One of the defining characteristics of Minor Sports Leagues is that they play to smaller crowds of fans. Minor-Leagues.com has compiled a series of posts that provides details of attendance figures.
The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (AL) is an independent professional baseball league founded in 1998. It operates in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States, especially the greater metropolitan areas of the Northeast megalopolis, with one team located in Texas, mostly in cities not served by MLB teams or their minor league affiliates.
Below is the fan attendance for the entire league from 2006 to 2013.
|League||Sport||Season||# of Teams||Team Change||Games||Games Change||Total Attendance||TA Change||Average Attendance||AA Change||Source|
|Atlantic League (Ind)||Baseball||2006||8 USA||untracked||477||untracked||1,911,052||untracked||4,006||untracked||http://www.numbertamer.com/files/2007_Minor_League_PDF.pdf|
|Atlantic League (Ind)||Baseball||2007||8 USA||0.00%||476||-0.22%||1,976,813||3.44%||4,153||3.67%||http://www.numbertamer.com/files/2007_Minor_League_PDF.pdf|
|Atlantic League (Ind)||Baseball||2008||8 USA||0.00%||537||12.82%||2,208,734||11.73%||4,113||-0.96%||http://www.numbertamer.com/files/2009_Minor_League_Analysis.pdf|
|Atlantic League (Ind)||Baseball||2009||8 USA||0.00%||533||-0.74%||2,160,993||-2.16%||4,054||-1.43%||http://www.numbertamer.com/files/2009_Minor_League_Analysis.pdf|
|Atlantic League (Ind)||Baseball||2010||8 USA||0.00%||535||0.37%||2,151,416||-0.44%||4,021||-0.81%||http://www.numbertamer.com/files/2011_Minor_League_Analysis.pdf|
|Atlantic League (Ind)||Baseball||2011||8 USA||0.00%||477||-10.86%||1,948,321||-9.44%||4,085||1.59%||http://www.numbertamer.com/files/2011_Minor_League_Analysis.pdf|
|Atlantic League (Ind)||Baseball||2012||8 USA||0.00%||537||12.59%||2,367,578||21.52%||4,409||7.93%||http://www.numbertamer.com/files/2013_Minor_League_Analysis.pdf|
|Atlantic League (Ind)||Baseball||2013||8 USA||0.00%||543||1.12%||2,254,554||-4.77%||4,152||-5.83%||http://www.numbertamer.com/files/2013_Minor_League_Analysis.pdf|
The Atlantic League recruits college, ex-major and ex-minor league players. Former affiliated-league players that get injured or have other circumstances join the AL as an opportunity to get resigned by major league organizations. Other players consist of college players that were not drafted into MiLB, but seek the opportunity to be seen by major league scouts and possibly get signed by major league organizations. Other former MLB players join the AA as a way to stay involved in baseball after their career as a major league player, often as coaches and managers.
When Atlantic League professionals are signed by MLB clubs, they usually start in their Double-A or Triple-A affiliates. The Atlantic League is generally regarded as the most successful and highest level of baseball among independent leagues. In 2015, the Atlantic League experienced a watershed moment for independent baseball when it signed a formal agreement with Major League Baseball which put into writing the rules which the ALPB would follow in selling its players’ contracts to MLB clubs and their affiliates. This marked the first time that MLB, which has enjoyed a U.S. Supreme Court-granted antitrust exemption since 1922, had made any formal agreement with or acknowledgment of an independent baseball league.