Selig “concerned” by Rays attendance

MLB commissioner Bud Selig talking about the “viability” of Tampa Bay as a baseball market on ESPN Radio yesterday (via Noah Pransky):

“The average Major-League club in this year drew 2,436,000 people. And so, for those clubs that are winning whose average is consistently below that, you always have to wonder why and there has to be concern.”

So presumably Selig will be talking next about how the San Diego Padres and Cincinnati Reds need new stadiums?

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12 comments on “Selig “concerned” by Rays attendance

  1. Usually with ya, Neil. But I think you can tie Tampa’s attendance issues pretty clearly to the stadium, unlike San Diego and Cinci which (as you’re implying) have lovely new parks.

    It’s been talked about all over, but Tampa’s dome is a particularly awful place to watch baseball in. Worse, it’s basically inaccessible from major population centers at game time–getting across the SkyWay during rush hour isn’t worth it for even the best teams.

    That said, we should probably give the Rays a chance to build a following and allow Tampa’s nation-beating unemployment rate to improve before we call it.

  2. I have no issue with the Rays needing a new stadium. The location is definitely a negative in “Tampa Bay” since as we all know it’s not actually in Tampa (not to mention the Padres stadium location is often cited by SD locals and the media for why they won’t go to games (too hard to get into downtown)). However one thing I’ve never understood is the “stadium design” argument against Tampa. Why would anyone want to see outdoor baseball in Florida during the summer? It’s overbearingly hot and humid making it miserable outside, to say nothing of the typical thunderstorms that come in… I mean isn’t Florida/Miami moving INSIDE for those express reasons? Why would Tampa want to make the opposite move?

  3. I agree. If the City of Tampa agrees to help the Rays get a stadium built in Tampa, FL I don’t see the problem either. St. Petersburg is a terrible location for the Rays and the Lightning.

  4. I agree. If the City of Tampa agrees to help the Rays get a stadium built in Tampa, FL I don’t see the problem either. St. Petersburg is a terrible location for the Rays and the Lightning.

  5. Shouldn’t the team build the stadium in Tampa if they want it in the actual city and to increase attendance?

  6. I always wonder how many people that bad-mouth the trop have ever actually been or have they heard so many people bad-mouth it for so long they just assume it must be true. I went once while on my honeymoon in 2006. The Yankees were in town and the place was quite full and the only problem I had was parking. Now I know about the catwalks and everyone regurgitates the poor location arguement but these hardly seem reasons for spending $500 million+ of taxpayer money for a private enterprise. I have been to 20 MLB ballparks including Oakland, the Metrodome, and Dolphins Stadium (all for baseball games) and these issues seem constantly overblown to me. The biggest problem with the Metrodome? The Twins weren’t even trying. They didn’t even have a souvenir store in the ballpark! Tampa Bay will not be cured by a new stadium any more than any other team. Owners who want to have winning teams typically do, those that want to line their pockets typically don’t. There are so many examples of stadiums not delivering on their promises of jobs, tax revenues, or winning teams that it is unfathomable that people still argue for new taxpayer built stadiums, especially those thoughtful enough to visit this site.

  7. Only 35,000 for a playoff game today??? If it were in Montreal you would have way more fans than that.

  8. If they kept the tarp on the seats (which they did in 2008 for the ALDS), 35,000 is actually a sellout.

  9. They did. That was a sellout. Tampa fans will apparently make the trek in the middle of a weekday for a playoff game. That’s a good sign at least.

  10. You thought this year was a bad attendance year at tropicana field, wait till next season when Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena, Rafael Soriano and Joaquin Benoit are all gone to other teams.

  11. You do realize that two of the guys on that list only came to the Rays in 2010, and another one batted .196 this year.

    If anything, I think it’ll hurt attendance more that Rays fans waited all year for the playoffs, only to see most of their team go 0-for-C.J. Wilson.

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