Rays fandom in Tampa Bay’s top 25 zip codes

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Over the past year, I have explored many Tampa Bay area zip codes. I have looked at these regions by population, determining how many baseball fans live in each and how many of these fans are teams of what team. Then I determined how far each of these fans are to each of Tampa Bay’s baseball stadiums.

This post will be the first of several to combine zip code demographics and look for patterns and trends.

First, a list of the top 25 most populated zip codes in Tampa Bay per the 2010 census database on census.gov.

top-25-populated-zip-codes

Of the top 25 most populated zip codes in Tampa Bay, 12 are in Hillsborough County, 5 are in Pinellas County, 5 are in Manatee County, and 3 are in Pasco County.

Now let’s look at the amount of Rays fans per zip code by using data from Facebook/New York Times. This is calculated by assuming 50% of the total population is baseball fans. For example, if 50% of Zip Code 33511 are baseball fans, and 54% of those are Rays fans, then 14,041 people in zip code 33511 are Rays fans.

top-25-rays-fan-zip-codes2

These 25 zip codes have a population of 926,581. The total amount of Rays fans in these zip codes is 234,516, or exactly 25% of the population. Now let’s look at how far each of these Rays fan-heavy zip codes are from Tropicana Field.

top-25-rays-fan-zip-codes-distance

These zip codes average 28 miles from Tropicana Field. Now let’s plot Rays fans per distance. The following graph depicts the amount of Rays fans per distance.

rays-fan-vs-distance

A few observations:

  • The two zip codes with the most Rays fans are over 35 miles to Tropicana Field.
  • The four zip codes closest to Tropicana Field each have less than 10,000 Rays fans.
  • Only four of the top 25 zip codes are within 20 miles of Tropicana Field.
  • Almost half of the top 25 zip codes have between 8,000 and 10,000 Rays fans.
  • 19 of the 25 most populated zip codes in the Tampa Bay area are over 25 miles from Tropicana Field.

This chart depicts the Rays’s struggle. They don’t have enough fans and those they have live too far away. This isn’t old news. But it is good to put numbers to the situation.

This data would be interesting to compare to season ticket holders per zip code and credit card purchases per zip code. But that data is of course proprietary.

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