He first made the statements back in June when attendance numbers weren't up to par.

Eric Menzer, the York Revolution president and general manager, believed it was the result of the 2013 schedule starting a week earlier than normal.

Now that Menzer has seen the final numbers from the entire 2013 season, his opinion hasn't changed.

York drew an average of 3,740 fans in 68 home games this season, down from the average of 4,084 fans a game in 2012. It's the lowest per-game average since the club's inaugural 2007 season (3,709).

"Out of fairness I had said I should wait until the end of season to evaluate the numbers. Suffice it to say my opinion stuck," Menzer said. "Moving up a week hurt us."

The eight-team independent Atlantic League started the 2013 season a week earlier and ended a week earlier than normal. League president Peter Kirk has previously said the league did so as an experiment.

"All of the clubs do a lot of school programs. York does. It seems that the schools and teachers would appreciate bringing the kids out to the ballpark (for day games during the week) at the end of the term when not a lot is going on in school, as opposed to the beginning (of the

school year)," Kirk had said in June.

Others, too: Six of the league's eight clubs dropped in average attendance this season. And Menzer said he believes the main reason is because of the early start.

"The early week start combined with a cold, wet spring," he said. "Everyone except for Sugar Land had a tough spring. When we had our board meeting at the All-Star game (in July), all of the general managers from the teams said this is the worst spring ever."

The Sugar Land (Texas) Skeeters were expected to drop in average attendance in year two as a franchise after the freshness of being a new club wore off.

The top-drawing team in the league for the second-straight season, the Skeeters drew an average of 5,537 fans this season compared to 6,650 fans a game in 2012.

Perspective: There could be other reasons for the Revs' attendance being down, such as the team being out of playoff contention in the last month of the season, a scenario that played out for the first time since 2009.

But even in a bad year, York still finished ninth among 48 independent minor league teams in average attendance, according to a ballparkdigest.com report.

Of 390 minor league teams, which includes affiliated, Mexican League and independent clubs, York sits 90th in average attendance, according to the website.

"We have to keep some perspective here. By any measure, we are one of the most successful independent or non-affiliated baseball teams in the country," Menzer said. "And I'm even stepping away from the York Revolution and looking at this from a business standpoint of having a professional baseball team in the city. We're among the top third of any minor league team in the country in average attendance."

Schedule: The Atlantic League is going back to starting the schedule in late April in 2014 as opposed to beginning in mid-April, Menzer said.

That's good news for York, especially since the club drew just 3,186 fans in its first Saturday game of the year April 20 as opposed to the season-high 6,429 fans that attended the final Saturday game of the season Sept. 7.

"That was the first Saturday night of York Fair, and we had one of the biggest crowds of season," Menzer said. "If I've got to have competitive challenges like going up against the York Fair, I'd rather have that than going up against the possible bad weather in April."

- Reach John Walk at jwalk@yorkdispatch.com.