[Update: We found additional numbers and ironed out some discrepancies.]
This post will look at Spring Training annual trends for teams training in the Tampa Bay area from 2005 to 2013. We aren’t going to spend too much time on Spring Training numbers on this site, as the number of out-of-town fans and income generated by tourism holds a significant unknown sway. Regular season games have a higher number of local or regional fans and are hence a clearer reflection of baseball interest in the area and that’s what this site is about.
However, today we will present a few charts and graphs to give an idea of how Spring Training attendance is faring in the Tampa Bay area.
The following teams train or have trained in the Tampa Bay area since 2005:
- Tampa Bay Rays (St Petersburg) – 2005-2008
- New York Yankees (Tampa) – 2005-2013
- Philadelphia Phillies (Clearwater) – 2005-2013
- Toronto Blue Jays (Dunedin) – 2005-2013
- Pittsburgh Pirates (Bradenton) – 2005-2013
This chart shows overall per game attendance from 2005-2013.
The following chart shows the yearly total averages and percentage increase or decrease of all the teams spring training in the Tampa Bay area.
The following graph breaks out individual team per game attendance.
The Yankees and Phillies have been above average every year, while the Pirates and Blue Jays have been below.
According to Wikipedia, the current capacities for each team’s stadium are as follows:
- Steinbrenner Field (Yankees): 11,000
- Bright House Field (Phillies): 8,500
- McKechnie Field (Pirates): 8,500
- Florida Auto Exchange Stadium (Blue Jays): 5,521
We will now look at each individual team’s average Spring Training attendance from 2008-2013.
The Rays moved their Spring Training to Port Charlotte after the 2008 season.
Overall, while the Yankees have maintained a steady spring attendance, the Phillies have been in zero growth or decline since 2010. The Pirates, on the other hand, have either been zero growth or high growth also since 2010. It will be interesting to see if the up-and-coming Pirates and surpass the Tampa Bay Area average and catch the Phillies in per game attendance.
Meanwhile, in Dunedin, the Blue Jays, while slowly increasing, are still at the bottom of attendance. But Florida Auto Exchange Stadium does serve Canadian beer such as LaBatts and Molson. So they have that going for them.