Thursday, April 30, 2015

Why the Relocation of the Rays/Orioles Series May Hurt Both Team's Attendance Numbers

The Rays and Orioles will make the best of a bad situation this weekend by playing the O's three home games at Tropicana Field, a move necessitated by the unrest in Baltimore.

Fans can buy general admission tickets to the games in St. Pete for just $15, but with poor notice and so many other sporting events going on this week (Kentucky Derby, NFL Draft, Lightning Playoffs), I'm not sure any of the games will crack the 10,000 fan mark.

From what I understand, the games will count toward the Orioles' attendance numbers, which already dropped from 33,288 per game (9th in MLB) to 29,960 per game (15th in MLB) after their record-breaking fan-less matinee on Wednesday. 

But aside from the impending impact on the O's May numbers, the relocated series could also impact the Rays' official attendance over the next few months.

UPDATE: TBO's Roger Mooney reports the attendance will count toward the Rays' home average attendance numbers, which will certainly suffer from the short-notice relocation.
UPDATE 2: The Rays say player stats will count as Rays home stats, but Mooney was wrong on the attendance; the gate stats will - in fact - count as an Orioles home game.  You can see the numbers reflected in the most recent MLB attendance standings, where the Orioles slumped to 19th.

Because many individuals/families only attend a few Rays games each year, there's a good chance a game this weekend could be the only trip many fans make to The Trop for several more months.  That could limit the Rays' official attendance numbers even more.

Even if the Trop sold out this weekend, the Orioles get to keep profits from the gate (although I'm not sure about concessions, parking, etc).

Of course, these are just minor footnotes to a series relocation necessitated by unexpected national events.  But hey, at least St. Petersburg will get three bonus games to capture some of that MLB economic impact!

UPDATE 3: Mooney also reports the Orioles will have to stay in Tampa because of the short notice; Stu Sternberg said the team is happy to spread the love!


  1. Brian Auld said that the goal is to cover the expenses (break even for the Rays). Then, all the profits goes to the Orioles. If the concessions are private, then it will not go to the Orioles.

    Regarding attendance, I don't agree that the numbers at the Trop. should go against the Rays assistance. Rays is a visiting team. Then, that means if a game between the Rays and the Orioles is played in Washington, Washington will get the attendance! That does not make sense.

    This is Orioles games in Tampa Bay. If the profits goes to Baltimore, then the attendance should also follow through.

  2. The Orioles get concessions and parking as well. MLB needs to frontally recognize that all 30 teams are in this together and do whatever makes sense to keep all 30 teams and the 'industry' of MLB whole.