Attendance Review: 2014 Tampa Bay Rays

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Welcome to our second attendance review of 2014 and our eighth attendance review of the Tampa Bay Rays. Today we will look at the home attendance of the 2014 Tampa Bay Rays.

Total attendance: 1,446,465 (down 4.23% from 2013: 1,510,300)

Per Game Average: 17,857.59 (down 788 fans per game from 2013: 18,465.68)

Highest attended games: 2 x 31,042 (Opening Day 3/31 vs TOR, 8/16 vs NYY.)

Lowest attended game: 9,751 on Thurs, Apr 3rd vs TOR.

Lowest point of average attendance: April 3, Game 4 (15,634)

Breakdown:

(red shading = below annual average of 17,858)

Overall:

2014 Rays attendance

By Month:

2014 Rays by Month chart

Since Opening Day was March 31, March and April are combined. August was the Rays best month and June was the worst. Click here for a breakdown of August attendance and here for a breakdown of June. June was the worst attended month since 2007.

The following graph depicts the average attendance by month.

2014 Rays by Month

By Day of the Week:

2014 Rays by Day chart

Following typical trends, the Rays drew poorly during the week, better on Friday, and over 20,000 on weekends. Monday’s average attendance was aided by the Opening Day sellout. Rays attendance increased over 60% on the weekends compared to their average Monday through Thursday attendance.

  • Mon-Thurs average attendance: 14,297
  • Sat-Sun average attendance: 23,161
  • Increase: 61.7%

The following graph depicts the average attendance by day.

2014 Rays by Day

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

2014 Rays by Day up from previous

As to be expected, no Monday game outdrew a prior Sunday. 23% of Sunday games outdrew the Saturday before it, and every Saturday game outdrew the Friday game played the day prior. Tuesday through Thursday were near 50% in regards to whether or not they outdrew the day prior.

By Opponent:

2014 Rays by opponent 2

Nothing surprising here. The Rays highest drawing opponent was the New York Yankees. Attendance versus the Yankees is mostly driven by the high percentage of New Yorkers and non-NY-born Yankees fans in Florida (click here for our demographic study).

This year was unusual as the Rays played 10 home games versus Boston, Toronto, and New York. Typically, they are only scheduled for nine. The Rays also only played two games versus the Marlins this year, whereas they usually play three. And this was the first year in the history of the franchise interleague games versus the Marlins were on weekdays.

By Starting Pitcher:

2014 Rays by starting pitcher

Among pitchers who pitched 10 or more home games, David Price again was the biggest draw. This average was aided greatly by Price’s start on Opening Day.

Of pitchers with 10 or more home starts, attendance was lowest for Jake Odorizzi’s starts. Five Odorizzi starts failed to draw over 12,500 and Odorizzi only started five weekend games.

This 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.

2014 Rays pitcher up by day

Among starting pitchers with 10 home starts, Alex Cobb’s starts drew more than the game prior 61.5% of the time (8 of 13). Of his 13 starts, Cobb pitched 3 weekend games, 2 games versus the Yankees, and 2 games versus prominent ex-Rays pitchers (Matt Garza and David Price).

By Promotion:

2014 Rays by promotion

Although “First Friday” is not a Rays promotion, it is a nighttime block party hosted by the City of St. Petersburg several blocks away from Tropicana Field. We include it here because the two events could either aid or detract from each other.

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 Florida promotion drew the most fans.

  • UF Saturday Night: 26,659
  • FSU Sunday Day: 25,877
  • USF Saturday Night: 23,656

The following chart shows how well promotions did compared to the prior day’s attendance.

2014 Rays by promotion effect

Although First Fridays did not draw well compared to the overall Friday average, First Friday games outdrew the Thursday before it 75% of the time (3 of 4), which is higher than the overall Friday over Thursday percentage (69%).

Camp Days (Park and Recreation Days) were special events for local kids summer camps held on Wednesday during the summer. Each Camp Day outdrew the Tuesday prior game.

Day Game / Night Game Splits:

2014 Rays Week weekend splits chart

As shown, the Rays drew better on weekends than weekends. Among weekday games, day weekday games outdrew night weekday games by over 1,000 fans (possibly aided by the Camp Day promotions).

Perhaps the Rays should play all their games on Saturday night. They went 7-0 on Saturday nights and drew their highest average attendance (25,620).

Overall, in their 36 home wins, the Rays drew 19,228 fans per game. In their 45 home losses, they drew 16,761 per game.

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

(For analysis of the 2013 Rays attendance, click here. For a look at the 2012 Rays attendance, click here. For a look at the 2011 Rays attendance, click here. For a look at the 2010 Rays attendance, click here. For a look at the 2009 Rays attendance, click here. For a look at the 2008 Rays attendance, click here. For a look at the 2007 Devil Rays attendance, click here.)

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