A lot of casual fans make up their minds on a team before the season even begins. And considering the Rays slashed payroll by 41.7 percent this season, it is no surprise that attendance is down dramatically in 2011.
But now we get a better sense of just how many fans have jumped off the Radio Flyer bandwagon. Television ratings are down 37 percent from last year. That is the biggest drop in baseball (click on “Read More…” below to see chart).
Last year, the Rays finished fifth in local TV ratings with a 5.9 local rating. This gave hope that fans were interested in the Rays even if they weren’t making it to the games (the Rays finished 22nd in attendance).
But this year, those numbers are both down, with the Rays falling to 29th in attendance, ahead of only the Marlins.
Here is a yaer-by-year look at the TV ratings and the attendance. And the trend paints an ugly picture…