Thursday, April 4, 2013

Was the Trop Half-Full or Half-Empty?

After an opening day sellout with 34,078 fans, the Rays fell back to earth last night for Game No. 2: total attendance 15,599.  Which, of course, prompted lots of tweets like this:
It's easy to see how the Rays will have lots of nights like this and not much will change from last season.  The Trop's not any closer to Tampa.  There's no light rail option to the park.  And the dome just isn't seen as a "cool" place to hang out.

But it's also easy to look at the cup half-full (if you so choose).  It was a weekday night against the Orioles.  It was raining and muggy in parts of Tampa Bay yesterday but crystal-clear and comfortable inside the Trop.  And the Rays weren't the only team, by any means, in the attendance doghouse yesterday.

The supposed new rivalry between Texas and Houston drew just 15,831 in the Astros' modern park.  The White Sox drew just 14,213 on a chilly, but sunny afternoon in the nation's third-biggest metro.  The A's drew just 15,162 on a mild evening against Seattle.  And even the Mets, in the country's largest city, drew just 22,239 against the Padres.

Only three of 15 games yesterday were played in front of more than 28,000 fans, which tells us America may not quite be in the baseball mood yet in April.  It may also tell us something Stu Sternberg hinted at this week: fans choosing baseball over TV may be something that's "seeping to sport as a whole, that it just isn’t the kind of scene it once was.”

We'll keep an eye on the Rays attendance numbers throughout the well as the Marlins', who haven't scored a run yet in 2013, and open at home next Monday against the Braves.  Can't wait!


  1. Well, I hope anyway Mr. Hoff enjoyed the game and the exciting finish.

    You were . . . AT the game, were you not, Mr. Hoff?

    1. Yes I was....the bridge and the construction leading up to the bridge (which won't be done for 3 years) makes it tough to even get to the stadium on time.

  2. I have MLB package, ever stadium last night was less than half full. The cameras purposely attempt to avoid showing the stands. Per MLB advising them, otherwise it would hurt their manipulation tactics when attempting to obtain new stadiums for cities. They use the tactic of blaming attendance in one city, therefore another city would be better suited if they will build a stadium. Same with the NFL, the pro sports teams have controlling interests in the media and use all media to obtain stadiums and subsidies....They pay off the media which basically means paying themselves because of their controlling interests.

  3. St Pete Florida a low class city with a low class population.

  4. There's certainly no low class people in New York City, Tampa, Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, Seattle, Los Angeles, Dallas, Nashville, Detroit......

  5. I was at the Trop last night, Saturday and it looked pretty full to me! Saw a huge line of people buying tickets as well. What were the numbers last night?

  6. 32,212 last night! The numbers will continue to improve from last years. Now all you "the stadium sucks location traffic blah blah" people shut up and join in with all of us who are proud to call St Pete the home of the Rays!

  7. Rays drew north of 30k for an early April weekend series against the Twins last year. How'd the numbers look the rest of the year? It's just gonna be the same debate by the end of the year.