Rays hit new low in attendance for home game
The Tampa Bay Rays may be among the best teams in the American League, but their attendance figures continue to be a sore spot.
The Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin reported that the team’s attendance of 5,786 fans for Tuesday’s 3-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays was the lowest ever for a Rays game at Tropicana Field.
The 5,786 is the smallest crowd ever for a #Rays game at the Trop. Previous low was 6,509 on Sept. 5, 2017 when a hurricane was in the forecast
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) May 29, 2019
Here’s what a crowd of just under six thousand fans looks like:
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) May 28, 2019
Unfortunately, this has been a theme at many of their games. There was a sparse crowd for one of their games two weeks ago at Miami.
The local TV ratings for the Rays are said to be fairly high, but one big reason for the lack of attendance is the logistics. Tropicana Field is located in St. Petersburg across the bay. In contrast, Amalie Arena, where the Lightning play, is in Tampa. The Trop is 20-plus miles away and at least a half-hour away from Amalie Arena. The Lightning, amid a historic season, sold out their games and averaged over 19,000 fans per game. That’s around 30 percent more than the 14,578 fans the Rays are averaging per home game. They also have been in the top 10 in NHL attendance the past seven seasons. Stadium location matters, and The Trop is not well located for many fans in that area.