Thanks to the popularity and fan support of Mud Hens and the Walleye, Toledo was ranked 13th in the Top 15 minor-league markets, according to Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal.
The rankings, which were published online Monday, list Toledo thirteenth out of 241 minor league markets based on the performance of the Mud Hens and Walleye in the last five years through July 31.
The Top 15 Minor League Markets (overall score):
1. Hershey-Harrisburg, PA (100.00)
2. San Bernardino County, CA (80.82)
3. Providence-Pawtucket, RI (76.20)
4. Reading, PA (74.23)
5. Portland, ME (73.83)
6. Syracuse, NY (73.46)
7. Charleston, SC (72.07)
8. Modesto, CA (71.55)
9. Idaho Falls, ID (70.55)
10. Spokane, WA (69.51)
11. Visalia, CA (69.31)
12. Springfield, MA (68.99)
13. Toledo, OH (66.03)
14. Tacoma, WA (65.94)
15. Savannah, GA (65.71)
Since 2002, the Mud Hens and Walleye have attracted more than 6 million fans to downtown Toledo. The Hens call Fifth Third Field home while the Walleye, since 2009, play at the Huntington Center.
“This is yet another feather in the cap for the Toledo region," said Joe Napoli, general manager of the Mud Hens and Walleye. "What a wonderful honor to be considered one of the top minor league markets in the country. We have top notch facilities, terrific support from our corporate partners, and the best fans in the country. All of Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan should celebrate this news. It is something we can all be proud of.”
Toledo’s overall score was 66.03 out of 100 with the final score was determined by the following criteria:
- Total sports attendance over the past five years - Toledo ranked 50th out of 241 markets.
- Overall percent of seats filled indexed against total five-year population - ranked 22nd out of 241.
- Franchise tenure in the city - ranked 22nd out of 241.
- Attendance indexed against the market’s unemployment rate - ranked 27th out of 241.
- Five-year attendance change indexed against each market’s total per capita income - ranked 16th out of 241.