His front-page story about the Rays' recent attendance surge, attributes the team's recent uptick to a number of factors, but primarily the free "honor pass" given to active and veteran servicemembers:
Other factors are also likely bumping up crowds at the Trop such as cabin fever following the 11-day deluge of Tampa Bay that eased up a little for last weekend’s series against the Mets.Vrooman told O'Donnell the Rays can still clear $17.50 per fan from concessions, parking, and other revenues, even if the ticket was given away for free.
Attendance also has risen since the end of the Lightning’s playoff run to the Stanley Cup, and the team typically sees bigger crowds during July and August when school is out, said Michael Lortz, a freelance market analyst and author of the Tampa Bay Baseball Market blog.
Filling more empty seats makes economic sense for the Rays even if that means giving away tickets, said John Vrooman, a Vanderbilt University sports economist.
More fans coming through the turnstiles results in only marginal cost increases for the Rays such as extra turnstile operators or security staff. But the extra fans will significantly boost sales of concessions and parking revenue as well as improving the atmosphere inside the stadium.
Right now, the team's attendance sits at 15,902 fans per game - an 11% drop from the same time last year. But it's an 11% increase from the end of the Stanley Cup Playoffs two months ago:
Good news - you were all wrong. #Rays not in contention, but avg crowd still up 11% to 15,902. https://t.co/zxmuAm78On— Shadow of Stadium (@StadiumShadow) August 10, 2015
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