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MLB Commissioner Bud Selig Calls Out Rays Fans

On Tuesday, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said with a competitive team like the Rays, there is no excuse for the poor attendance at the Trop.

Prior to Tuesday night's All-Star game in Kansas City, Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig called out Rays' fans for the low attendance at Tropicana Field. 

According to MLB.com, Selig said with a competitive team like the Rays it is "inexcusable" for attendance to be so low at the Trop. 

"To study the attendance figures every day and see that they're 29th in attendance, it's inexcusable," Selig said. "Nobody can defend that. This is a very competitive baseball team. The average Major League attendance is between 31,000 and 32,000. And if my memory is serving me well, Tampa Bay's attendance is around 19-something. It's disappointing."

The Tampa Bay Rays rank 29 out of 30 in attendance per game at 20,582. The capacity average, 60.4 percent, ranks the Rays 21st in the MLB. The Rays averaged 18,878 a game in 2011, 22,758 in 2010 and 23,147 in 2009. 

According to the Tampa Bay Times, attendance at the Trop is up 7 percent this year from at the same point in 2011. 

"At their current pace, they would draw 1,667,142. Over their four previous seasons, they averaged 1,770,284."

Top 5 in Attendance

  1. Philadelphia Phillies - 44,746
  2. Texas Rangers - 43,607
  3. New York Yankees - 42,234
  4. St. Louis Cardinals - 41,854
  5. San Francisco Giants - 41,636

