Monday, August 22, 2011

Rays Attendance Watch: Rough Weekend at Trop

Despite a much-needed three-game sweep of the visiting Seattle Mariners and some cool David Price giveaways, it wasn't a terribly successful weekend for the Rays at the gate.

The attendance for the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night games at The Trop was 14,884, 20,148, and 17,226, respectively. The season average dropped to 19,234 (28th in MLB).

The Rays still have some big series left on the schedule, but unless they go on a 1978 Yankees-like stretch run, it appears likely they'll post a sub-20,000 attendance average for the first time since 2007.

You can blame the economy, the stadium, frustration with the stadium saga, and high-def TV, because it's likely a combination of all factors.

But ponder this: 50 years ago, 19,234 would be good enough for fourth place in MLB. Forty years ago, it would have been good for seventh. And 30 years ago, it still would have been in the top half of all teams.

So while their 19,234 average at the moment isn't a particularly pretty number, it could be worse for the Rays. At least the St. Petersburg Times is hammering Stu Sternberg's nemesis, Mayor Bill Foster. (Read about Foster's "secret" plan here)

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