Rays fans attendanceThe Rays finished dead-last in attendance last season at 1.45 million with just 17,857 tickets distributed per game, and the early signs are that the numbers are going to be worse this season.

In fact, if the first two weeks of the season are any indication, attendance is going to be much worse as the Rays are headed towards an attendance of 1.2-1.3 million, the lowest in MLB in nearly a decade.

As John Romano noted in a recent column, attendance through the first 12 home games of the season is down 16.6%. That’s in line with what we saw at Fan Fest in February where attendance this year was estimated to be down 20% from last year.

If attendance remains down 16.6% all season, the Rays will draw just 1.21 million fans or about 14,893 fans per game.

The last team to draw fewer than 1.3 million fans in a season was the 2006 Marlins with an attendance of 1.16 million. The last time the Rays did it was in 2005 with 1.15 million fans attending games that season.

But if we take a closer look, things may not be quite that bad.

Instead of just looking at just the first 12 games, lets project what the attendance would look like through 12 games based on the days of the games and the opponents. That is, how did the attendance in the first two weeks compare to the average attendance on those days of the week last year and how does the attendance compare to the average attendance in games versus those same opponents last year.

Opening Day’s “projected” attendance was left unchanged since attendance in game 1 is not influenced by the day or the opponent. It was also excluded from the calculated averages for 2014.

What we see is that attendance is still down quite a bit, but not quite as bad as the 16.6% cited above.


The projected attendance based on the days played and the opponents faced so far are fairly close. The actual attendance is well short of both, down 9.3% based on the days of the week and down 11.5% based on the opponents faced.

So let’s split the difference and say attendance is down about 10%. That would put the 2015 attendance on pace to land right at 1.3 million and just a tad over 16,000 per game.

Either way, attendance is getting worse and it is just going to lead to even more chatter among the national media about moving the team to Montreal.



  1. Geoff Peterson says:

    GIveaways and opponents drive some of the numbers but once summer starts you also get several of the day games that get 25k+ because the youth camps and senior centers start sending larger groups. Once school is out you also get a better gauge of what weeknight games will draw regardless of opponent

  2. Skateman says:

    Holy crap, team's moving to Montreal I guess. That makes a lot of sense. Based on a couple of successful exhibition games and the fact that they don't even have a stadium or even any prospect of a stadium. This is just retarded. What's happening (the Montreal red herring) is simply S.O.P. to pressure a municipality into getting a new stadium. It's a negotiating tactic not a plan. I gotta say, the negativity on this site is getting to the point where I really don't want to come back. I get it. This is apparently a rebuilding year because the Rays supposedly traded away their best players. The Rays are moving to Montreal. Probably this year. And Chris Archer pitched on short rest, which was a stupid, horrible move by Cash, and probably proves he's a second rate manager compared to Maddon. Whatever.

  3. dave says:

    NO team is moving to Montreal. Ain't gonna happen. They don't even have a stadium, and they actually drew crowds below 5000 for games, something the Rays have not even come close to doing. The Rays attendance may suck, but they are not moving anywhere

  4. doug says:

    May is always a critical month in projecting success of the team...If the team stays relevant and remains on an upper 80s to 90 win pace I think attendance will rebound a bit. But if a replay of last May occurs then it will be terrible

    This is a fun team to watch, so far, and my spontaneous impulse to buy a ticket has been tweaked this month...

  5. Miguel Grande says:

    Recently, we saw the 1st place Rays facing the 1st place NY Yankees at an empty Yankee Stadium.

    I guess small market teams like the Yankees and Rays will have to move to Montreal unless of course the local politicians can be bought off to create giant edifices at the expenses of aging tax payers.

    My son is 22 and he couldn't name a single major league player's name. MLB has failed miserably.

    • Skateman says:

      My son's 11 and he knows every single player on the Rays, as well as those that have been traded in the last couple years. The reason baseball stadiums are empty is because there are 81 home games yet it still costs $200 to take a family of four to the game, buy some sodas, beer and food, etc. It's supply and demand. If tickets and food were cheaper we'd go more, plain and simple.

  6. edward williams says:

    I would like to also say that the turnover on mlb teams doesn 't make it any easier, for me as an adult I will follow the rays , whoever is on the team, but for a kid, maybe 11 - 16 or younger to see their favorite player traded can't be easy. Look at the rays , every year there are a lot of different players, sure longo is still here and he signed a long term deal, but that doesn't mean they won't trade him, and I do understand the finances but try telling that to a kid. I also don't think the rays do a real good job on marketing, maybe it's just me. I am going to say that so far this year looks promising, not world series promising but at least more fun to watch, the last couple of years where kind of hard to watch, anyway GO RAYS.

  7. doc says:

    If you're a family of 4 looking to save money, hard to complain about a Rays game. Go on Mon-Fri, non yanks/sox, and tix in OF are $15. Go on Sun and you can park for free. Before you park, stop by Subway and bring the food in with you, and a couple of sealed bottles of water. OF Res. tickets are $25 on Sun.

  8. mep645 says:

    Every year the gloom and doomers start coming out from under a rock. They pull out the same tired stats. When that stats are based on the percentage of seats filled rather than the number of seats filled, the Rays are 26th not 30th. Lower percentage teams include Miami, MN and San Diego that fell for the developers manta of "if you don't spend 800 million on a new stadium, the team will leave town". MN Twins have had a 25% reduction attendance and they are on their third stadium.

    The better idea to ponder is: how did SF Giants go from almost coming to TB in 1998 to 99% attendance now? I was just there at a game 2 weeks ago. The stadium is in an abandon warehouse/industrial section of the waterfront. Not a fancy location. The city of SF has banners all over the city, at every major intersection etc. The team is PROMOTED by the city and county. There are orange and black shirts on everyone. Teamwear is heavily promoted.

    • edward williams says:

      I was wondering how they determine the number of fans, this year I have been paying more attention to the attendance, of course it seems at least once a week there is a mention about how bad the attendance is or an article in the paper about it. I have seen attendance for other teams below 10,000. So I find it hard to believe that the rays are the worst, in the bottom 10 , yes maybe even bottom 5, but you never hear or see anything about the other teams. The yankee games where supposedly in the 30,000 , but when you watched it on tv it looked liked a home game for the rays. (I mean in attendance lol) As for promotions, I don't see to much of it here, when you go into the malls you can find more yankee , red sox and brave stuff, now it is a whole lot better than it use to be. I remember going into a sporting good store when the rays first started and asked for rays stuff, the guy told me to go to another store, yes all they had was yankee stuff, and yes for a family of 4 to go to a rays game it might be cheap, but that depends on the family. Soooo GO RAYS !!!!!!!!


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