The Springfield Cardinals began play in the 2005 season. Prior to the 2005 season, the St. Louis Cardinals Class AA affiliate was the Tennessee Smokies located near Sevierville, Tennessee.
Attendance at Hammons Field for Springfield Cardinals games has been impressive, as the club has averaged nearly 6,500 fans per game for all eight years of franchise history. They ranked second in average attendance for all of Double-A baseball for each of the first three seasons, trailing only the Frisco RoughRiders, who are located in a much bigger market, just outside of Dallas, Texas. In 2008, Springfield was third in attendance, trailing Frisco and the Corpus Christi Hooks. The city of Springfield itself has also experienced a tourism bump because of the team, actively encouraging St. Louis-area fans to drive down Interstate 44 to Springfield and see local attractions or the Lake of the Ozarks as well as a "Baby Birds" game.
Through the 2012 season, a total of 48 former Springfield Cardinals have gone on to make their major league debuts with the St. Louis Cardinals.
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