ST. LOUIS -- For the second straight season, the Brewers have hit an attendance milestone that some thought was unreachable in one of baseball's smallest markets.

The team on Wednesday morning sold its three millionth ticket for 2009, and while last year's record attendance of 3,068,458 appears safe, it marks the second time in club history that the Brewers have surpassed three million.

"Reaching three million tickets sold is the ultimate testament to Brewers fans, and it speaks volumes about their loyalty to the team and passion for the game," Brewers executive vice president Rick Schlesinger said. "We thank all of the fans who have come out this season, and we will continue to make the Miller Park experience the very best in baseball."

The Brewers have sold out 27 of their first 65 home games this season and currently rank eighth of the 30 Major League teams averaging 38,157 per home date. The season attendance to date at Miller Park is 2,480,233, a figure bolstered by last year's run to the postseason, Milwaukee's first playoff trip since 1982.

This season has been more disappointing. With Tuesday's loss to the Cardinals, the Brewers dropped 13 games back in the National League Central and 8 1/2 games back in the NL Wild Card. The Brewers have 16 home games left in the 2009 regular season beginning Friday night against the Giants.

"You didn't have to tell me about the tickets. I know about the fan fervor," Brewers manager Ken Macha said. "I was sitting under the Arch at 8:30 a.m., reading the paper, and I was approached by a couple of Brewers fans. We were the only three people at the park. They said, 'It's good to see a familiar face.'

"Three million fans in a small market, you have to credit the marketing department and what the overall organization has done in becoming competitive. I'm sure that Doug [Melvin, the Brewers' GM] and Gord [Ash, assistant GM] and Mark [Attanasio, the team's principal owner] are all focused on remaining competitive and continuing to have a product that everybody wants to come out and see."

The Brewers have 16 home games left in the 2009 regular season beginning Friday night against the Giants. Tickets for September games are on sale.