Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sensationalized Spring Training Supposition

The Grapefruit League's annual attendance recap made headlines this week, as 1.45 million fans passed through the turnstiles this spring.  The 6,882 average was just off last year's 6,965 average, thanks largely in part to weather and a lack of exhibition games at the 36,742-seat Marlins Park.

But a Tampa Tribune story goes looking for deeper meaning in the numbers, suggesting a nearly 200,000-fan drop from last year signifies more Florida teams will head to Arizona for spring training.

This is an aboslute baseless assumption that neglects basic facts:
  1. Attendance was down significantly in Arizona too.
  2. Teams are chosing to play fewer spring training games than in previous years.
  3. Arizona stadium capacities are significantly bigger than Florida's.
  4. Few East Coast/Midwest teams would ever consider training in Arizona.
The Trib even acknowledges some of these points, but still prints its sensationalized lede and headline, "Arizona outslugs Florida" in attendance (which was changed online to read, "Arizona edges Florida").

For a more thorough analysis of spring training numbers, the new Tampa Bay Baseball Market blog has been wonderful:
Follow them on Twitter...they're a good resource for Rays attendance stats throughout the season too!

1 comment:

  1. Meh. Credit the Trib anyway for acting the "feisty" tabloid. They're fighting for their lives. And, we are talking about them!

    So, there's that.