Sunday, May 19, 2013

Marlins, Rays Attendance Watch - May 19 Update

Two weeks ago, this blog pointed out that the Rays' modest fortunes in the attendance rankings may only be a mid-week series against Toronto away from collapse.  Well, that was a bad series at the gates.  And so was the ensuing weekend series against Boston.

The Rays' average attendance has fallen to just 17,936 per game - a couple hundred fewer than the miserable Marlins, who are 28th in the majors, and just 2,200 fans per game more than the last-placed Indians.

Believe it or not, the Indians are actually up from last year, and you can probably expect a much better summer in Cleveland.

But the Rays are now down 2,583 fans per game compared to the same time last year.

As for the Marlins, they're down to 18,109 fans per game - more than 10,000 fewer than last year's average at this point and - as Maury Brown tweeted - 453 fewer fans per game than they averaged in their final year of Sun Life Stadium!  Those numbers may rebound once the Miami Heat are all done, but fall and football season never treat MLB particularly well in Florida.

Either way, it's just not a good time to be a MLB ticket agent in the Sunshine State.

PS - It's also not a good time to be a contractor waiting for work on Sun Life Stadium.  Not only did the legislature deny Miami-Dade a chance to hold a stadium subsidy referendum, but early vote returns on the cancelled election indicate the team never had support for bed tax-funded renovations, despite what Governor Rick Scott would have liked to see.


  1. This is just appalling! What is wrong with Rays fans??? You have a fantastic team, but can't even drive a little to go to a game and support your team??? GEEZ! I relocated to Denver about 2 years ago from St. Pete. I love the Rays, not fond of The Trop, but still supported them. I like the Rockies, went to the series with the Rays and saw more fans at a baseball game than I ever did in Tampa Bay. Today they had 47,000+ for a regular season game. That's support! New stadium or not you people do not deserve a major league team.

  2. As long as the Tampa Bay unemployment rate continues to hang around 8%, attendance will continue to suck.

    The Rays have yet to experience the confluence of a good team and a good economy. In 1998, the Devil Rays 'rookie year', attendance averaged 31,000 with a terrible team, but with an unemployment rate under 4%. The fans got over the novelty of the team quickly and attendance plummeted in 1999, even though the economy was still very strong. By 2008, when the Rays finally got good, the economy was beginning to tank, and has been poor ever since.

    Bottom line, for Tampa Bay to support the Rays in a way that would make the Rays happy, we have to have both a good team and a good economy.

    1. Scott, unemployment doesn't help, but there comes a time where you can't blame the economy anymore. Fla's unemployment rate is now below the national average.

  3. Hah - deserve, has nothing to do with it. We've given them millions in taxe dollars and land and incentives. If they're not doing anything to draw fans, that's THEIR shortcomings.

    I don't care that they're winning a game or two here and there. They publicly smear the area, the citizens and their stadium, and in the same breath, talk openly about stealing even more money to line their pockets. And for what - an MLB championship? Can they guarantee that? Winning the WS is only going to make THEM richer, not the citizens of St. Petersburg/Florida.

    What's their incentive to provide a better experience or invest more money after they steal another bundle from the state and the area? Zero. Look no further than the miserable performance of the Bucs or the Marlins, for a demonstration of how empty promises are in exchange for more embezzlement from the public coffers.

    1. Paulus,

      Right on!

      I'm glad you mentioned the Bucs. The Glazer family bought the Bucs in 1995 for $192 million. The team is currently valued at about $1 billion according to Forbes. During the Glazer family's 18 year stewardship the team has won 142 and lost 146 regular season games. So even though the Bucs are one of only 8 of the 32 teams in the NFL where the stadium has been 100% financed by the taxpayer, they have delivered below average on-the-field performance. To add insult to injury, the Glazers make an additional approximately $2 million per year over and above paying nothing for the full care and feeding of RayJay, when you net out what they pay for rent vs what they get for naming rights and for revenues for non-Bucs events at RayJay.

      But it is all good. As the Tampa Bay region continues to luxuriate with high unemployment, it gets to enjoy the Bucs blackouts - 8 in 2010, 5 in 2011, and 6 in 2012. By the way, all 6 of the 2012 blackouts could have been prevented by the Glazers for less than $1 million total.

      And rest assured that the Glazers share this community's pain as they have watched their net worth go from $300 million in 1995 to $4.4 billion in 2013.

      If you are ever having insomnia, go read the Glazer Family Foundation IRS reports - you will find that the biggest single recipient of their donations is the Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. That makes total sense since the stated charter of the Glazer Family Foundation is:
      "to better the lives of children and families by establishing lasting, impactful programs throughout Florida communities."

      I guess Cleveland is a suburb of Jacksonville.

  4. LOL, "Either way, it's just not a good time to be a MLB ticket agent in the Sunshine State."; ""(Rays tix scalper) these are good upper seats for the price!","(me) It doesn't matter, I sat in padded seats yesterday w/ cheaper tix!""...

  5. Well let's see st. Pete is a dump city the stadium blows and the citizens dont come out and support them even tho they have the cheapest tickets in baseball. They have been a contending team for 5 years in a row and should not avg last in att. End of story.

    1. Dear anonymous out-of-towner,

      I think you'd find St. Pete is nicer than most cities in America - very possibly yours.

      Just an outsider's opinion.

  6. If St. Pete is such a "dump", why are you expending so much energy yapping about the place?
    You've moved but can't put the place behind you?

  7. I've never lived in St. Pete. Simply a journalist.

  8. a "journalist", haha!