Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday Morning Manager - Odds & Ends

We'll start with a Letter to the Editor from over the weekend in the Tampa Tribune: a baseball fan in Zephyrhills, Fla. (about 35-40 min from Tampa and 55-60 min from St. Pete) tries to take a "Trop half-full" approach to the Stadium Saga:
Tropicana Field is, in my opinion, a quality stadium, which was confirmed to me again last Saturday night, as we enjoyed the game and Martina McBride’s concert, dry and in air-conditioned comfort while the area was being blessed with a thunderstorm.
Apparently, not a ton of people agree with the reader right now, because the Rays fell to 29th in the 2013 MLB attendance rankings after a long homestand.  Their 17,909 fans per game are more than 2,000 fewer than at the same point in 2012.  (The Indians surged ahead to 28th place with 38k+ on Dollar Hot Dog & Fireworks night.)

But at least the Rays aren't the Marlins, who dropped to last this weekend, with 17,337 fans on average.  That's down more than 11,000 per game in a year, and as Biz of Baseball's Maury Brown writes, it's not due for any sort of correction:
Between the fire sale to the Blue Jays and the abysmal performance on the field that will likely have them, not the Astros, end with the worst record in baseball, attendance will continue to slide. In the meantime, all those clubs that have suffered through the cold, wet spring with open-air ballparks will begin to see increases as people flock to enjoy the sun during the summer....Florida now has the dubious distinction of having the two worst attended clubs in all of MLB.
On the Spring Training front, there's more evidence that Gov. Rick Scott & the Florida Legislature have created a monster by automatically approving state funds for new stadiums.  The Blue Jays, who earlier this year said they were happy in their long-time spring digs, are now leveraging for a new stadium through the media while not talking to their current partners in Dunedin:
Three months after news broke that the Toronto Blue Jays were considering ditching their Dunedin spring training home for Palm Beach Gardens on Florida's east coast, this city still hasn't managed to schedule negotiations with team officials. 
Jays president Paul Beeston has yet to follow up on Mayor Dave Eggers' emails and phone calls with concrete plans, and Eggers' last communication with Beeston was about a month ago.
Finally, here's a nerdy look at how economists have discouraged fans from driving to the new Barclay's Center in Brooklyn.  The results are interesting: more people taking advantage of transit; a bit of a younger, more hipster crowd for certain events; and to a certain degree, fewer people traveling from New Jersey for games.

Now, if we could only undertake a similar experiment in Tampa Bay...

1 comment:

  1. Why would the Jays want to deal with Eggers when there's no way they're
    going to stay?

    "...Florida now has the dubious distinction of having the two worst attended clubs in all of MLB..."
    - this sez it all.