From time to time we are going to take a look at the 2010 attendance and see how this 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 2010 attendance…

  • In 2009, the Rays averaged 23,148 per game and drew 1.87 million fans. That was the most since their inaugural season of 1998 when they drew 2.5 million.
  • While the Rays have not stated any attendance goals this season, last year it was league average. So far in 2010, MLB is averaging 30,230 fans per game. That is down 0.3% from last year’s average of 30,324.
  • After 69 home games last year, the Rays were averaging 24,115. So far this year the Rays are averaging 22,679, 23rd in baseball, and are on pace for 1.84 million. That is down 6.0% from the same point last last year.


  1. Amanda says:

    Would you think it’s odd if I said that graph doesn’t make the 2010 attendence look half bad when you compare it to the 2009 attendance rather than the projection? Considering how bad the economy is there, plus the fact there’s still another series with the Yankees, it may still improve.

    Also, do (potential — please don’t let me jinx them) playoff games count in a season’s attendance?

  2. Beth says:

    What’s hard to explain is the decline in attendance relative to 2009 after the midpoint of the season. The economy was just as bad last year, and this year’s team is more competitive. So what gives?

    • Cork Gaines says:

      Before the 2009 season, the Rays really pushed hard to sell season tickets. It didn’t work. This year they did very little advertising for any ticket sales, either before or during the season.

      There is different theories why that happened. Did they just cut the budget bc they were trying to save money? At the other end, conspiracy theorists speculate that the Rays sabotaged attendance this season by not advertising. Why? Because poor attendance helps their argument that they need to move to Tampa.

      • Beth says:

        And I suppose this is where the argument about the complicated pricing system comes in (you’d posted a link to an article where the author claimed he’d stopped coming because he couldn’t make sense of the pricing levels). Do you agree that their pricing system this year may discourage some single ticket buyers?

        • Cork Gaines says:

          Considering that the Rays have such a large number of fans that buy tickets the day of the game, I think the tiered system is unnecessarily confusing.

          If you are just a walk-up fan, you would like to know ahead of time how much you are going to spend. If you pay $25 a ticket one week and then a week later, you are probably thinking it will cost $25 per ticket again. Instead, you show up and have to pay $50 for the same seat I can see why that would turn off a lot of fans.

          I understand why they have tiers, but they don’t need 5 tiers. Three should be sufficient. And the difference between the tiers is too great.

          • Beth says:

            True. I like tiers (gives those of us happy to see a game against KC on a Thursday the chance to afford better seats), but perhaps the tiers should be “prime” (Red Sox and Yankees), “weekend” and “weekday.” Simple and would provide discounts for the games that have trouble drawing.

    • Andy says:

      Lots of people bought partial season tix for 2009 in late 2008 as a way to guarantee playoff tix, and they had a very poor retention rate. Combine this with the fact that attendance usually only goes up AFTER a successful season, and it accounts for the drop.

  3. Gatorbuc15 says:

    Man the way that graph looks, you’d think the Rays were worse this year!

    Note: It’s never good when Sports Center anchors call out a team’s fan base every night, for not showing up to any games.

  4. Gus says:

    If they average 25.5k the rest of the way (12 games), they beat 2009. With the Yankees falling on one of the dreaded weeknight series (and the other weeknights being the last series of the year) and two weekend series, they can definitely get to 25.5 per game. I thought they would beat it easily until this past week was so poor it is going to make them stretch to get there.

  5. Thad says:

    An outsider’s opinion (and also mine from the beginning):

    James (NY, NY)

    Alot of stuff on SC this morning about the Rays attendance problems especially last night. If they happened to move where could it possibly be? Brooklyn Rays, Manhattan Rays?…it would make for an even greater rivalry

    Rob Neyer (12:42 PM)

    There’s nothing wrong with that market. There are plenty of people down there and the Rays’ TV ratings are solid. It’s just a ballpark problem, and eventually that problem will be fixed.

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