The Tampa Bay Rays revealed for the first time Tuesday that only 300 of their 81-game season-ticket accounts come from St. Petersburg, where Tropicana Field is located. The 300 full-season accounts total fewer than 1,000 season tickets.
But the selective stats, which do not include partial season-ticket packages,
may not tell the whole story.
WTSP asked the Rays for more information on the
season-ticket base, but was told the team didn't want to give out any more
However, in 2008, the Rays submitted data to the ABC Coalition indicating 47%
of its season tickets came from Pinellas County. The team's Tuesday statistics
included just the city of St. Petersburg, which makes up just 27% of Pinellas
County's total population.
According to the 2011 statistics from the U.S. Census, St. Petersburg has a
population of 244,997, while Pinellas County has a population of 917,398.
Hillsborough County has a population of 1,267,775.
The Rays were making a point about lack of business support in St.
Petersburg. The team said Downtown St. Pete was just the fourth-largest
business core in Tampa Bay, trailing areas such as Carillon, Westshore, and
In 2010, the ABC Coalition concluded the Rays' attendance problem was largely
due to the fact that local businesses weren't buying season tickets, but there
would be opportunity to improve if the team moved closer to the business
districts in Tampa.
Not only did the stats the Rays provided on Tuesday omit partial-season
ticket-holders; it also didn't include single-ticket statistics.
In 2008, the team told the ABC Coalition that 25.4% of single-game
ticket-buyers came from Pinellas County while 25.0% came from Hillsborough
County. Pasco County accounted for 8.6% of single-game ticket sales, Manatee
County accounted for 6.8%, and all other counties and states accounted for 34%
of single-game tickets.
The Rays told Hillsborough Commissioners last week of great growth potential across
the bay, since 33% of their total fan base comes from Hillsborough County,
compared to just 25% from Pinellas County.