Mayor Bill Foster said Wednesday that he doesn't see the Tampa Bay Rays doing much to market the team in the Tampa Bay area.Foster denied the recount of the event, but suggested the city and county may need to step up and help market the team. The Rays also denied any sort of "tanking" when it comes to marketing.
But Pinellas County Commission Chairwoman Susan Latvala said Foster went a step further when he called her Friday.
" 'I believe that they are deliberately trying to hurt the team financially by not promoting it adequately,' " Latvala recalled Foster telling her.
In an interview with the St. Petersburg Times, Latvala remembered responding: "Really, really? Why would they do that?"
He didn't answer, but Latvala said she assumed he thought the Rays are trying to depress attendance to gain leverage in their bid for a new stadium.
The Rays sometimes get criticism for not being more visable in the community and not doing enough in the marketing realm. I've even contended .the stadium badmouthing has diminished the perceived "fan experience" at The Trop.
But on the other hand, the Rays provide a lot of added value (giveaways, concerts, etc) to what is already one of baseball's most affordable tickets.