Out of 241 total mentions, the Sports Business Journal placed the Providence-Pawtucket fan base at No. 3 on its bi-annual leaderboard of American minor-league markets Monday.
Taking the PawSox and P-Bruins into expressed consideration, the magazine gave Rhode Island fans a 76.2 score, trailing only San Bernardino County, Calif. (80.82) and Hershey-Harrisburg, Pa. (a perfect 100).
The Ocean State base also placed No. 5 in "Economy Rank," tenth in the way of "Tenure" and sixth overall in the attendance category.
The latter comes with little surprise. The Baby Bs, despite being a Calder Cup playoff no-show two years running, drew a nightly median of 7,324 fans last season, good for fourth in AHL attendance. Meanwhile, with a month remaining in the 2011 season, the PawSox have brought 7,777 fans per night to McCoy Stadium.
Other noteworthy finishers on the SBJ leaderboard included: fifth-ranked Portland, Me., home of the P-Bruins divisional rival Pirates and Red Sox' Double-A club; No. 12-rated Springfield, Mass., the only AHL New England city that rivals the tradition of Providence; and Hartford/New Britain and Bridgeport, Conn., who placed neck-and-neck at 45th and 46th, respectively.