By Paul Osborne

America's Major League Baseball was the most attended sports league in the world in 2013 ©Getty ImagesFebruary 19 - America's Major League Baseball (MLB) is the most attended sports league in the world, according to new data compiled by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC).

With more than 74 million fans attending games over the 2013 season, the MLB accounted for almost half of baseballs 150 million global ticket sales.

As baseball dominated the attendance numbers for sports league across the globe, it was another American league that occupied the second spot with Minor League Baseball (MiLB) boosting an overall attendance of 41,553,781 for the 2013 regular season.

Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) saw attendance in 2013 grow more than three per cent on the previous year to 22,047,291, cementing the leagues spot as the third most attended sports league in the world with over 500,000 more ticket sales than the fourth, and first non-baseball sports league, the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Major League Baseball saw attendance figures for the 2013 regular season reach 74,026,895, the sixth highest in the leagues history ©MLB Photos/Getty ImagesMajor League Baseball saw attendance figures for the 2013 regular season reach 74,026,895, the sixth highest in the leagues history ©MLB Photos/Getty Images

After four consecutive seasons of growth, the Korea Baseball Organisation (KBO) saw numbers drop to 6,743,940 after having brought more than seven million spectators to the stadiums for the first time in 2012.

In contrast, the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) saw a huge increase in numbers throughout the 2013 season with average match attendance increasing by an impressive 149.86 per cent to see an overall attendance of 1,459,072 across the regular season.

Following the publication of the new data, WBSC co-President Riccardo Fraccari applauded the professional baseball leagues for attracting nearly 150 million fans in 2013 and helping to deepen and expand baseball's global footprint.

"We congratulate all our partners in the professional leagues on their continued successes; their seasons and media assets help generate year-round interest in our sport and expand baseball's visibility to broader audiences worldwide," he said.

"These figures demonstrate that 'live' in-stadium baseball games remain as relevant and attractive to audiences today as ever, despite - or rather - in addition to the growing trend of accessing baseball content through digital/mobile devices and 'second screens', which are enhancing the fan-viewing experience and not acting as a substitute.

"The fan-experience at the stadium - hearing the sounds of the bat hitting the ball or hoping to catch a foul ball or home run - is a unique and special experience that nearly 150 million spectators shared in 2013."

Also in 2013, the World Baseball Classic set television viewing records and was one of the most attended international sports events in 2013, attracting 885,212 fans to stadiums, surpassing the 2009 World Baseball Classic total of 801,410 by more than 10 per cent.

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