ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The Triple-A Las Vegas Aviators have displaced the Charlotte Knights as the minor leagues' attendance leader.

In its first season at Las Vegas ballpark, the Oakland farm team drew 650,934 for an average of 9,299 and became the first minor league team to top 650,000 since the Knights in 2015. Las Vegas had 43 sellouts.

The 176 minor league teams drew 41,504,077, up 2.6% from 40,450,337 last year and the ninth-highest total in minor league history, the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues said Tuesday. The 4,044 average increased 2.1% over last year's 3,960.

Frisco led Double-A for the 15th straight season at 455,765, Dayton topped Class A at 545,108 and Vancouver was the top short-season team at 235,980. Dayton extended its home sellout streak to 1,385.

New ballparks also opened in Amarillo, Texas, and Fayetteville, North Carolina, increasing the total of new stadiums since 2000 to 68. New venues are slated for next season at Kannapolis, North Carolina; Madison, Alabama; and Wichita, Kansas.

Next year's minor league seasons starts April 9, two weeks after major league openers.


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