Bottom 5 in Attendance

   26. Houston Astros - 22,049

   27. Seattle Mariners - 21,939

   28. Oakland A's - 21,011

   29. Tampa Bay Rays - 20,582

   30. Cleveland Indians - 19,256

Sierra Dante July 11, 2012 at 11:40 AM
Tough economic times in Florida, even the Tampa Buccaneers had a tv blackout because the low fan attendance in 2011 season. I wish for better economic times, which presidential candidate will get this economy going again?
michellekalanja July 11, 2012 at 12:00 PM
At the last game I attended, I purchased 2 hot dogs, 1 coke, 1 fry and 1 water-- cost: $32.00 and that did not include the tickets. How can anyone afford to attend these games.
Julie Baker July 11, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Being from Michigan and going to many, many Tiger games, I really don't like the atmosphere....They really need a new ballpark. We go to games when they have a good concert, family day or the Tigers are in town. Too bad we don't go just to enjoy a day at ' the park'.
Red July 11, 2012 at 04:17 PM
As a teen,living in Conn. I could buy a train ticket, get to Yankee Stadium, purchase a ticket, have a pair of dogs & wash them down with a few of cokes. Satisfied after a good game, not resentful --the cost of seeing a good game has left this retired-handicapped fan staring at the empty seats on TV. I'll just have to cook my own hot dogs and my drinks are colder anyway. Does seem that a drink& dog, sold at cost and cheep seats (how much do they make on an empty seat?)off loaded to FILL the building would do a number of things: a)sell a LOT of dogs& soda, b)fill those seats with regular fans, c) create an opportunity to partner with our city and local businesses. It's well known that TV royalties is where the money is why squeeze the fans? Imagine a FULL house. .. ... every game?
Phillip July 11, 2012 at 04:43 PM
The City of Saint Petersburg should be Ashamed... The charge for parking is as high as $30 Near The Stadium, $20 further out and if some are willing to walk a half mile as low as $5. In addition, it could take up to 20 minutes from the back-up on the highway just to enter the parking lots in the area. . Simple solutions have been found... but unless the city pays some fancy firm $25,000 to $50,000 for ADVICE... They won't take ideas from the public.
Jack Sprat July 11, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Let's consider the real facts from http://www.forbes.com/mlb-valuations/list/ : 1. The "value" of the team is down 2% to $323 million. Many of us wish our homes were only down 2%. 2. Operating income last year was $26.2 million, 5th in the MLB. 3. Revenue last year was $161 million, 28th in the MLB. (in other words, they make more money than 25 of the other teams even though they have loweer revenue/attendance than 27 of the other teams) How can this be? Oh, because they have what is commonly called "corporate welfare," in that taxpayers paid for the Trop and we actually PAY the Rays to play in the Trop. And they will be using this recent attendance record to justify why taxpayers should build a new stadium for them (or why they should move to another city). Every time our govt gives taxpayers' money to anyone for anything, whether it be a stadium or a subsidy for electric cars or even food stamps, what do we get? Thanks? No, we get whining for MORE handouts! Some things never change.
Kurt Smith July 12, 2012 at 01:46 AM
I don't mean to be nasty to rays fans, but does Selig maybe have a point? The Rays are playing competitively in the toughest division in baseball, their ticket prices are among the cheapest in MLB, and it's a place to go that's air-conditioned in the summer. Maybe it's not the best venue for baseball, but the Rays have a lot of cool things going for them, and I'd like to see the Trop get filled every night.
S. Ripley July 12, 2012 at 02:47 AM
Everybody seems to have an opinion about what it takes for a team to be successful. People will argue about venue, pricing, and performance. Unfortunately, the true critical factors are often overlooked since they are difficult to understand and next to impossible to affect in the short term. Success is determined by a special recipe that includes the local culture, climate, and time. First, is that our local culture is heterogeneous: most folks are from somewhere else and have little loyalty. Second is the climate. Baseball is an outdoor sport- and to play it in such a humid climate forces us to go indoors, which deletes a critical component of the game’s appeal. This is the factor that drives the misguided notion of having an open air ball park… it is just too hot and humid in South Florida… which is why so many successful teams are located in more suitable climates (regardless of team performance or venue). The last factor, and most critical, it time. Baseball is less of a sport than a tradition, and loyalties to tradition can take very long time- most clubs that do well (despite performance) are those that have been playing in the same town for decades (in many cases, generations). A fifteen year window in baseball is nothing- it is like deciding after two days that you need to hire a new lawn service. The reality is this: St. Pete is a less-than-optimal town for Baseball, and no short term changes (like reduced pricing or a new ball park) are going to change it.
M Adams July 12, 2012 at 02:50 AM
Cheaper than going to a movie and ordering the same thing.
M Adams July 12, 2012 at 03:00 AM
1. Summer time heat in Florida. 2. No rain delays due to the daily rain storms.
Diane July 12, 2012 at 12:25 PM
Many people, including Selig, fail to understand that our Tampa Bay area has a much smaller population than other teams with higher attendance. Plus, we have been disproportionately affected by the recession, and we haven't recovered much yet. Do the numbers yourself, or read this quote below from the TBT. Other factors like the the stadium, weather, tradition, etc., are also important, but you can't argue with population numbers. "When attendance is weighed against population, Tampa Bay ranks eighth in attendance per capita, said Philip Porter, a University of South Florida economist." So don't let those millionaires bully you into thinking we're not supporting our team. Go Rays.
Diane July 12, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Amen.
S. Ripley July 12, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Diane makes a great point which I overlooked. We simply don’t have enough people to easily support a ball club. A new stadium, better performance, or lower prices would have very little overall effect. As a resident I LOVE that we have a local ball club. But if I were an investor, I’d fund a team in a better climate with a much higher population density. And if I couldn’t find that, I’d simply choose another investment vehicle altogether.
Jack Sprat July 12, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Why choose ia different investment? Sternberg has invested $200 million, the franchise is now worth $323 million. The yearly return has always been one of the top 5, about $26 million last year. All because there is NO stadium cost or debt. The city pays the Rays to "manage" the stadium - we taxpayers actually pay the Rays to play in our stadium, which has cost us close to $300 million over the years. And now they want us to build another stadium! That's another billion dollars plus $2 billion for a train to Clearwater. By the time it's over, we may not have any taxpayers left around here. I'm leaving as soon as we can sell the house for what we owe on it. (hahahahahahaha) Forbes (2011): "Stu Sternberg…has turned the Tampa Bay Rays into a perennial playoff team by getting a big bang for the buck from his player payroll. The former Goldman Sachs partner bought the Rays for $200 million in May, 2004 and the team is now worth $331 million, a 66% gain. The stock market is up only 10% since he bought the team." Forbes magazine valued the club at $323M in March, 2012. (down 2%)

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