How Bad Was Tampa Bay Rays’ Attendance on Thursday?

We’re already in the midst of an attendance battle with the Tampa Bay Rays again, as they drew their smallest crowd since 2007 on Thursday night against the Minnesota Twins.

It seems we go through this every year, and I think we probably will until a new stadium is built or the team moves away (I like the Fairgrounds idea personally). But just how bad was the Rays’ attendance on Thursday? Well, let’s look at the numbers from the other games on the schedule that day:

Orioles at Yankees: 40,517

Cardinals at Dogers: 34,288

Rockies at Mets: 25,758

Phillies at Nationals: 24,875

Padres at Astros: 20,045

Marlins at Braves: 16,495

Tigers at Athletics: 11,129

Brewers at Pirates: 10,517

Twins at Rays: 10,042

Mariners at Royals: 8,811

So, for those keeping score, the Rays came in at No. 9 of 10 host teams in attendance on Thursday. Certainly not anything to hang our hat on. It is worth noting some other low points, however, including Wednesday’s Brewers-Pirates game that drew only 8,755 and numerous other games that have drawn fewer than 15,000 this season.

Obviously, the Rays’ incredibly slow start is going to hurt attendance, and the Twins are not a big draw. So it was disappointing to see Joe Maddon call Thursday night’s crowd “surprising” as he did in the St. Pete Times. But if the team starts playing better, hopefully the numbers will stabilize and other teams will continue to slide in the attendance rankings, proving that this is not just a Tampa Bay anomaly.

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