained out, one of which was made up (Red Sox at Cardinals). Additionally, another 33,786 paid to watch eight games that were played by Major League clubs against collegiate or minor league all-star teams.
The average attendance for a spring training game in 2010 was 6,653, which was up 619 fans per game from 2009, when 536 games drew a total of 3,234,439 fans to Cactus and Grapefruit League ballparks.
No new ballparks opened in 2010, although one was abandoned as the Baltimore Orioles left Fort Lauderdale Stadium, where they had trained since 1996, and moved to Sarasota's Ed Smith Stadium, which was available when the Reds left town following the 2009 season. Fort Lauderdale became the fourth Florida city in two years to lose its team after St. Petersburg, Vero Beach and Winter Haven were all abandoned in 2009.
2010 Attendance Rankings
(home games only, ranked by per game average)
Graham Knight has been to spring training in Florida 11 times and has made 4 visits to Arizona for the same purpose. In 2009, he completed the hard to complete task of seeing a game in each of the 26 spring training ballparks in use that year by Cactus and Grapefruit League teams. He has seen multiple games in every current spring training ballpark and has visited the practice complexes used by each team. In addition to the ballpark guides he has written for this Web site, Knight has published the Arizona Spring Training Ballpark Guide since 2010 and plans to release the Florida version in time for the 2012 season.