Rangers reach 3 million in home attendance

ARLINGTON, Texas -- For the first time in club history, the Texas Rangers have drawn more than three million fans in one season.

The club broke that barrier Thursday night in the series finale against the Cleveland Indians thanks to an attendance of 36,102. That puts the season total at 3,003,143. A new franchise record for attendance was set Wednesday when the team edged out the season totals for 2011. Texas was just 32,959 fans short of three million last season. But the Rangers pass the three-million mark in their 71st home date of the season. The Rangers have 10 more home games in 2012, all against AL West foes. That includes a four-game series with second-place Oakland on Sept. 24-27.

Texas is the third team in the big leagues to reach the three-million plateau, joining the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees.

“I’m very thankful to play in front of a crowd and in front of a Metroplex that supports us the way they do,” Murphy said of fans in the Dallas-Arlington-Fort Worth area. “They support us through 100-degree heat and still show up every, single night. They are loud, get us going and bring us a lot of energy. They are a fun crowd to play in front of.”

In honor of reaching the attendance milestone, fans coming through the gates Thursday received T-shirts commemorating more than three million fans. The club also randomly selected James Patterson of Fort Worth as the “three millionth fan.” He received four season tickets for 2013 and assorted Rangers merchandise from club president Nolan Ryan. Patterson, who attended the game with his wife, Jaime, son Andrew and daughter Kimberly, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch Sept. 30, which is fan appreciation day.

The Rangers have had 32 sellouts this season, another club record, and have had crowds of at least 40,000 49 times.

The Rangers host Seattle this weekend and are expecting large crowds. There are about 1,200 reserved seats left for Friday, 1,000 for Saturday and Sunday has just scattered singles and obstructed view seats available.

“Our fans have been incredible,” Michael Young said. “We have a massive home-field advantage and we enjoy that.”