Truth & Rumors > MLB

What's missing in Tampa? Fans

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08:13 AM ET 03.29 | The Rays make confounding baseball rivals easy, what with all those wins and at such reasonable prices. The payroll is going up this year, as it did in 2010, in ownership's latest effort to stimulate attendance and revenue at Tropicana Field. ... Despite numbers that insist that the Rays have a bigger fan base than the NFL's Buccaneers, and despite all the winning they've done the past four years, the Rays have never ranked higher than ninth in the 14-team American League in attendance. And while season ticket sales are running ahead of last year, they're behind where they were a couple of years back. The Rays aren't making progress -- except on the field.

CBS Sports

Joe Maddon, Getty Images Joe Maddon, Getty Images
March 29, 2012  08:22 AM ET

A - the stadium sucks.
B - the stadium location sucks (I've been there - what a pain to get to and from).
C - the stadium sucks

Comment #2 has been removed
Comment #3 has been removed
March 29, 2012  09:19 AM ET

Tampa Bay is a market that is destined to fail anyway. They will not be necessarily rewarded even while having a winning franchise. It's Flordia. Too many transplants from other areas living there and more importantly too many better things to do

March 29, 2012  09:22 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Tampa Bay is a market that is destined to fail anyway. They will not be necessarily rewarded even while having a winning franchise. It's Flordia. Too many transplants from other areas living there and more importantly too many better things to do

+1

March 29, 2012  09:27 AM ET

I live in Tampa and do attend the occasional Rays game. In previous years, they have run TV commercials preparing fans for the upcoming season. This year, nothing.

March 29, 2012  09:36 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

I live in Tampa and do attend the occasional Rays game. In previous years, they have run TV commercials preparing fans for the upcoming season. This year, nothing.

Perhaps the Rays new slogn of "Who needs you?" will pack them in

March 29, 2012  09:37 AM ET

I'm in the military stationed in Tampa. I'm from Maryland, so sadly I'm an Orioles fan. I get to every game they play down here, and I can get 2 tix looking practically in the O's dugout for like $75. Stadium is empty, except when the Yanks or Red Sox are in town. I will agree that the stadium isn't all that great, but in rainy season you don't get rainouts, and you're not sweating your butt off in the FL heat. Personally I think that takes away alot of the enjoyment of going to a game but that's just me. The fans here only care when they are in the playoffs or a good team is in town, flat out.

March 29, 2012  09:51 AM ET

.....san antone or mexico city.....thats the ticket.....do it...

March 29, 2012  10:04 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Tampa Bay is a market that is destined to fail anyway. They will not be necessarily rewarded even while having a winning franchise. It's Flordia. Too many transplants from other areas living there and more importantly too many better things to do

You got it. There is no base, no core no history. Even a new stadium will draw for a bit and then the new wears off.
The cubs could play their games on a sandlot and you have to walk over a bed of nails to get to the game and 35,000 would show up.
Baseball in Florida is like building an Ice Castle in the desert.

March 29, 2012  10:10 AM ET

The team isn't in Tampa, it's in St. Petersburg. If it were on the other side of the bay, more people would come -- not only from the local area, but from the interior of the state as well.

Like Otis said, the location is horrible. And there's almost no parking. Plus, Florida is the wrong place to have astroturf.

March 29, 2012  10:47 AM ET

San Antonio is now the 7th largest city in the U.S. HUGE baseball town in so many ways. Even the Dodger's AA team had the best record in baseball with excellent attendance. I suspect, however, it would face at least one of the problems the Rays face -- the weather is simply brutal. The Astros got ONE thing right -- you need a close-able stadium to make it work.

March 29, 2012  10:51 AM ET

Tampa fans just don't give a rat's **** about their team. I live 3 and a half hours away from Fenway Park and make the trip a couple of times a year. I know many season ticket holders who live near me. So to say that getting to the ballpark is tough, is just an excuse.

March 29, 2012  11:19 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

A - the stadium sucks. B - the stadium location sucks (I've been there - what a pain to get to and from). C - the stadium sucks

Yeah, but what about the stadium?

March 29, 2012  11:21 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

A - the stadium sucks. B - the stadium location sucks (I've been there - what a pain to get to and from). C - the stadium sucks

Yeah, but what about the stadium?

March 29, 2012  12:28 PM ET

"Despite numbers that insist that the Rays have a bigger fan base than the NFL's Buccaneers, and despite all the winning they've done the past four years, the Rays have never ranked higher than ninth in the 14-team American League in attendance."

Which begs the question.... If a team wins their division and nobody shows up for the playoff games, did it really happen?

March 29, 2012  12:58 PM ET
QUOTE(#13):

Tampa fans just don't give a rat's **** about their team. I live 3 and a half hours away from Fenway Park and make the trip a couple of times a year. I know many season ticket holders who live near me. So to say that getting to the ballpark is tough, is just an excuse.

Fenway seats are also some of the most uncomfortable in MLB. And yet they hold (and are extending) the record for sell-outs. In the years I worked in Boston, I could never get into a game w/o paying StubHub prices. Only as a kid (in a nearby prep school) could I get into a game at Fenway.

No excuse for Tampa Bay. Except for a few diehards, there fan base just doesn't care. That's just fine for members of Red Sox Nation who are happy to fill the seats (and drown out the local fans with Let's go Red Sox!) when their team goes south.

March 29, 2012  12:59 PM ET

there = their

March 29, 2012  12:59 PM ET

But... they do offer more cowbell!

 
March 29, 2012  01:04 PM ET

the rays aren't making progress except in the field?? well lets said they can win in the field but the fans beat them by not going to their stadium, why? well the rays would need to lift every single fan and transported them through the air way!!!

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