Tuesday, May 12, 2015

No Good, Just Bad and Ugly on Rays Attendance Numbers

Last night, the Rays fell to the Yankees, 11-5...with the worst stat of the game the attendance number.  The Rays sold just 10,619 tickets to the game, the smallest number ever for a Yanks game in Tampa Bay.

It's bad.

The Rays are averaging just 16,295 fans per game, a drop of nearly 2,500 from approximately the same time last year, when they hadn't hosted nearly as many games yet against the likes of Boston and New York. That also doesn't even count the lackluster crowds at the relocated Baltimore games, which will count against the Orioles' home attendance numbers.

Part of the issue has to do with the deep Lightning playoff run and the region's lack of disposable income.
Part of the issue has to do with lack of interest in seeing Rays and the team's self-fulfilling prophecy.
Part of the issue has to do with the fact that so many people are watching the Rays on TV.
Part of the issue has to do with the team holding the line on ticket prices and declining to offer deep discounts.

No matter what the cause(s), it's going to continue to get ugly.  Between May 8 and July 14 last year, the Rays' average attendance fell another 1,900 fans per game.

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The silver linings: this Wednesday is the annual "Top Off the Trop" night, where fans are encouraged to pack the stadium - even if its just one night - to show the region truly does care.  I'll be there as a paying fan with some of my 10 News colleagues, doing our part to boost the average attendance numbers one at a time.

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