Friday roundup: Lots more fans showing up disguised as empty seats

Is public financing of sports venues worth it? If you’ve been noticing a bit of a dip in the frequency of posts on this site over the past few months, it’s not your imagination: I had a contract job as a fill-in news editor that was taking up a lot of my otherwise FoS-focused mornings. That job has run its course now, which should make it a bit easier to keep up with stadium and arena news on a daily basis going forward, instead of leaving much of it to week-ending wrapups.

That said, you all do seem to love your week-ending wrapups, so here’s one now:

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11 comments on “Friday roundup: Lots more fans showing up disguised as empty seats

  1. Attendance wise- a problem I think could be…

    When the commissioner and owner say the TROP is a dump for 10 years and then focus on tanking most of the time…why bother going at all unless you get a pair of tickets thrown at you…?

    I don’t know how Manfred can continue to say baseball is a ticket-driven sport and then allow teams to keep attendance down the way they have.

  2. I really disagree with Doug Bentz. I subscribe to Netflix but I also subscribe to MLB Extra Innings and just signed up for NHL Center Ice (I am a Yankee & Islander fan, who no longer lives in NY and I want to see my hometown teams). In most cases, if you are a real fan of a certain team, and you have time to watch, you will find your game (either on TV or in person) and not be watching Netflix. The one exception is when you have no control, such as Dish taking away tonight’s Penn State/Maryland game due to a disagreement with Fox. But guess what? I will watch Yankees/Rangers instead of my Nittany Lions. But even then: it is sports over Netflix.

  3. So the Rays have “concentrated on tanking” a lot? Where and when, exactly?

    Trading players they can no longer afford? Yeah, but how many of those guys have gone on to do great things elsewhere? Price, okay. They could not have afforded Price in any way shape or form.

    AND they fleeced the Pirates in a big way and spent for Charlie Morton. Yadda yadda yadda, 95 wins after 90 last year and winning seasons 8 of the last 12 years?

    You’re right about them running down the Trop (which, truth be told, is NOT that bad but suffers by comparison). And it’s on the wrong side of the Bay. There is something wrong there, but tanking ain’t it.

    Lastly, do you know how old the “fans disguised as empty seats” line is? It’s middle-aged by now. It will be 60 in a few years. Let it go.

    1. It’s not hackneyed, it’s retro!

      (Agree with you that the Rays haven’t been tanking, though.)

  4. If their lease ever expires, the Rays should build a temporary park on the other side of the bay, then play a split schedule, and see if either side can support a team. Market research. And it’s easier than splitting a schedule with Montreal.

    1. Lots of baseball teams could do split schedules- Atlanta Braves? Suburban and urban stadiums. Texas Rangers? AIrconditioned and no AC. Why does asking for a new stadium require tearing down the old one?

  5. All I can submit to the Tampa Bay situation ( and it’s weird to name a team after a body of water) is a Yogi-ism: “If the people don’t want to come out to the ballpark, nobody’s going to stop them.”

  6. Neil

    For your TB article you missed one theory

    “sports in the US Southeast in general, sucks”

  7. I’ll say this about the Trop: it’s a wonderful place to take in a ballgame if you’re antisocial.

    Really though, it does seem like the Rays organization is doing its utmost to portray itself as a wrongly-convicted prisoner who is being forced to serve out the rest of its lengthy prison sentence. Of course, their equivalent of the parole process has made them a laughingstock among anyone who pays even a small amount of attention to the business of sport, but they’re definitely making an effort there.

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