Daytona Cubs employee bashes Rays attendance

The Rays play in a very unique situation. They are one of the few teams in Major League Baseball surrounded by four Minor League teams. Although they compete for the same entertainment dollar, the Rays and the teams of the Florida State League usually co-exist in an awkward harmony.

On Wednesday night however, an employee of the Daytona Cubs took an unprofessional swipe at the Rays’ fanbase. While visiting Tropicana Field following a day game against the Bradenton Marauders, Daytona Cubs Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations Robbie Aaron commented on the Rays attendance.

robbie aaron(click to enlarge)

There was no reason for Aaron to make that comment and even less reason for the Florida State League’s official Twitter account to retweet Aaron.

RTed(click to enlarge)

Granted, the Daytona Cubs draw well for a Florida State League team. The Daytona area is a solid minor league market. The Cubs finished second in attendance to the Clearwater Threshers in both 2013 and 2012. They also set a team attendance record last year with an average of 2,518 fans per game and 146,079 total.

But the 2,895 the Cubs are currently averaging (as of 5/21/2014) is still far below the 18,367 the Rays are currently averaging. Aaron should know better than to make a statement like that, even in jest.

Professional sports teams and their employees usually don’t say anything critical about the business affairs of other franchises. It is surprising to see Robbie Aaron comment on the Rays affairs and even more surprising for the Florida State League to retweet it. Would either dare comment on the attendance of the Dunedin Blue Jays, a team consistently on the bottom of the Florida State League?

Although the Rays probably won’t make a big deal of it, they should request an apology from the Daytona Cubs, their Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations, and the Florida State League. While they compete for dollars, all teams in the Florida baseball market should be working together. To do otherwise is bad for the business of baseball.

6 comments for “Daytona Cubs employee bashes Rays attendance

  1. Joe
    May 22, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    Doesn’t look like 18,000 people at that game!

  2. May 22, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    I’m pretty sure the tweeter in question was just showing support for the Cubs and the FSL….It’s impressive for Daytona to have a fanbase that packs the house and makes as much noise as I’m sure he heard in St. Pete.

    I actually LOVE Tropicana Field and go as often as I can, and Jackie Robinson Ballpark is a great place to be as well. For me, it’s all about filling the seats. Tropicana Field might be 70% full on most nights, but Daytona is about 95% full on a regular basis. That’s called a fun atmosphere.

    As much as I appreciate your research on attendance in the Tampa Bay area, I find that most of your tweets and reporting come off as extremely negative towards how teams draw. So where’s the double standard? Can’t other people have opinions about the state of attendance in Tampa without you calling for their heads?

    And you say that Mr. Aaron posted an “unprofessional” tweet? Sounds like on May 17 when you tweeted, “Dude, if you want to have a constructive conversation, email me. Be glad to help.”

    So, “dude,” let’s not pick on one of the 10 billion people who have noticed the empty seats at the Trop, and try to figure out a way to get more fans in the seats. Fans like Robbie Aaron!

    • Mike Lortz
      May 22, 2014 at 10:21 pm

      First, thank you for commenting and reading. I appreciate that.
      However, the big problem with your comment is that Robbie Aaron is not a fan. He is an employee of the Daytona Cubs. He is their Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations. With that position comes a set of standards and a level of professionalism. He should not have made a comment about the business affairs of another baseball franchise.

      I appreciate your enthusiasm about getting more fans to the Trop. Perhaps you missed my marketing posts and the ideas I have had both here and on other Rays blogs. I have done that quite often. Also, that “dude” tweet you referenced was towards a writer who suggested the Rays would be better off in another market. So no, I am not “extremely negative” towards how baseball teams in Tampa Bay draw. As a matter of fact, I understand the dynamics of baseball in Tampa Bay better than most.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *