Chicago Cubs and White Sox fans helped break a national spring training attendance record Saturday at Mesa's Hohokam Stadium.
The 13,010 attendance figure erased the previous spring training record at any ballpark nationwide. The record was 12,906, also at Hohokam Stadium, in 2007.
"It's a tremendous record," said Cactus League President Robert Brinton.
About 38,000 fans have already attended this year's Cubs spring training games.
Brinton attributes the increased attendance partly to the games starting a bit earlier than usual. This time, two additional teams, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Cleveland Indians, also are in the rotation. This spring training season also has 245 games scheduled, compared with 177 in 2008.
But Brinton said the economy could affect overall attendance to a degree.
"If we look at last weekend and then this weekend, if we don't see a significant growth, that will be a troubling sign," Brinton said.
He added that the league estimated there would be about 1,000 fewer people per game this season, although it's too early to know if that prediction holds.
"It's too soon to say one way or the other," Brinton said.