Earlier this week we saw that that Rays attendance is down nearly 30 percent compared to the same point last season. Here is a look at how that compares to the rest of Major League Baseball. [Business Insider]

 
 

14 Comments

  1. Beth says:

    Interesting comparative numbers. Do you have a hypothesis to explain them? For any stats geeks who have time on their hands — you could see if there are correlations to either baseball specific variables (e.g. team records), or regional variables (weather or unemployment rates).

  2. Eli says:

    Stat geek here. In the book “Scorecasting”, which I would highly recommend, the authors discuss a concept of “winning elasticity”, that is, how a team’s attendance responds to their on-field record. The Chicago Cubs and White Sox are used as examples–the Cubs draw nearly the same number of fans every year regardless of performance, where the White Sox only draw fans when the team does well. Unemployment rates usually do not have a huge correlation because the primary buyers of season tickets/single-game tickets are upper-midddle or upper-class folks who are unaffected by that rate. Then you have the Rays, whose numbers are affected in no way by record (if they were, we’d sell out every game), rather the regional geography and demographics. More Fortune 500 companies in Tampa = more white-collar people = more season ticket holders. The stadium being in St. Pete is a big factor.

  3. alan says:

    As far as the Rays are concerned. Every year in the recent past we have had series with either or both of the RED Sox and/or Yankees which always draws large crowds. That has no happend yet this year. After we have had a couple home series with them look at the attendance and see where we stand. We have had Whitesox, Angels, Orioles etc. that do not draw that well for us.

  4. Patrick says:

    Maybe the Rays need to consider that the cost of going to a game is unreasonable. I recently went to a game vs. the White Sox and had good, but not great seats. Two tickets: $80. Parking: $20. Two hot dogs and one refillable soda: $19.50. So thats $120 for one game. Not to mention that those same seats would have been $60 vs the Red Sox or Yankees. All that combined with the fact that it took 2 hours to drive from I4/98 in Lakeland to the stadium, and it makes you wonder why anyone would go to more than one game a year.

    • Beth says:

      Whenever there’s an attendance story, someone writes a comment about the high cost of attending a game. and then someone else (today, apparently, me) makes these points:
      1. Rays far less expensive (tickets, parking) than just about any other major league club. So if it’s the cost, why do people still attend in Philadelphia? Are they really that much wealthier than we are?
      2. $40 a ticket? Really? where did you sit? I’ve never paid more than $30, and you can find plenty of seats that cost even less.
      3. You can bring in your own food — not alcohol, but sandwiches, sealed drinks, snacks. How many other stadiums let you do that?
      5. You can park for $5 downtown and take a free shuttle to the stadium. You avoid congestion and end up doing a lot less walking than if you park at the stadium. Here’s a link to the shuttle website: http://www.loopertrolley.com/Events.html

      I generally can enjoy a game, good seats, great food (because I bring it myself), $5 parking, for about $75 for 2 people. $75 isn’t cheap, but I can’t imagine it’s possible to get this quality of entertainment for less than that.

      If you choose to overpay for food and parking that’s your privilege, but don’t blame the Rays for that — they’ve given you plenty of other options.

      • D-Rome says:

        You make good points. Quite frankly I think part of the reason attendance is down across most sports franchises is due to HD TV. Why would most people travel an hour to get to the Trop when they can stay home and watch the Rays, with outstanding play-by-play, on an HD TV?

        That said, I actually think the Trop is awesome and I like watching games there. It’s just in a terrible location.

    • pete says:

      I agree it is expensive to attend as many games as i would like. but that being said, the rays already have the best prices in the sport and maybe all of sport. carpool with 4 or more and park free , bring in water and snacks ect.

      the attendance problem in my opinion is the 6:40 start time and the 1-8 start , especially after the common fan already had a bad taste from the offseason free agency departures and the Manny Debacle.

      I hate to say it but the tampa bay area has a lot of fair weather fans and if the rays continue to do well , then the attendance will spike back up. it takes decades to build enough die hard fans.

    • Eli says:

      This is not to knock anyone of you, because I am a college student and understand constrained budgets. The point is this- think about who the Rays season-ticket holders are, in general. White collar folks, right? People who have dispensable income, where $40 for a ticket 80 nights a year is pocket change. The problem with the Rays is that there are not enough YOUNG, RICH PROFESSIONALS in St. Pete. There are rich people, but half of them are either in wheelchairs or apathetic about baseball. In more successful markets of similar size (i.e. Denver, San Diego), there amount of white-collar people within a reasonable proximity of the stadium is a lot higher. The higher that proportion is, the more people will buy season tickets. The more people who buy season tickets, the less teams have to worry about middle-class people attending games. So Patrick, it is not your fault that the Rays have poor attendance. Hardly anyone at a mid-tier income level can more than once or twice a year. But it’s the rich people who are the lifeblood of fan bases.

  5. Don says:

    Better bark up another tree, IF Americans Want Entertainment they will pay for it…Cost is not a prohibitive factor..or you would not sell any $9.00 beers,$6.00 hotdogs (watch the lines)…I guess I should add to those who WORK…THe rest…who cares….

  6. D-Rome says:

    The economy and gas prices have to play a part. People travel a long ways to get to that horribly located Trop and now they are paying significantly more in gas. For some people it costs more to actually get to a Rays game plus the parking than for entrance to the Trop.

    • Don says:

      Put 4 people in a car…….gas cost $1.50 each
      Park for Free 1st 100 cars or park off Rays property cost $5.00 again 1.50 each person…$9.00 to get in……. NOW what is your (financial) problem?

  7. SportsAnarchist says:

    At what point will the talking heads and powers that be start pointing fingers at the city of Tampa and the Tampa Tribune and take them to task for supporting an out of town team over the Rays. The simple fact is the largest city in your area not only doesn’t support the Rays, but goes to great lengths to undermine them, and have since the inception. Yet no-one will stand up and accuse and demand anything different. Is it simply easier to blame (money, economy, stadium, bad fans, etc…) than to ask when will Tampa BEGIN supporting the Rays?

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