From time to time we are going to take a look at the 2009 attendance and see how the 2009 season stacks up against last year and whether the Rays can reach their goal of being average (in attendance).

Notes on the attendance follow the graph…

Notes on the 2009 attendance…

  • The Rays drew 1.8 million fans in 2008. That was the most since their inaugural season of 1998 when they drew 2.5 million.
  • The Rays goal for 2009 is league average which was 2.6 million in 2008 (the median was about 2.5 million). The Rays would need to average about 31,000 per game to reach 2.5 million in attendance.
  • Last year the Rays averaged 22,259 over 81 games. After 21 home games, the Rays were averaging 18,344.
  • This year the Rays are averaging 23,895, 21st in baseball, and are on pace for 1.9 million, barely more than what they drew last season.
  • The attendance has fallen off the pace of league average, no thanks to a recent homestand that featured four games under 15,000 including a Devil Raysian 11,420 against the A’s.


  1. Jason says:

    I think to be fair, you need to state where they ranked in league average last year to what they are this year. I think 21st is a significant step up but I don't remember where they were at the end of the year last year. Thought it was something like 28th. I am not saying they are where they should be, just wanting to compare apples to apples and not just against league numbers from last year. Almost everyone in MLB is down in attendence and if the Rays are up, not sure anyone can have too much beef with it with all things considered. 1.9 million this year may be a decent move up in the rankings regarding people in the seats compared with other markets.

    • true. Rays are up while a lot of teams are down, so that is good.

      but relative numbers dont pay the bills and these are the defending AL Champs and they are still only 21st in league attendance, well below league average, which is the team's stated goal. and that goal was made in the spring when they already knew the economy was bad.

      Also consider that last year the Rays drew 1.8 million, but a lot of that came late in the year when they were in the playoff hunt and selling out every night. what happens this year if the Rays are barely holding on in August and out of it in September? this team might not even draw 1.8 million. what then?

      if this team fails to break 2 million, the talk of relocating will become much more animated this winter.

    • Rome says:

      Great point, and I agree. As long as the Rays can stay competitive this year the attendence will rise. The Tampa Bay area loves a winner, mainly because they are transplants who will only betray their home town teams when their team in inferior compared the Tampa Bay teams.

      There is no reason to relocate. I think w/ the Rays winning the ALCS and people coming to the ball park will feed the argument, "we didn't support the team because they were not winning." This argument hold true for every team but the Marlins.

  2. theraysparty says:

    There hasn't been any concert games yet, and those should draw bigger crowds even if teams like the Nats and Marlins are playing. Those won't make a huge difference now but if they hover around that 2 million mark, those are the games that make or break the final attendance numbers.

    • Dirtbag Fan says:

      Yeah, I'm surprised that last year's MC Hammer concert didn't shatter attendance records. ...

    • Joe D. says:

      The concert series games are huge, I'm going this weekend as much to the Rays game as I am to see 3 Doors Down. I'm very excited to see the Price Vs. Liriano match up also.

      I live in Orlando, usually it's a day trip and back, but with the concert and everything, my girlfriend and I are spending the night. That's an aspect that St. Pete and Pinellas County need to consider, the weekender's that drive from Orlando, Jacksonville, ect. spend the weekend, stay at a hotel, shop, eat 2,3,4 meals out a local restaurants. before it's all said and done, game tickets, hotel, tank of gas, 3 meals out, shoping, ect. we'll have probably dropped $400-$500, on a weekend in St Pete area.

      The city needs to city and county need to consider that when they vote down a stadium. A new stadium can attract quite a few visitors solely on it's own, especially in the baseball world, couple that with a team like the Rays the seems to have an ownership, and management group that know what they are doing, and can put a winning product on the field, the city and county might be missing out on quite a bit of marketing, and revenue opportunities.

  3. Scot says:

    From an article on the Baseball Prospectus website:

    Maddon also understands regression to the mean, and he realizes that his entire hitting attack is due, and that it will likely begin happening soon. "A lot of the numbers we have been putting up as an offense, I don't even understand them because they have been astonishing," Maddon said. "I don't see how it can continue. It's why we have to pitch and catch the ball better eventually, which I believe we're very capable of doing."


  4. Rays Fan says:

    As far as I know, goal is not league average, even though thats what Stu said. Goal is more along the line of 2 mil.


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