Re: Let's Sweep the Rays and their Fair Weather Fans
posted at 10/7/2013 8:03 PM EDT
In response to moonslav59's comment:
I still think the biggest reason the Rays can't draw a large fanbase is the cross-loyalties of the population, most of whcih are transplants from other areas with MLB teams- like New York and Boston.
In response to maxbialystock's comment:
It ain't that easy building a great fan base, especially for MLB and even more for MLB in Florida, where it's played indoors. Washington DC is now on it's third franchise. The first one went to Minnesota where it is still doing well, and the second one is in Arlington, TX and definitely flourishing. Now, however, the Nationals are averaging over 30K per game for the season and not just this season. Down in Tampa, they average under 20K for lots of good reasons--smaller population, horrible ball park, other nice things to do in the Florida weather, other sports, etc. .
I continue to be amazed at the loyalty of Boston Red Sox fans, not that they aren't supporting a quality team, because they are. But MLB teams play 81 home games, for crying out loud, whereas an NFL team plays 8. During the 9 year sold out streak, the Sox averaged 36K or 37K for every single game. In fact, I think the smaller ballpark helped because it meant even the lousy visiting teams could sell out. But, if you can average 37,037 per game at Fenway, that's 3 million tickets for the season at premium prices, plus concession profits and parking profits. Plus, of course, the TV and radio markets and now the internet market (which I am part of). But it takes time and the right place.
All that aside, the Rays are a tough team to beat and have proven it for several seasons in a row. They also have a good manager. This year they have been more of a worthy adversary than the Yankees, and they very definitely earned their way into the ALDS. I want to sweep them, but see no need to sneer at them.
Even in a huge metropolitan area like Houston, where I live now, a majority of the people living here moved here as adults or young adults and already had favorite teams. It's hard to get a person to change colors.
The park is not great, but I saw a couple games there a few years back, and it's still baseball. I enjoyed myself.
Yes, there are a lot of things to do around Tamp besides watch baseball, but most townies don't go to the big parks everyday. The indoor game is played in A/C. They come to the games when the Yanks or Sox come to town, so that shows that the Yanks and Sox fans come to watch their team not the Rays.
There's enough baseball fans in the Tampa area- just not enough Rays fans.
Until that stadium is moved to Tampa, this will continue to be a problem. It seems to bother everyone else but the fans who go to the games. Makes me wonder why so many need to talk about it. Guess they have nothing else to contribute to the threads about baseball.