Wednesday, September 18, 2013

USA Today Explores Puzzling Attendance for Playoff Contenders

USA Today (which is owned by the same company that employs me) had feature this morning on dwindling/puzzling/disappointing crowds at several AL playoff contenders.

It's an issue covered at length in this blog, but Bob Nightengale had some grafs worth reading:
Here were the Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers, tied for the American League wild-card lead, and a crowd of only 10,786 was on hand at Tropicana Field.
"We kept looking at the stands, and wondering where everyone was," says Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford, a proud alum of the Rays. "Man, this is a big game. And you look at the stands and no one was there."
Really? Carl Crawford, of all people, is surprised?

Nightengale chalks the Rays' and A's attendance issues up to stadiums and locations, while chalking the Indians' issues up to the economy.  But like in Tampa Bay, Cleveland's TV ratings are thriving:
The fans are watching and listening, but only from their living rooms, and not making the trek from the suburbs to downtown. They drew just 9,794 fans for a key game against the Kansas City Royals last week, a record low for a September or October game since the opening of their new ballpark in 1994.
Certainly the players notice, but largely remain mum. You can complain all you want, but the fans don't want to hear millionaire ballplayers telling families how they should spend their disposable income.
While Nightengale was probably writing the story, Rays' pitcher David Price was tweeting:
But I digress.

Many sports fans and owners alike look at half-empty stadiums as "depressing," or "puzzling."  But many also look at them as business opportunities.  After all, you don't become one of Forbes' 400 richest billionares by not asking for public subsidies!

A closing thought from Buster Posey:


  1. Buster Olney is right, especially regarding the players criticizing the fans. We expect the media to criticize everybody. The players are extremely well paid, mainly because the taxpayers way over subsidize paying for the cost of the stadiums.

    The players need to keep their mouths shut and keep in the front of their minds that the median household income in the TB area is about $50K, probably about 1/60th of the average MLB player income. And whether or not the fans show up at the park, the players are going to continue to be very well paid. And I'm all for the players getting the money - whatever they get, that's less then going to the undeserving owners who are 100% focused on getting the taxpayer to foot the bill for the stadiums.

  2. So according to you, they should stay at the Trop until the end of their lease, then? But, the attendance sucks? Even though you didn't go to the game, and I bet besides the games they play your beloved Red Sux, you don't go to any other games? You ask who should pay for a new ballpark, but you don't ask those w/ the real answers? You criticize fellow journalist in the Tampa Bay area, but you don't write anything original from original investigating? You comment about the speculation of Channelside, but don't believe those involved never talked about it because your buddy Billy says not to? New stadiums isn't worth the any future city investment of public money, but it's ok to fund all the other projects? Raymond James wasn't worth several Super Bowls, etc.? Taxpayers don't like to vote for stadiums, but likes the benefits? Tampa shouldn't do big city things, they should just divert to doing things like Brooksville? etc...?????

  3. Low class st.pete needs to step up or get out of the way. Scott dont you see how low class st. pete is.