The Northwest Arkansas Naturals played 50 games at Arvest Ballpark in Springdale as of Aug. 15, and by then, attendance had already exceeded 2021 levels.
Total ballpark attendance was 172,991 through the 50 games, up 15% from 150,473 in 55 games in 2021. On average, attendance has risen to about 3,500 fans per game in 2022, from more than 2,700 fans per game in 2021.
Justin Cole, vice president and general manager for the Naturals, said the team had 18 more games to play as of Aug. 15. One game has been canceled so far this season. In 2021, a total of 60 games were scheduled. Five games were canceled last year.
So far in the 2022 season, the most attended game was Saturday, April 30, with 5,857 fans. Seven games had more than 5,000 fans. In the 2021 season, the most attended game was Friday, July 16, with 4,691 fans. Four games had more than 4,000 fans in 2021.
According to the schedule, the Naturals’ last home game will be against the Frisco (Texas) RoughRiders on Sept. 18. Through games played Aug. 30, the Naturals (50-70) have the lowest winning percentage in the division, while Wichita (Kan.) Wind Surge (67-53) have the highest. In 2021, the Naturals won their second league title by sweeping the Wind Surge in a three-game championship series.
The Naturals serve as the Double-A Texas League affiliate of the Kansas City Royals and have been an affiliate since starting to play at the Springdale ballpark in 2008. Buffalo, N.Y.-based Rich Products Corp. owns the Naturals.
The Naturals rent the ballpark from the city of Springdale and paid $437,541 in 2022, up from $345,527 last year. The ballpark at 3000 S. 56th St. has a capacity of 6,500 people, not including the berm and picnic areas. The Naturals have 16 full-time staff.