Friday, September 29, 2017

2017 Rays Attendance Post-Mortem

With the 2017 season now in the books, my annual Tropicana Field attendance debrief may as well be regurgitated from last year...

Once again, the Rays finish in the MLB cellar, drawing an average of 15,637 fans per game - a drop of 1.5% from last year, but a little better than the 2015 mark of 15,403. That makes six straight years the team finished 30th out of 30 teams.

For once, the Rays had an exciting offense on top of their typical pitching standouts, but even without NHL playoffs to compete with, just couldn't draw.

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.

Rays owner Stu Sternberg told Marc Topkin, "given the performance of the team, I would have anticipated (attendance) to be better. Where we were and how we were playing, it could have only been better. We've heard it before, and I've talked to the players, it clearly affects the performance on the field."

That's kind of a stretch. In fact, I love this response from blogger @TBBaseballMkt:
But have no fear! The end of the baseball season simply means the start of the baseball stadium speculation season!  Topkin asked Sternberg about that too:
With the season ending, how soon could there be an announcement of a stadium site selection, given the reported Ybor City option?
We're ready. Whenever Hillsborough or Tampa make their pitch, we're ready. We've worked with them a bunch, and we're waiting to hear the pitch. There's nothing more for me to do at this point.
Maybe we'll finally get to hear all the taxpayer subsidies our elected leaders have been offering up behind closed doors the last few years.

Here are a few more more question/answers for your enjoyment:
What is the status of a new TV contract?
If it'll even be a contract - we might end up starting a network at some point. When the time comes and we can negotiate a TV contract there will be a lot of parties to talk to. .. Unfortunately it's not the environment for that given what's gone on with cord-cutting and the value of cable, so I don't expect it or anticipate it to be nirvana. Ideally when and if something gets done it could move the needle. By the same token it might end up being less than where we are now. It's way down the road (and he won't say when).

How much did the hurricane rescheduling and fallout impact the team financially as you had to move three Yankees game to New York and then had lesser than expected crows for the Red Sox and Cubs games?
Those eight games, while they were 10 percent of our schedule, probably made up 20-25 percent of our revenue.
Did you get revenue from the three games moved to Citi Field?
We'll get revenue but the games are very expensive to put on, and they were attended, but not like 40,000, 50,000 people showing up, it was a $25 set price. And we had to house and transport people for four extra days on the road in New York. And a lot of other expense like overtime (for staff at the Trop) and buttoning the place up and some damage to the stadium. All in all, it was a minus-minus-minus. However, having said that, we're incredibly fortunate for what could have been.

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  1. Total Tropicana Field attendances in 2017 is 1 204 109 compared to 1 286 163 in 2016.

    That's a -6.4% drop.

    That drop includes 1 double-header and 3 games played in NY. So total number of games played at Tropicana Field is 78 minus 1 (the second game of the double header). So final number of games is 76.

    1. Correction, total number of games is 77.

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