The Texas Rangers announced on Monday that the organization has extended its Player Development Agreement with the short-season Class A Spokane Indians of the Northwest League for two years through the 2020 season.
The Rangers have had a team in Spokane since 2003, matching Double-A Frisco in the Texas League for the organization’s longest minor league affiliation. This is also the longest franchise affiliation in Spokane history.
The Indians, which are owned by Brett Sports and Entertainment, Inc. with principal owners Bobby, George, and J.B. Brett, have won Northwest League championships in 2003, 2005 and 2008 and advanced to postseason in each of the past three years as a Rangers affiliate.
Spokane finished with a 38-38 overall record in 2018, winning the Northwest League’s North Division second half title at 22-16. The Indians defeated Everett in the semifinal playoff round before losing to Eugene in the NWL Championship Series.
Indians set attendance record
The Indians broke their single-season team attendance record for the second straight year. The Indians welcomed 198,423 fans to Avista Stadium over 38 home games in 2018, breaking the overall attendance record of 196,653 fans set in 2017.
“We’re proud to be the area leader in attendance and nationally ranked,” said Otto Klein, Indians senior vice president. “Avista Stadium, our culture, our fans, our corporate partners, our community, our customer service, our game-day staff, our ownership group … it’s all part of the winning formula that makes it work.
“We focus our efforts on providing the the best family experience we can and if we do that, we know that records will follow.”
Attendance at Avista Stadium has ranked in the top two in the Northwest League for 22 consecutive seasons. Spokane’s attendance is third in all of short-season Class A baseball for the 2018 season, behind the Vancouver Canadians (239,086) and the Brooklyn Cyclones (202,495), two significantly larger markets than Spokane.
Avista Stadium saw 11 sellouts in 2018. A season-high 7,057 fans attended Opening Night Fireworks Night on June 15, one of 10 fireworks nights during the season.
“When you think about it, this is bigger than all of us,” Klein added.
“Spokane Indians baseball has been ingrained in the moral fabric of this community since 1903, and we have an obligation to carry it forward. We’re proud to shoulder that responsibility.”
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