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09/25/08 3:09 PM ET

Tigers break attendance record

Club eclipses last year's mark of 3,047,139 on Thursday

DETROIT -- The Tigers officially set a new single-season franchise attendance record Thursday, using their final weekday afternoon game of the season to push past last season's old mark.

Thursday's announced crowd of 36,259 tickets sold pushed the season total to 3,081,908. That eclipsed last year's previous record of 3,047,139.

Last season was the first time in franchise history that the Tigers crossed the 3-million mark in attendance. With a surge in season-ticket sales last winter and single-ticket purchases in the spring following offseason moves to acquire slugger Miguel Cabrera, Dontrelle Willis and Edgar Renteria, the Tigers were expected to set the attendance mark. They have three home games left against the Rays this weekend to add to the record.

"The Tigers would like to thank the fans for all of their support that has enabled the franchise to set attendance records in each of the past two seasons," team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said. "Tigers fans have always been among the best in baseball."

The Tigers entered Thursday with an average home attendance of 39,554 per game, trailing only the Yankees and Angels among American League clubs. They also set a single-game Comerica Park attendance record earlier this year with a crowd of 45,280, set for a Saturday home game on July 26 against the division rival White Sox.

"The fact of the matter is it's a great baseball town," manager Jim Leyland said Tuesday. "They've proven that day in and day out all year long. We're going to have to earn some of them back. If we play well, we'll get them back. You have to earn them. We have a great product. We just haven't given them a great performance."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.