2016 Tampa Bay Rays Attendance Review

Welcome to our second attendance review of 2016 and our tenth annual attendance review of the Tampa Bay Rays. Today we will look at the home attendance of the 2016 Tampa Bay Rays.

Total attendance: 1,286,163 (up 38,495 tickets sold (3%) from 2015: 1,247,668)

Per Game Average: 15,878 (up 475 fans per game from 2015: 15,403)

Highest attended games: 40,135 (Pride Night) Friday, June 17th vs SF

Lowest attended game: 10,117 on Wednesday, April 13th vs CLE

Lowest point of average attendance: April 14, Game 7 (Avg attendance: 14,898)

Average Time of Game: 3 hours, 0 minutes


(red shading = below annual average of 15,878)



By Month:


The following graph depicts the average attendance by month.


By Day of the Week:


Following typical trends, the Rays drew poorly during the week and better on weekends. Rays attendance increased 30% on the weekends compared to their average Monday through Thursday attendance.

  • Mon-Thurs average attendance: 12,827 (41 games)
  • Sat-Sun average attendance: 19,006 (40 games)
  • Increase: 48.1%

The following graph depicts the average attendance by day.


The following chart shows how often each day outdrew the day before.


By Opponent:


The highest drawing opponent of the year was the San Francisco Giants.This isn’t unexpected as this year’s Pride Night turned into a community event and support for the Central Florida LGBT community. Of the AL East opponents, those the Rays play most regularly, games versus the Red Sox drew the most, which was also not unexpected due to David Ortiz’s retirement following the 2016 season.

Games versus the Yankees only drew slightly more than average, far lower than in previous years, but more than in 2015. Perhaps we are seeing a new normal regarding Yankees fans attendance at Tropicana Field. Perhaps more are turning out to Yankees Spring Training than MLB.

By Starting Pitcher:


For the second year in a row, more fans came to Chris Archer starts than to any other regularly scheduled pitcher. However, of his 16 starts, Archer pitched 10 weekend games and 8 weekday games. He also pitched Opening Day and on Pride Night, both of which would have drawn fans regardless of who was pitching.

On the other side of the spectrum, Drew Smyly pitched only 4 weekend games of his 14 games. He also pitched in front of the Rays smallest attendance of the year (10,117).

Our next chart depicts how attendance reacted from one starter to the next. If a pitcher is a great draw, the percentage between he and the prior starter should be higher.


Again, because Chris Archer pitched a majority of weekend games, the games he started tended to draw more than the previous day.

By Promotion:


As we see on the chart, Camp Day, Bobbleheads, and Alumni promotions did very well. Alumni days were promotions catering to alumni of University of South Florida, Florida State University, and University of Florida. These promotions usually involved a giveaway for fans who bought a special promotions-based ticket. Among the three universities, the University of South Florida promotion drew the most fans.

  • USF Saturday Night: 25,883
  • FSU Saturday Day: 23,948
  • UF Saturday Night: 15,603

Both the USF and FSU games coincided with post-game concerts. The UF game coincided with an Evan Longoria gnome giveaway.

Day Game / Night Game Splits:


As shown, the Rays drew better on weekends than weekdays, although they played better on the weekdays. Day weekend games outdrew night weekend games by less than 700 fans per game, but the Rays night weekend record was better than their day weekend record.

Overall, in their 36 home wins, the Rays drew 15,361 fans per game. In their 45 home losses, they drew 16,292 per game.

Again, wins and attendance are not correlated at all.

Here is how the Rays performed at various levels of attendance. Overall, they had a better record with higher attendance. And of note, no Rays game drew under 10,000 for the first time since 2011.


We will have further breakdowns of these attendance numbers and how they relate to long-term trends in upcoming posts.

  • For analysis of the Rays 2015 attendance, click here.
  • For analysis of the Rays 2014 attendance, click here.
  • For analysis of the 2013 Rays attendance, click here.
  • For analysis of the 2012 Rays attendance, click here.
  • For analysis of the 2011 Rays attendance, click here.
  • For analysis of the 2010 Rays attendance, click here.
  • For analysis of the 2009 Rays attendance, click here.
  • For analysis of the 2008 Rays attendance, click here.
  • For analysis of the 2007 Devil Rays attendance, click here.

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