The team drew an average of 15,879 fans per game this year - an increase of 476 per game (3%) from last year.
The Rays' bad start, combined with a lousy year from its premier pitcher, Chris Archer, doomed attendance numbers from the start. Excitement for another Lightning playoff run and a young, rebuilt Buccaneers team didn't help either.
So that makes five straight years in MLB's cellar, with a whopping 3,000 fans per game separating the Rays from the 29th-place A's this year. This blog has long covered the issues affecting Rays' attendance, from the front office's self-fulfilling prophecy, the team's failure to be "cool," and of course, location location location.
Overall, we see the league's average attendance drop again this year, down several hundred fans per game, to an average of just over 30,000 with a week left in the regular season. For every attendance surge in Toronto (+8,000/gm), Chicago (Cubs +4,000/gm), and Texas (+3,000/gm)...there's a major drop in Cincinnati (-7,000/gm), Minnesota (-3,000/gm), and Milwaukee (-3,000/gm).
But don't cry for MLB, Argentina...with TV ratings strong and the league now worth close to $10 billion on the backs of unprecedented digital growth, owners have seen their individual equities each grow by hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years.
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